Nineteen people joined the ANPSA Council teleconference on 14 May. Each time the time differences bring home the vastness of Australia as a country. As the member societies are autonomous bodies allowing for differences, these meetings of delegates and elected office bearers are an opportunity to share information and find common ground.
Our next meeting will be the Biennial meeting associated with the conference in Albany in September 2019. It looks to be a well attended event as at the time of the teleconference 250 registrations had been received. An important feature of the conference is the handing out of the Australian Plants Awards. This year the Award recipients are Professor Kingsley Dixon, who was nominated for the professional category by the Wildflower Society of WA, and Glenn Leiper nominated by the Native Plants Queensland for the amateur category. More extensive publicity will take place closer to the conference.
The main practical role of ANPSA is to support the Study Groups. Jane Fountain as the ANPSA Study Group coordinator provided us with a report of the current state of the Study Groups. There are currently 17 active Study Groups. Sadly the Boronia SG and the Rainforest SG have closed.
Good news is that the Goodeniaceae SG has been restarted with Royce Raleigh as the leader and Maree Goods as the newsletter editor. Their first excellent newsletter has come out. Nicole Maher is the SG liaison officer for New South Wales.
ANPSA website: www.anpsa.org.au
The ANPSA website is an excellent resource of information including Study Group newsletters. Nicky Zanen, our publicity officer, has reminded us that Australian Plants was first published in December 1959 – 60 years ago. A copy of that edition is on the website.
We all appreciate the excellent work of our webmaster Brian Walters. He reports that there is now an online archive of newsletters produced by 44 current and closed Study Groups.
The online image database for the Eremophila Study Group now has over 160 Eremophila species. A dedicated website for the newly activated Goodeniaceae SG has been set up.
There is ongoing discussion on the future management of the ANPSA website as succession planning is necessary to ensure smooth continuity should Brian become unable to manage. The likely outcome eventually will be engaging a commercial firm to manage the website. At the same time it would be wonderful for someone to volunteer to work with Brian and learn the ropes. Even if a commercial firm is engaged, a person with knowledge of the society and plants will be needed to guide and instruct on the contents.
Our conservation officer Eddy Wajon has continued to lobby actively in relation to the expansion of the Jandakot airport with commercial development into a reserve. Another issue of national importance is the insidious spread of Myrtle Rust. Eddie is keeping us informed of the attempts by government authorities to develop a management plan in a nationally coordinated way.
The NSW government’s anti-environmental legislation protecting feral Brumby horses in the Australian Alps has been another issue. Chris Long, APS Victoria President, has also sent a letter to the NSW Minister for the Environment.
Eddie reported that in WA damage to roadside vegetation by local council clearing practices is continuing.
The inevitable shift to distributing journals/newsletters electronically is slowly happening. NSW delegates informed us that the NSW journal is now only available digitally to the members. Libraries get paper copies, but statutory bodies prefer digital versions.
Seeking new public officer and publicity officer for ANPSA
ANPSA public officer John Carter is stepping down from his position as he is moving out of the ACT. A new public officer who is a resident of Canberra will need to be appointed at the beginning of 2020.
We will also be looking to fill the position of the publicity officer as Nicky Zanen will be stepping down after the Albany conference. Nicky deserves recognition for her contribution over the years.
Riitta Boevink, ANPSA President