The NSW RACI President's Letter - December 2021
In November every year the RACI celebrates the contributions our members have made to the organisation and the Chemistry community in Australia. The NSW community was exceptionally well represented across the 2021 awards and on behalf of the NSW Branch I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the award winners from NSW; Prof. Justin Gooding, Prof. Anthony Weiss, Prof. Kate Jolliffee, Assoc. Prof. Amir Karton, Dr Marcus Müllner, Dr Reyne Pullen, Bethany Yee, Prof Stephen Pyne, and David Edmonds. I encourage you to take the time to watch the terrific videos put together by the National Office, you can find them here, 2021 RACI National Awards recipients.
It is also the time of year where the RACI National AGM and annual assembly meeting are held. Both were held virtually on Wed 1st December with excellent attendance. Compared to previous years the assembly was quite short, so I hope we can return to face-to-face meetings in 2022 to help chart out a strong future for the RACI. Despite the COVID headwinds the treasurer, Dr Lidia Matesic, reported that the RACI posted a surplus for FY21 and the budget is on track for a surplus in FY22. Member attraction and retention remains a significant focus at a national level with memberships continuing to decline particularly when members transition from postgraduate studies. A number of initiatives are being explored at a National level, including the reinvigoration of the RACI ambassadors’ program.
In November I had the honour of judging a number of the awards sponsored by the NSW branch as part of the Science Teachers Association of NSW (STANSW) 2021 Young Scientists awards. The quality of the short-listed submissions from both primary and secondary school students across the state was thoroughly impressive and selecting the final winners was challenging. I have little doubt that STEM, and chemistry in particular, has a bright future in NSW and more broadly in Australia. In the February newsletter will highlight the winners and their research projects.
Looking to 2022, I hope our members will all start getting out to events and re-engaging with the broader chemistry community. I will note the much-delayed NSW Branch President’s dinner on the 25th February at the Concord Golf Club and of course the RACI 2022 congress in July in Brisbane.
To close out the year I would like to wish you all a wonderful end to 2021 and a terrific start to 2022. To those of you in our community that celebrated Diwali and Hanukkah recently, I sincerely hope it was wonderful celebration with your family and community. If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable end to the year, festive season and new year spent with friends and family eating wonderful food and filled, with ample laughs and smiles. If you are taking a break over the new year period, I hope it is relaxing or being productive if you are planning any big holiday DYI jobs.