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President's Report

ASBS Newsletter 97, December 1998

[As delivered at the 16th Annual General Meeting in Sydney]

It is customary (and appropriate) in the President's Report to the Annual General Meeting to catalogue the achievements of the past year. Certainly there are many noteworthy accomplishments and events that have occurred between the Adelaide and Sydney meetings. Along the way there have been letters (with varying degrees of effectiveness) to politicians and others on your behalf, and various day-to-day administrative matters.

I continue to enjoy my involvement in ASBS. It is frustrating at times to be unable to contribute as much time and energy as I would like, but my fellow councillors have been extremely supportive. As John Clarkson reminds me from time-to-time, we work as a council rather than as individuals. What follows then are the achievements of the council, and sundry notes.

  • A financial strategy is now in place to make best use of our finances and assets. It also allows us to budget ahead, and to justify our level of expenditure on various core activities (e.g. student conference assistance, Eichler Research Awards).
  • ASBS conferences continue to run effectively and efficiently. Profits from the Adelaide conference will be added to the Hansjorg Eichler Research Fund. The organising committee for Monocots II must be congratulated on their wonderful efforts in bringing this truly international meeting to fruition.
  • Donations to the Hansjorg Eichler Research Fund are now tax deductible [final approval was given soon after our Annual General Meeting].
  • We have established Life Membership, making the first award to a well known and well loved member, Mrs Marlies Eichler (see later in newsletter).
  • The second round of Eichler Research Awards has again drawn strong applications and three been awarded (see later in newsletter).
  • The Nancy Burbidge Medal is in development. Its introduction will be delayed a year and the usual Nancy Burbidge Memorial Lecture, will be held at the 1999 conference.
  • With our kindred societies - Society of Australian Systematic Biologists and Australasian Mycological Society - we lobbied reasonably effectively for funding for systematics in Australia.
  • The newsletter has traveled safely and undergone some fine tuning at the hands of Bob Hill. Contributions are always welcomed, particularly 'news' items from the various institutions and home-offices around the country.
  • Our website, thanks to Andrew Lyne, has become a wonderful public face for the society, reflecting our activities and professionalism.
  • Society fliers for Monocots II and beyond were prepared by John Clarkson.
  • We farewelled Chris Puttock who has contributed to council as Secretary and Vice-President, and welcomed Barry Conn back to council as Vice-President.
  • It has once again been an absolute delight to work with our current council. John Clarkson, in particular, is setting standards beyond the call of duty. Thanks to everyone on council for their dedication and support over the last year.

Tim Entwisle