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Board Level – June 2020

Board Level – June 2020

The tradition of the president writing about the work of the ANZ ACBS Board was started by Eric Morris and continued by Tiffany Rochester. In addition to providing members with transparency around the Board’s work, the focus has been on helping communicate all the incredible achievements of our organisation and its members. That I am finally getting to this (in June!) is testament to just how busy the organisation has been. So, following a hiatus, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to step into the (very big) shoes of Eric and Tiff to highlight the incredible work of ANZ ACBS.

Since taking on the President role in November 2019, two major events have shaped both the work of our Board and our communities more broadly: the tragic bushfires which ravaged Australia in summer and the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been humbled to be part of a community which has demonstrated such flexibility, compassion and wisdom in response to these events.

The recent death of George Floyd and subsequent increased recognition of racism across the world has also resulted in the ANZ ACBS Board considering how we can best contribute to this conversation, while continuing to support our members and stand in solitary with those affected by racism.

Despite these tough and important times, the sheer length of this blog is testament to the incredible work of our community. There has been so much activity, both alongside the challenges faced and in direct response to them.

If, while reading, you note an area in which you would like to support ANZ ACBS, please feel free to get in touch with me directly.

Board Changes

Our AGM was held in November 2019 and with that, a change in the make up of the ANZ ACBS Board. Shelley Viskovich (Member-at-Large), Karen Hielkema (New Zealand Representative) and Farah Gulamoydeen (treasurer) have all settled into their roles very well (as you will see from the incredible work each of them have been doing below). A big thank you to everyone who put their hand up for these roles, we hope to see each of you closely involved with ANZ ACBS in the future.

Sadly, a change in Board also means we also need to say goodbye to those Board members rotating off. Linda Nicholson finished up in her role as member-at-large. Linda has been an invaluable member of the ANZACBS board (her second stint in the role), in particular for her tiresome work as program chair for the highly successful Canberra conference in 2019. Her leadership, wisdom and support has been greatly missed on the Board.

Sara Boucher finished up in her role as New Zealand representative. Sara has been an outstanding representative of New Zealanders and also the research component of our community. In particular, her efforts on the Dunedin skills intensive (see below) and on getting the webinars up and running (again, see below) have been greatly appreciated.

Melissa Schellekens unfortunately had to step down from her role as treasurer to face the ever-present PhD thesis head on. Melissa has been a tireless treasurer, working in the background to dramatically improve our financial processes. I have been enormously lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Melissa. The work she has done for ANZ ACBS will continue to have an impact well into the future.

We also had to say goodbye to Eric Morris. Eric had been on the ANZ ACBS Board for five years and I suspect if I had 10 pages I could still not do justice to the contribution he has made. Eric has devoted countless volunteer hours to a variety of roles including mentoring, program chairing the Melbourne conference, working continuously to help move our community forward and leading ANZACBS as President. I have no doubt that Eric will continue to serve our community in a variety of ways, but he is sorely missed on the Board. On a personal note, thank you Eric for your kindness, mentorship, support and generosity. I would not have been able to step into this role without your guidance.

Early in 2020, the Board unfortunately had to say goodbye to our president-elect Lisa Soares, who needed to step down for personal reasons. We were delighted to have the excellent Julie Grove step into this role. Julie is well-known within the ANZ ACBS community as a skilled and compassionate leader and has already proven to be an asset to our team.