President's Annual Report- 2020

Written by  Miss Tayla Chick

Published 10 December 2020

I hope those who are reading this report, as well as their friends and families, are well and happy. I don’t think I need to mention how difficult 2020 has been, so I won’t. What I do need to mention is how grateful I am to see how we’ve all banded together and still managed to do so much despite the obstacles. So, let’s focus on the great things we were able to achieve in 2020. 

Our yearly roster of activities and events began with the IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast on February 12th of 2020. A group of 10 Tasmanian RACI members, including myself, gathered at Room For a Pony in North Hobart to celebrate the global event. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast together and spoke about the issues women face in the workplace and heard some wonderful testimonies from those of us who have already been through it all. It was an inspiring event that left me feeling positive about my future as a woman in chemistry. I hope everyone who attended enjoyed their time together. 

After our Women’s Breakfast event, things took a turn for the worse with restrictions due to the pandemic sending all of us back home. This meant that a lot of our usual annual and biannual events were unable to be run this year. It also meant that the RACI TAS Branch went virtual! Since our March committee meeting, we have been gathering via Zoom for our monthly meetings. This has been a nice change for many as it meant that those committee members who found it difficult to attend face-to-face meetings at UTAS, could tune in at home. If you’ve ever thought about joining the committee in the past but felt it too difficult to get to meetings, now is your time! We will stick to Zoom meetings for the foreseeable future. 

Once we all settled into our new routines and it became more clear how to move forward, the Tasmanian Branch started to host events again. Our second event for the year was our Southern States Quiz Night which was held on 29th July in conjunction with the VIC Branch. Around 15 people attended the Zoom event hosted by Ryan Condie (TAS Branch) and John Franceschini (VIC Branch) and we all had a blast! I’d like to thank Alyce Scanlon-Batt and Dr Yvonne Mah from the VIC Branch, as well as our two lovely hosts, for the organisation and behind the scenes work for the event. 

Luckily, due to ongoing interest and participation from Tasmanian schools, we were able to hold our annual Titration Competition. Organised by Brendon Gorlay and Jason Smith, we had a total of 80 teams from all over the state participate in 2020. For the year 9-10’s we had Rose Bay High, Team 8 win over all and individually, Tara from Rose Bay High School taking top spot with a perfect score. For the year 11-12’s we had Guilford Young College, Team 1 winning overall and individually a shared win between Elka from Don College and Emerald from St. Patrick’s College. Congratulations to all the winners and a massive thank you to Brendon, Jason, Ryan Condie, Sam Zarfos, Rhiannon Terry and their team of helpers for all the work put into this event. 

In another move to save an annual event, Nathan Kilah revolutionised the way we hold our Youth Lecture Tour. In previous years we have been able to invite a guest lecturer from around the nation to travel to Tasmania to hold talks with students all over the state, however, this year was different. Without being able to fly a guest over, we instead decided to showcase local talent in the world of chemistry with our “Connect with a Chemist” webpage. Through this page, you are able to read about some of our states (and RACI’s!) finest including Dr Curtis Ho, Dr Becky Fuller, Assoc. Prof. Jason Smith, Dr. Nathan Kilah & Dr. Ahyoung Park. Head over to the page to find out how you can connect your school with one of our chemists!

Once again I’d like to thank you all for your efforts this year. It was a much more challenging year unlike any other so I think we should all feel very proud and thankful of ourselves for what we’ve achieved this year but also that we and our families and friends are in good health. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday period and I look forward to seeing you all again next year.

For the final time as President of the Tasmanian Branch, Thank you.

Tayla Chick MRACI
RACI Tasmanian Branch President 


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