[ASA] AAO/RSAA Director News

John O'Byrne john.obyrne at sydney.edu.au
Fri May 18 17:34:25 AEST 2012

Dear ASA members,

In early 2013, Professor Harvey Butcher, Director of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the ANU, will be stepping down from his position. He will be succeeded by Professor Matthew Colless, current Director of the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

During his five-year term as Director, Harvey has overseen a period of rapid growth and renewal at RSAA. His achievements include the successful bid for $88M for Australian involvement in the Giant Magellan Telescope: in association with this, he has put in place a world-class  Adaptive Optics capability at the Observatory and secured major contracts with the GMT. Under Harvey's leadership, the Observatory has recruited a large number of young astronomers through the Stromlo Fellowship program. Harvey will remain at the observatory as an astronomer for the foreseeable future.

Matthew has been Director of the AAO since 2004. During his directorship he has overseen the transition of the AAO from the Anglo-Australian Observatory to the Australian Astronomical Observatory (a division of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education) after the withdrawal of the UK from the bi-national partnership. Since 2007, Matthew has been ranked among the 250 most-cited researchers in space sciences for the previous 25 years, and he was made an Honorary Fellow of the RAS in 2009. Matthew has been Vice Chair of the Giant Magellan Telescope Board since 2009.

Please join me in congratulating Matthew and wishing he and Harvey all the very best in their new roles.

Kate Brooks
ASA, President


Associate Head (Teaching & Learning)
Chair, School Teaching & Learning Committee 
Secretary, Astronomical Society of Australia Inc. 

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