[ASA] An update from the Astronomy Governance Working Group

Virginia Kilborn vkilborn at swin.edu.au
Fri Mar 11 12:57:27 AEDT 2016

Dear Astronomy community members,

Please find an update from the Astronomy Governance Working Group. As a representative on this committee, I welcome your feedback at any stage of the process. We will continue to provide updates on the discussions through the ASA exploder. I encourage you to forward this information to other colleagues who may not be ASA members.

Kind regards,

Virginia Kilborn
President, Astronomical Society of Australia.

The Astronomy Governance Working Group had its third meeting on 29 February.  There have been two recent changes to the working group membership - Ms Ann Bray (GM, Science Agencies Governance Branch @ Dept of Industry, Innovation and Science) has been seconded to another project with Ms Tanya Lynch (Acting GM, Science Agencies Governance Branch, DIIS) assuming the chair. In addition Prof. Lisa Kewley has been invited to join the working group in her capacity as National Committee for Astronomy (NCA) Chair.

The working group is responsible for delivering implementation plans for the possible future implementation of specified new astronomy governance arrangements, which are consolidation into a governing body in CSIRO such as a subsidiary entity of CSIRO, or consolidation into a corporate Commonwealth entity.  To assist in producing the implementation plans, the working group continues to refine a vision statement for the potential new entity.  At this meeting, the group reviewed the detailed facility operating budgetary information provided by the AAO, ATNF, AAL and the Australian SKA office, looking to understand the scope and scale of any possible new entity, and also to identify further risks involved in any change.

The next meeting of the working group will be in late April, and will focus on evaluating the cost-benefit and risks of the two governance options after a workshop in late March that feeds into this working group meeting.

The timeline for delivering the implementation plans to the minister has been extended until June, due to the extra time taken to analyse the costings.

Virginia Kilborn
Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology
Swinburne University of Technology
Ph (w) +61 (0)3 9214 4380

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