[ASC-list] National: ASC AGM 2008 minutes (for reference)

Meg.Rive at csiro.au Meg.Rive at csiro.au
Wed Dec 9 06:32:07 UTC 2009

Hi, all

As foreshadowed in my earlier email, please find below minutes from last year's AGM, for your reference.



ASC AGM 2008: Minutes
20 November 2008, Redback Hotel, North Melbourne
(Meeting opened 6.11pm)
Confirmation of members attending, apologies
·        10 members attended (see list below)
·        22 members offered apologies and sent their proxies to member attendees (see list below)
Minutes of 2007 AGM
·        TT is the only attendee who was also present at the 2007 AGM
·        NB moved to accept minutes, subject to OK from Jenni Metcalfe; MR seconded à motion carried
President's Report
·        (see attached report for details)
·        noted budget surplus generated by WCSJ
·        appointment of two new officers:
o        Laura Miles, scope editor
o        Kali Madden, membership/website officer
·        ASC website being overhauled
o        send any ideas you have to the working group (TT, LM, KM and James Hutson on working group)
·        TT has been able to travel for ASC purposes:
o        having a few face-to-face meetings with David Ellyard and Jenni Metcalf to progress operational activities and ideas
o        to Doha, Qatar as part of WFSJ's mentoring program
o        hope to implement a similar mentoring system in our region
o        visited ASC branches and key science communicators in Brisbane and Canberra (Adelaide scheduled soon)
·        activities:
o        planning to hold next ASC national conference at ANU, Canberra in November 2009
o        will include an academic program
o        working to increase value of ASC to members (in line with enormous growth in science communication as a profession)
o        Jenni Metcalfe is developing a series of Hot Air symposia on communicating climate change as a model for communicating complex areas of science
o        this might form a professional development module in science communication
o        exploring potential of ASC accrediting providers of training in science communication
o        working with AusSMC to develop a workshop on the future of science journalism
·        TT thanked contributors to ASC in 2008:
o        regional representatives on the National Council:
§         Susan Weir (Qld)
§         Tilley Boleyn (NSW)
§         Bobbi Cerini/Jo Savill (ACT)
§         Sarah Lau (WA)
§         Michelle Zucker (SA)
§         Jess Tyler (Tas, observer)
§         John O'Connor (Newcastle, observer)
§         Barbara McKaige (Darwin, observer)
o        ASC Executive:
§         David Ellyard (treasurer)
§         Rob Morrison (vice-president)
§         Jenni Metcalfe (immediate past president)
§         Meg Rive (secretary/Vic rep)
o        James Hutson
o        Laura Miles (new scope editor)
o        Kali Madden (new membership/web officer)
o        Florienne Loder (outgoing membership officer)
o        Regan Forrest (outgoing scope editor)
o        Melanie McKenzie (outgoing web officer)
o        Niall Byrne
o        Sarah Brooker
·        DE expressed gratitude on behalf of ASC to TT for his presidency in 2008
·        DE moved to accept President's report; MR seconded à motion carried
·        NB suggested the AusSMC event should be about science reporting (not science journalism), because much coverage is by non-specialist journalists who wouldn't consider themselves science journalists
·        NB noted that the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers will be held in Melbourne in November 2009 and suggested ASC's national conference should not conflict with this timing
o        TT noted that we need to work around ANU's timing, because they will be hosting the ASC conference
o        à for conference organising committee to consider
Treasurer's Report
Presentation of statement of accounts
·        DE presented and outlined accounts
o        DE noted that these aren't yet audited
·        net equity = $47,528.03
·        DE moved to note the accounts and grant the National Council authority to accept the accounts once audited; NB seconded à motion carried
·        MB queried why ASC's bank interest is so low
o        DE explained that we don't pay any fees, but we also don't get interest (because we're an association)
o        à the National Council will consider putting some funds in fixed deposit, etc in 2009
Determination of annual membership fee
·        fee was raised from $70 to $80 + GST last year
·        DE moved to retain at $80 and not charge joining fee; TT seconded à motion carried
Determination of capitation to be returned to branches
·        DE moved to keep capitation at 20%, but only 10% be returned immediately to branches, the other 10% to be bid for; TT seconded à motion carried

