We welcome the election of four new Board members, Monica Awasthy, Rosalynn Anderson-Lederer, Stacy Jupiter and Megan Evans, elected at the beginning of this year – congratulations. As well, Vanessa Adams should be congratulated as she was voted President-elect. Further, the membership approved of me completing a three year term (end of 2016) to ensure that some of the structural reforms required for our society (see below) are well established. The Board decided to hold a meeting over two days at Taronga Zoo to progress our initiatives.
In particular, these focused on four main areas.
- We want to further develop as a semi-autonomous body, reflecting the increasing global initiative of the SCB to provide regions with more independence. This will mean becoming an incorporated body with a constitution and associated reporting responsibilities. We will be consulting with members about developments in this area in the coming months.
- We will also be progressing a working program particularly focused on increasing our capacity, initiatives in science and education and policy. As part of this, we will be developing regular conservation policy statement in response to pressing regional issues. We will also make a concerted effort to build capacity of our membership, with regular training and development workshops aimed at boosting skills of students and young conservation scientists from Oceania. We intend to distribute an electronic newsletter twice a year to members. Our Facebook page, website and twitter account will be regularly updated.
- We are also increasingly focusing on developing the program and advertising for the next SCB-Oceania Conference to be held in Brisbane from July 3rd-9th 2016, which we intend to be a great success.
For those of you going to the international ICCB-ECCB 2015 conference in Montpellier in August, we will be holding an Annual General Meeting on one of the days, so please come and discuss the progress of our society and what we are doing.
The Board believes that we should rotate the location of our conferences across our region (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands). And so we are looking to hold the 2018 conference in New Zealand, so please get in touch with ideas.
- Finally, we held a highly successful public event (about 150 people) to hear a discussion panel (Scott Gorringe, Professor Lesley Hughes, me and Professor Hugh Possingham) focus on “The Extinction Crisis: Man the Lifeboats”. The event was moderated by ABC Radio National’s environment editor, Gregg Borschmann. You can listen to the discussion online here.