[ASA] Season Greetings

Kate.Brooks at csiro.au Kate.Brooks at csiro.au
Thu Dec 20 19:58:36 AEDT 2012

Dear members,

It doesn't seem a whole year ago that I wrote to you wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and productive 2012.
..... and what a productive year it has been!

Many of our members were acknowledged for their contributions to scientific excellence and the community:
- Dr Michelle Storey was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2012 Australia Day Honours;
- Professor Karl Glazebrook received a 2012 Australian Citation Laureate Award from Thomson Reuters;
- Prof. Brian Schmidt was elected to the Royal Society;
- Dr John O’Sullivan received a European Inventor Award;
- and Professor Ken Freeman was awarded the 2012 Prime Minister's Prize for Science;
just to name a few. This is in addition to the dozens of other National and State-based prizes and accolades that were awarded to our members across the country.

Our calendar was full of exciting events and interesting conferences and workshops:
- The solar system delivered a partial lunar eclipse and later a total solar eclipse, for which many of our members participated in community outreach events at their local schools, at remote northern Queensland locations and on luxury reef cruise ships.
- Australia's newest radio telescopes, the  Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), were officially opened at the Murchison Radio- astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia.
- ASA members participated in the ASA ANITA Theory Workshop, ASA/ANITA Numerical Astrophysics Summer School,  ASA Women in Astronomy Workshop, ASA Early Career Mentoring Workshop, the ASA Harley Wood Winter School and the ASA Annual Science Meeting - plus a jam-packed calendar of specialised science workshops on the east and west coast of Australia.
- As a cognate society partner of the Australian Institute of Physics, the ASA also supported two astronomy sessions in the 20th Australian Institute of Physics Congress.

(Don't forget to use the ASA calendar of events to advertise the dates of any future events you are organising: http://asa.astronomy.org.au/calendar.html)

There were some significant personnel changes too, in particular with the Heads of our two National Astronomical Facilities moving on to new challenges:
- Dr Phil Diamond, now former Chief of CSIRO's Division of Astronomy and Space Science, has taken up the new role of Director-General of the SKA.
- Professor Matthew Colless, now former Director of the Australian Astronomical Observatory, has taken up the new role of Director of the Research
School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the ANU (Professor Harvey Butcher has stepped down from this position).
I am sure, like me, you are keeping your ears to the ground for news on who will fill these two important positions.

The ASA Council is already gearing up for another busy year in 2013:
- Another announcement to keep your ears out for is where the 2014 ASA Annual Science Meeting will be held. We are going to trial holding the 2014 meeting outside of school holidays and the University break common week. The 2014 meeting will take place between 20-25 July 2014. So, in addition to submitting those ARC proposals, perhaps you want to consider also submitting a proposal to host our annual 2014 science meeting at your institute. Stay tuned in early 2013 for a call for proposals to host this event.
- I am proud to note too that starting in 2013, PASA will be published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the ASA.

I know that there were many other good-news stories and individual scientific publications that should be acknowledged too ... these all contribute to making Australian astronomy world class.

On that note, I would like to close by wishing all our members and their families a very enjoyable and safe festive season and all the very best for 2013.

Kate Brooks
President, ASA

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