(IM departed at 6.44pm)

Determination of honoraria
·        DE moved that, as for 2008, honoraria of $1,000 each be paid to the Treasurer and Secretary; TT seconded à motion carried
Appointment of auditor
·        DE moved that ? be appointed auditors; JM seconded à motion carried
·        appointment of public officer
o        must be in ACT because we're registered in ACT
o        DE moved to reappoint David Salt as public officer, subject to DS's acceptance (DE not able to contact DS in time); JM seconded à motion carried
Tabling of 2009 budget
·        DE tabled proposed 2009 budget (NB: this isn't a requirement of the AGM)
·        principles:
o        we should continue to operate within our income for operational expenses
o        we will spend the surplus over two years, split between activities that:
§         strengthen ASC as an organisation
§         support science communication activities in our Asia Pacific region
·        we propose:
o        to put aside $5000 for travel by members of the National Council to meet face to face once a year
o        to put aside funds towards a membership drive
o        to spend $12,000 to support regional activities - will be used to leverage other funds
·        LM noted that membership/web officer amount should be $13K not $12K
·        NB queried whether we're not retaining some of the WCSJ funds as a safety blanket (eg other organisations aim to have 18 months' money in the bank)
o        TT explained that some of that money will be spent on building up membership, so that will increase funds available (if successful)
o        NB suggested ASC aims to make regional support activities self funding
Election of 2009 ASC President
·        MR moved to elect TT as 2009 ASC President; DE seconded à motion carried
Any other business
·        none

(Meeting concluded at 6.50pm)

