President’s update: Rocketing towards the end of the year, AGM and members abroad

Thanks to Claire Harris for the President’s update.

It is that time of year. The pace quickens with everyone trying to get things out before Christmas and some of us, no doubt, fall in a heap (but hopefully only momentarily).

With so many work activities on my plate, I’ve been flitting from one thing to the other and to be honest, I have not found this very fulfilling. While I like variety, I miss the days of really being able to get my brain power going within a particular project or challenge to see it through and feel a sense of shared accomplishment.

Recently, however, I was very lucky to travel to Indonesia as part of my work on an international project. I have been part of the project team for two years leading the communication and engagement strategy and initiatives.

Connecting with others on the project—mainly soil mapping experts hailing from Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia—was very fulfilling and we achieved a lot in the few days we were together. I again reflected that having a shared vision of objectives and motivations for an initiative or collective is very important and helps to garner momentum in a particular direction.

This is perhaps a natural mindset for many communicators as whoever or whatever agency communicators are working with, they are trying to understand objectives and nut out stakeholder needs so they can then tie these together to deliver activities; hopefully achieving change of some description.

Also on my trip, I was lucky to accidentally connect with Michelle Kovacevic, an ASC member working in an international research agency. She has been in Indonesia for two years and has kept up her membership with ASC over this time.

We talked about our communication experiences; how communication is something that research agencies are often struggling to structure, resource and evaluate effectively to address research and societal outcomes; and the increasing focus on communicating online.

She told me how important the network of ASC is to her.

“As an Australian who works abroad in science communication, my ASC membership has been really valuable in connecting me to all the latest advancements, events and hot topics going on at home,” said Michelle.

It’s great to hear from members all over the place about what they value. Recently I, with the Executive, reworked some of the pages on our website including the Membership Benefits page, based on what members and Branches tell us. I welcome your comments on this.

And in addition, you’ll see in another Scope article that we are inviting stories of where ASC has had an impact in your life. Let us know. Bizarrity encouraged of course!