Welcome to the NSW RACI President's Letter!
Written by Danny Wong
Published July 2021
We have been in lockdown in Greater Sydney for a week and we have another week to go! Given the experience gained last year, we are perhaps coping a little better during the current lockdown. I hope all members are keeping well and safe! Let’s hope the number of Covid-19 cases drops to a level that the NSW government is able to relax some restrictions at the end of this week.
Since my report in the June Newsletter, Claire Jung had left the Branch Office, but I am delighted that Brent Kooyman has already joined us as the new Branch Coordinator for a couple of weeks. I have invited Brent to introduce himself a little in this Newsletter. As a trained chemist himself, many RACI events, webinars and social functions are of direct interest to Brent. Welcome, Brent, to RACI and I am sure there will be many opportunities for Brent to interact with NSW members. As usual, do not hesitate to contact Brent ([email protected]) if you need help or information from the Branch Office. Brent works on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
I like to assure all members that the NSW Branch will adhere to rules set by the NSW government. If feasible, we will continue holding the Presidents’ Dinner at Concord Golf Club on 6th August. Similar to our Fellows and Honorary Life Members Lunch in May, the Presidents’ Dinner is another major annual social function of the NSW Branch. All members and partners are welcome to join us for a three-course dinner in the company of all friendly fellow chemists, colleagues and old friends. Please click here for further details and registration. I look forward to seeing many members on 6th August.
Following our Annual General Meeting in October last year, we started a column called “Getting to know New Branch Committee Members” in the November 2020 Newsletter. All Branch Committee Members have since taken turn to introduce themselves. If you have missed any of the Newsletters, click here. This is where we have archived past monthly Newsletters. To keep the momentum going, it is now time for us to introduce Group / Section Chairs to all NSW members in a new column called “Getting to know NSW Group / Section Chairs”. Mr Scott Colbourne, Chair of the Pharmaceutical Science Group, and Dr Matthew Wilkinson, Chair of the Industrial Chemistry Group, have agreed to start us off. Notably, the Pharm Group, as we often fondly refer to during Branch Committee meetings, is among the most active groups within the Branch in organising webinars (when physical meetings are not possible), seminars, etc. to provide ample opportunities for both RACI and non-RACI members to interact and network with each other. All credits go to Scott and the committee members of the Pharm Group! Under the leadership of Matthew, the Industrial Chemistry Group continues to be a force to be reckoned with. The Group is particularly keen to organise guided tours to many unique chemical laboratories and industries. Many student members have also used the opportunity to learn about these special places and to network with practising chemists at these places. Thank you very much to the Industrial Chemistry Group for bridging the enthusiastic students and the established organisations. I am sure you will enjoy reading about the secret life of Scott and Matthew, as well as their interesting hobbies outside chemistry.
The Chemist of the Month for July is a colleague of mine here at Macquarie University, Dr Fei Liu. I still remember the time when Fei first joined the Department, but I have not realised that was more than 10 years ago! Fei has made significant contributions to the teaching of organic chemistry in the Department and she is a highly respected supervisor for both Master-by-Research students and PhD students in organic chemistry. Thank you, Fei, for agreeing to do the interview, and thank you for allowing members to get to know you as well. As usual, thank you to William Li for conducting the interview.
I shall finish this report by reiterating the “stay well and stay safe” slogan! Let’s hope the efforts from everyone have once again suppressed the spread of Covid-19, and we will be able to meet up each other again soon.
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