[ASA] STA member June newsletter

John O'Byrne john.obyrne at sydney.edu.au
Mon Jun 3 22:49:01 AEST 2013

The ASA is one of about 60 member groups of Science & Technology Australia, making each ASA member one of 68,000 scientists and technologists represented by STA.  Below is another update from the STA CEO.

An update from Science & Technology Australia

Message from the CEO

A number of critical issues were discussed and finalised at last week’s STA Board meeting in Brisbane.

It was my first board meeting as CEO and I was made to feel very welcome. I was impressed by the commitment and range of expertise among your representatives – both Board members and observers.

Better communication with members is a top priority for STA, and a range of changes are on the way to help you get more from your membership. For a start a new, better-looking and better functioning newsletter will be coming soon, but for now here’s an update on activities and what they mean for you.

Science meets Parliament (SmP)

Science Meets Parliament will not be held this calendar year, due to the Federal Election, but will instead take place in 2014, on March 17 and 18. The intention had been to stage the event in mid-August, but the election announcement meant plans had to be changed.

This will be a permanent change and will set the event up as a fitting early marker in the in the political and academic year. More information will be provided on the website and in newsletters as we approach the event. We look forward to seeing you in March 2014.

Election year activities

Election year activities are gaining pace as we count down to the Federal poll. STA will again conduct our election science questionnaire of major and minor parties and Independents. We will be asking for their views and policy intentions on science, technology, education and research. The results will be delivered directly to you in the final weeks of the campaign so you can take the responses into account when casting your vote.

Also this election year STA has led a project to bring together a ‘research alliance’ or a wide range of science and research bodies, to speak with one voice and urge all-party support for science and research. This will culminate in a joint statement to be made on June 17 at Parliament House.

This will be the first time peak representative bodies and learned academies - representing hundreds of thousands of researchers across business and industry, universities and medical research institutes - have come together to urge multi-party support for research.

STA is proud to have played a formative role in pulling this campaign together, and we are relying on your support to give the message the best possible chance of being heard and of leading to concrete commitments from political leaders.

In the days surrounding the public release we will send a pack of information with full details and ways you can get involved.

STA Strategic Direction Review

The board discussed an investigation of the strategic direction of STA and alternate models of corporate governance to ensure the financial stability and health of the organisation. A group from the STA Executive will work on this in coming months, and will present findings to the members at the AGM on November 22.

Science Meets Business

STA will run a series of Science Meets Business forums, placing scientists in boardrooms to discuss critical scientific issues for the nation’s future.

Backed by Questacon’s Inspiring Australia program, the forums will engage influential audiences who don’t normally have close links with science and scientists. The aim is to build mutual understanding and put science at the centre of policy thinking and high-level public debate.

We will be seeking input from members on suggested speakers, topics and host groups as the planning progresses in coming months.

Women in Science Toolkit

Following on from the STA-commissioned report Women in science: maximising productivity, diversity and innovation, 2009, by Professor Sharon Bell and the Women in Science Summit in April 2011, a Women in Science Toolkit will be developed over the coming 18 months.

The Toolkit will provide a practical guide on how to improve the participation of women in the workforce based on best practice harvested from organisations around Australia and abroad, via ARC-supported research, conducted by Professor Bell and her team.

A summit to discuss the research will be run next year, and regular updates will be included in future newsletters.

Member connections and capabilities and hands-on skills workshop

Another of the highly-successful members skills workshops will be held at year’s end, with exact dates yet to be confirmed. Building on the 2011 initiative, STA will again provide a day-long series of talks on the key issues in running a scientific society, from legal advice and social media to declining membership numbers and conference planning. Member societies with relevant experience, as well as outside experts, will take part in sessions.

This is part of a broader ongoing project to improve two-way connections with members, giving you a wider range of communications options, including video, social media and other interactive forums for information exchange.

Updates will flow as we make progress.

June 3, 2013


Catriona Jackson

Chief Executive Officer
Science & Technology Australia
Giving voice to Australian Science & Technology for over 27 years
catriona.jackson at sta.org.au

T:  02 6257 2891
M: 0417142238

PO Box 259
Canberra City ACT 2601

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