[ASC-list] The Australian Science Festival closes

Mary-Anne Waldren maryanne.waldren at asflimited.com.au
Wed Apr 13 21:45:53 UTC 2011

Dear ASC members

It is an end of an era but a great one.  Here are the reasons why we didn't accept the contract with the ACT Government.  Thanks to everyone for supporting the Festival.

The festival has closed because the contract negotiations with the ACT Government took too long.  We normally have our program sorted by Xmas and
it is now April.  Two weeks ago they decided to change the contract from a Funding agreement to a services agreement, which meant we would have to do a
review in 2 years and go out for tender in 3 years for something we own. The money  being given did not mean we could present a quality program in
the timeframe left so we decided not to go ahead.  If we signed the contract we would have had to hand over our IP to the ACT Government which we were
not prepared to do.  Disappointing but what a great journey we have had and what a lot of success we have witnessed in nearly 20 years.  It is better to
stop doing something on a high and look back at all the wonderful things we have achieved in science communication.

Kind regards


See the press release below.

April 13, 2011

Media Release:

Australian Science Festival closes

After nearly 20 years of operation, the not-for-profit organisation behind the Australian Science Festival will close its doors.
Festival executive director Mary-Anne Waldren said the decision was a difficult one but feels it was the right time.
“Support is getting tight across many science organisations and the festival was not immune to these pressures,” she said.
“It will be sad for the education system, science community and the whole of Canberra to loose such an important festival.
“For nearly 20 years our organisation inspired hundreds of thousands with science.
“We have delivered an amazing number of inspiring events and become a beacon for science communication in the ACT and in Australia.”
Among our long list of achievements, the Australian Science Festival has:

·       Launched the careers of dozens of science communicators around Australia,

·       Inspired every state in Australia to put on science festivals by establishing National Science Week and running it for eight years,

·       Received numerous awards,

·       Attained exceptional media awareness for science and science research,

·       Generated enormous exposure through public events, ABC Radio National broadcasts and television shows delivered to audiences in the millions,

·       Promoted entrepreneurship, creativity and commercialisation to the business community through ICAN, Canberra’s Ideas and Innovation Festival, that ran for five years, and

·       Most importantly, harnessed science to stimulate, amaze and inspire hundreds of thousands of school-aged children from Canberra and those visiting from around Australia.

The festival would like to thank all the partners involved over the years and acknowledge that it would not have been possible without their support and commitment.
“It has been a great 19 years. We have many beautiful memories and been granted the wonderful opportunity of working with brilliant minds,” Ms Waldren said.
“In particular we would like to acknowledge ACTEW Corporation, ActewAGL and the ACT Government for their continued support.
“There are so many hundreds of organisations that we have worked with over the years, which we hope are aware of our gratitude for making our organisation such a huge success.”

Mary-Anne Waldren

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