ASBS is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment for our members

The following policies have been developed to serve those aims

The Council’s role is to ensure ethical and transparent governance, always acting in good faith and in the best interests of the Society according to its Constitution. The Constitution was adopted on 25 September 2012, taking effect on 22 October 2012. The latest amendments to the “Rules” came into effect from 28 February 2023.

ASBS is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment for our members and promotes respectful and equal treatment for all. We urge our members to look out for each other to create a comfortable space where people feel encouraged, can speak without fear, and know their opinions are valued. We prohibit any form of harassment or discrimination.

By becoming a member of ASBS you agree to abide by the following rules:

  • Treat others with respect and consideration.
  • Refrain from impacting others with unwanted verbal or physical conduct (sexual or otherwise) or from making degrading and disparaging statements related to age, background, professional status, career stage, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religious beliefs, appearance, physical or mental ability, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Be conscientious about how your actions and comments might be perceived or misunderstood by others.
  • Be mindful of behaviours or comments that intimidate, create discomfort, interfere with a person’s participation, reinforce social structures of domination, or that might be construed as an abuse of power.
  • Be mindful of how you use social media when mentioning ASBS or other members, remembering that the internet is a public place.
  • Do not cast doubt on the professional competence of others without good cause.
  • Uphold standards of scientific integrity and professional ethics. 
  • Act professionally regardless of your level of qualification.
  • Declare conflicts of interest (perceived or actual) (e.g., when involved in grant assessments, judging awards, or investigating breaches to the code of conduct, etc.).
  • Protect confidential ASBS information.

ASBS maintains the right to deny or cease membership if a person’s annual subscription is more than two consecutive years in arrears, they have not abided by our code of conduct, or it has been deemed their conduct has or is likely to bring discredit to the Society.

When attending an ASBS event or conference, members are required to abide by the conference Code of Conduct in addition to the Society’s Code of Conduct. Conference organisers may modify the conference Code of Conduct as appropriate for their specific event.

Dealing with a reported incident

If you believe someone has breached this Code of Conduct, please contact ASBS Council. We will promptly respond or facilitate a response to all incidents reported and will act with discretion and sensitivity as appropriate to the circumstances. Consequences of misconduct may include cessation of membership.

We will ensure our response to the matter will be:

  • Proportional – the investigation and any subsequent actions will be proportional to the breach;
  • Fair – we will do our utmost to be fair to all parties involved;
  • Impartial – investigators and decision-makers must declare any conflicts of interests (perceived or actual);
  • Timely – investigate and respond as soon as the matter allows, gathering as much information as we are able to minimise the impact on all parties;
  • Transparent – information about the processes will be available to respondents and complainants;
  • Confidential – information will be treated as confidential and not disclosed unless required. Breaches of the Code of Conduct may be communicated to all members, but complete anonymity and confidentiality will be maintained of the particulars of circumstances and individuals involved.

ASBS is an inclusive society that welcomes and values members of any age, background, professional status, career stage, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religious belief, appearance, physical or mental ability, and gender identity or sexual orientation, who share an interest and passion for plants, algae and fungi. We ask our members to consider that behaviour and language that may be acceptable to some may be offensive to others and to therefore respect different perspectives and treat everyone with equal dignity. We also strive for diverse representation on our Council and associated research committees, and among keynote speakers at our conferences. Any unwelcome behaviour that breaches our Code of Conduct should be reported to Council.

Can we do better? Please get in touch if you wish to discuss diversity and inclusion with us.

ASBS is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our members in accordance with the Australian Privacy Act 1988.

We will not disclose your personal information to any external third parties. This includes:

  • your name, address, phone number
  • sensitive information
  • banking details
  • internet protocol (IP) addresses when you access our website

When you become a member of the Society, we will collect information, some of which may be made available through a membership directory (such as your email address and area of expertise), but none of your information will be disclosed to non-members. We will use a members-only email list to contact you about Society news or to distribute the newsletter. We will protect your information using a secure server system to prevent unsolicited intervention.

Members can access and update their personal information via the membership portal at any time.

ASBS values the health and wellbeing of our members and would like to provide support where we can. Please let us know if you have any suggestions about how we can help.

Member Experience

Kelly Shepherd shares her experiences and lessons learned in managing the stresses of modern life. This video is based on her keynote talk presented at the 2021 Virtual Conference.

Annual conference support

Conferences can be daunting when you don’t know many people or you face extra physical or mental health challenges. We aim to try and help all delegates have an enjoyable conference experience by seeking to ensure the following where possible:

  • a conference space that is accessible to people with a physical disability;
  • on-call assistance for people with specific mental or physical health needs (get in touch prior the conference to discuss your needs);
  • an Early Career Researcher (ECR) buddy system – if you are new to the Society and would like to connect with other ECRs who can meet and greet you at registration and chat with you throughout the meeting contact our ECR committee;
  • access to a quiet room for activities such as breastfeeding/expressing, thinking, reflecting, or recharging.

ASBS is a registered charity under The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

More information to come.

All images are credited and copyrighted under a Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. They can be shared and used as long as you give appropriate credit or attribution, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if any changes were made.

If you would like to share your favourite images of plants, people or places under the CC BY licence then please get in touch.


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