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ASC AGM 2008: President's Report
I'll be relatively brief-and concentrate on what I think are ASC's achievements in 2008
(i)                  And in doing so also hopefully paint a picture of where I think we are heading
Unlike 2007, this year we don't have a large headline act, like the World Science Journalism Conference, to point to
(i)                  In fact, the conference itself left us with two legacies to deal with-one good, one less so
(ii)                The good legacy is that-due to Niall and Sarah's hard work at fund raising and finances for the conference-ASC was actually left with a surplus
(iii)               For the first time in its existence it actually has some money in addition to dues and subscriptions with which to play-David will talk about the executive's broad suggestions as to how it thinks we should use that money when he presents the financial details of the organisation and the budget
(iv)              The not-so-good legacy was the hangover of lethargy following such a supreme effort
(v)                I'm pleased to report that we now seem to have shaken this off.
Two elements have helped in this
First, the appointment of two energetic officers-one of whom is here tonight
(i)                  Laura Miles has agreed to become editor of the ASC newsletter, scope
a.       Lucky to have her and her expertise
b.      One of the architects of Alpha Galileo, the European science news website
c.       Has lots of ideas and expertise upon which are already drawing
d.      Your will all have woken to the fruits of her labours in your email inboxes this morning
(ii)                Kali Madden, who is communications officer of CUDOS-Centre for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems-at Sydney and Macquarie universities-has become joint website manager and membership officer
a.       Lots of expertise in Web 2.0, put to use when we established a wiki in association with the Cutler review of the National Innovation System
b.      Apart from drawing the threads of ASC administration together, she and Laura have joined with James Hutson in a group which is planning a new website with much greater functionality
c.       The aim is to automate our administration as much as is possible, and particularly handling memberships-but also for the website to act as a much more useful resource for members, utilising interactive Web 2.0 technology
d.      That process is happening as we speak. If anyone wants to get involved, please feed in your ideas while we are planning.
e.       The new website should be being eased in early next year.
Second element that has helped get us rolling again is the (limited) ability for a travel budget that the conference money has given us
(i)                  In keeping with a pledge that a proportion of whatever profits emerged from the conference would be spent on WFSJ-linked projects in our region, one of my first acts as president was to travel to Doha in Qatar as an observer of the gathering of a meeting of the WFSJ mentoring program, known as SjCOOP, involving participants from English and French speaking Africa, and the Middle East
(ii)                We also paid for an observer from Indonesia, Ella Syafputri
(iii)               Both of us came away impressed at the program's achievements and looking for ways of implementing something similar in our Region-I'll refer back to that later
(iv)              Even in the small time in Doha, apart from the training an networking involved, the program managed to demonstrate to al-Jazeera that there were science journalism resources upon which it could draw to broaden its coverage
In the past couple of months, I have also visited ASC groups in Brisbane and Canberra, and will hopefully travel to Adelaide in the next couple of weeks (as I promised I would when I took up the presidency in Canberra this time last year)
(i)                  The purposes of those visits have been twofold-to meet the regional groups and talk with them about matters of interest, to meet with key science communication people and bodies
(ii)                For instance, in Brisbane, I spoke about Freelancing to a regular ASC meeting, worked with Jenni Metcalfe on a couple of projects, and met with people from the Queensland Government's science partnerships and engagement group where there was a suggestion that they might be prepared to put some money into looking at establishing an ASC group in Townsville
(iii)               In Canberra, I visited the Centre for Public Awareness of Science at ANU, the Federation of Australian Technological and Scientific Organisations and the Australian Academy of Science and people in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research as well as the local branch
(iv)              One of the upshots is that we hopefully will be holding our next National conference at ANU next year-and it will have several innovative features, including an academic section to allow researchers to provide us with the latest results of their work
That travel budget has also provided for a couple of face to face meetings of members of the executive in Sydney and Melbourne, which were very productive
(i)                  They have resulted in several initiatives to try to increase the value of ASC to its members
One thing that has become apparent over the 14 years of ASC's existence is the rapid growth of science communication as a profession
(i)                  ASC now needs to take the next step and work towards becoming a genuine professional body-such as the Institution of Engineers-rather than an enthusiastic self-help group
So the sorts of initiatives we have been working on include
(i)                  More sophisticated means for members to upgrade skills
(ii)                Jenni Metcalfe, with support from the national executive, has been developing a series of three symposia called Hot Air on Communicating the science of climate change to be held in association with three conferences in Australia next year-the Greenhouse 2009 conference in Perth in March, the INTECOL international ecology conference in Brisbane in August, and the ASC conference in Canberra in November
(iii)               We are now trying to interest other groups to support these symposia. It's early days but we have already had encouraging noises from CSIRO and Energex, and interest from some others
(iv)              As part of the program, we are hoping to entice about 10 or 15 journalists from Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific to the Brisbane conference for some skills training and to attend the symposium-as a pilot version of a mentoring program such as I saw at Doha
The Hot Air program may well provide material for a module of science communication training in how best to communicate complicated issues with a science base
(i)                  The national executive and others are beginning to explore ways of gradually building up a program of such professional training for science communicators
Science communicators are also providers of training
(i)                  Another service as a professional body we can provide is accreditation of training -and we are on the way to drawing up guidelines for such accreditation
Many of these initiatives will involve partnerships with others
(i)                  Part of the point of going to Adelaide is to talk to those involved in the Royal Institution Australia and the Australian Science Media Centre about projects and areas of mutual interest
(ii)                Already Susannah Eliott of the science media centre and I have been talking of a summit on the future of Science journalism, given the current turmoil in the media industry
Most of these initiatives are in their early stages at present, but hopefully, many of them will be realised in the next year or so.
I would like to finish by thanking the many people who contribute to ASC at a national level-and many of you in this room are involved
(i)                  But this year I would like to single out all those on the national council
(ii)                Laura, Kali and James for their enthusiasm and commitment to generating the basis for a revamped ASC
(iii)               Also like to mention and thank the outgoing membership officer, Florienne Loder, who held things together at a sticky time when everyone was trying to get their act together, and former scope editor Regan Forrest.
(iv)              Thanks also to Niall and Sarah as back stops and sources of advice and ideas
(v)                Finally to the members of the national executive, who all put in many hours on ASC-related business-David, Jenni, Rob Morrison and Meg who, for all her self-deprecating banter, has turned out to be an amazingly efficient secretary and organised this AGM

Meg Rive | Communication Manager | CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship | P +61 3 9545 8301 (Mon-Tue) | P +61 3 9239 4433 (Wed-Fri) | F +61 3 9239 4444 | M +61 438 007 301 | www.csiro.au/wfo | Private Bag 1, Aspendale VIC 3195 Australia

Knowing our oceans, securing our future

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