The Executive looks forward to presenting the full President and Treasurer reports to you at the AGM and we welcome nominations for the President role for 2014.
Please, if you are in Canberra, do attend. If you can't, please consider sending a proxy vote as we need a quorum.
This is the time of year when the ASC formalises the Executive management team for ASC for the coming period. This team must constitute a President, Treasurer and Secretary as a minimum to keep the ASC alive. In 2013 we oscillated between 6 and 3 Executive members due to illnesses and travel commitments.
We recently, at our Executive meeting Tuesday 12th November, reflected on the achievements and workloads this year and made the recommendation for the future President to build the Executive in 2014 to 7 members, the maximum allowed under our constitution.
However, beyond Executive positions there are also many other ways to contribute to the running of the ASC - including through the branches and National Council as well as taking on particular projects. There is nothing at all that precludes members who wish to assist and drive a project from working on this project with guidance from the Executive.
2013 has been a good yet tumultuous year with Rod stepping down due to illness and me taking on the role of Acting President, while also maintaining my other ASC duties. These changes did not only take someone out of the Executive but also out of the ASC conference organising and program committees. This extra workload has been picked up by me, Kali Madden, Jesse Shore and Nancy Longnecker, assisted by Will Grant, Pete Wheeler, Sarah Lau and others.
Rod and I would like to thank everyone for their contributions to ASC this year and going into the conference. We would particularly like to thank Jesse Shore for his work as immediate Past President and for his contribution to the conference (a role which he will thankfully continue with until February).
Execs in 2012 and 2013 had good plans for recruiting a General Manager and, as you may recall, we called for application and promoted the position widely. We received moderate interest and in the end two applications from strong individuals. Unfortunately, one needed to withdraw and the other didn't apply for the position as it was structured and budgeted for.
Given the timing of this process, the upcoming conference (always a financial risk in the beginning), the general economic state in the country (including change of government), and additional administration this year, we needed to revisit the ASC budget and reconsider how best to approach the goals of the position.
The conclusion from the 2013 Exec (which will be considered and acted upon as appropriate by the 2014 Exec) was that particular projects, such as exploring partnerships and business development, would be sourced as strategic projects when needed and practical to do so.
In both our opinions, the (volunteer) Executive has worked very hard this year on critical activities.
There are key operational matters that the Executive has dealt with – many behind the scenes – that are essential to the future operation of ASC. These have included:
- ensuring tax compliance and investigating our not-for-profit status
- bringing insurance arrangements up to date to cover our structure and operations
- developing new communication and information sharing tools for the Executive and National Council
- recruiting for the ASC Communication team, including bringing on two outstanding candidates in the webmaster and Scope editor positions
- maintaining a stable financial position.
Further, the Executive and key volunteers have undertaken major external communication activities, including:
- raising the profile of Australian Science Communicators (eg. through web and social media)
- consulting members and non-members on the ‘professionalisation’ of ASC
- further developing the platforms for our online community
- maintaining relationships with Inspiring Australia, universities and other associated partners and delivered sci comm projects
- working towards the national conference, ASC2014 www.ascconference.asn.au
And we have met every 1 or 2 months and also met with the National Council every 3 months. Thanks to Sarah Lau for keeping us organised and on track with discussions and actions.
We hope this provides some food for thought going into the AGM and beyond.