Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-3

Professor Kathy Eagar“Did the Aged Care Royal Commission provide a blueprint to fix Australia's aged care system? If not, what else needs to happen?”

Professor Kathy Eagar
Director, Australian Health Services Research Institute
University of Wollongong

Date: Wednesday, 25 August 2021, 6.00 pm AEST 
Venue:  Zoom Webinar
Video Presentation: YouTube video
Society Members, Fellow, and members of the public are welcome

Summary:  As our population shrinks and ages, the provision of a safe effective system of aged care is an immediate priority for both our Government and our society. The need for reform within the sector has clearly been highlighted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic as well as The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety's final report. The latter laid out an extensive plan to overhaul Australia's aged care sector outlining 148 recommendations for improvement. The report calls for a new system underpinned by a rights-based Act, a funding model based on need, and much stronger regulation and transparency. The problems facing the aged care sector are only going to increase in intensity in the future. So what needs to be done?

About the speaker: Professor Kathy Eagar is Professor of Health Sciences Research and Director of the Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) at the University of Wollongong.  

Our speaker, Professor Eagar will be accompanied by a panel of two: Dr Max Thorpe, a clinician, and Ms Marie Coleman AO, an Australian feminist, social activist, public servant and journalist.  Dr Thorpe understands the inadequacies in the Aged Care System through his involvement in the management of community-based aged care, and both he and Ms Coleman are strong advocates for the better management of aged care.



Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-2

Professor Jason Sharples“Extreme bushfires and the
age of violent pyroconvection”

Professor Jason Sharples

School of Science
UNSW (Canberra)

Date: Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 6.00 pm AEST 
Venue:  Zoom Webinar
Video presentation: YouTube video

(*) NotePlease note the change to both the time of the event and the venue/format. The current uncertainty regarding COVID-19 has necessitated a change in format from a face-to-face meeting to the Zoom webinar format.  Refund arrangements will be notified to those who have already made payments for the originally planned event (and dinner) at Noah's on the Beach.  

Summary:  Over the last few decades, Australia and other fire prone parts of the world have seen an apparent increase in the occurrence of large destructive bushfires, such as those experienced during the 2019/20 Black Summer. These fires defy suppression, consistently result in the loss of life and property, and further impact the cultural, economic, social and political stability of communities. They also produce significant environmental damage with ongoing implications for the ecology and biodiversity of many species. The types of behaviours exhibited by these fires are often at odds with traditional approaches to understanding bushfire, which have primarily relied on information gathered during smaller experimental fires in particular types of vegetation. In contrast, these fires tend to manifest as violent pyroconvective events, which often share more in common with an atmospheric storm than a surface fire. In this talk I will present an overview of recent insights into the occurrence and behaviour of these extreme bushfires and discuss some of the challenges they pose for bushfire risk management.

Brief biography: Professor Sharples is a mathematical scientist and internationally recognised expert in dynamic bushfire behaviour and extreme bushfire development. He has led several Australian Research Council and Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre projects and is involved in international wildfire research projects. These projects consider various aspects of extreme and dynamic bushfire propagation, the development of large conflagrations and bushfire risk management. His expertise is particularly relevant because of the large gap between the predictions of current mathematical models of fire behaviour and actual fire behaviour.

He is Director of the UNSW Bushfire Research Group, which aims to improve understanding of the fundamental processes that drive extreme bushfire development and their relation to firefighter and community safety.

Professor Sharples has acted an expert witness in several Coronial and Parliamentary Inquiries, most recently at the 2020 Bushfire Royal Commission, and has been a key contributor to the international dialogue around wildfire modelling and risk management. His research has been adopted in national firefighter training materials and into the operational procedures of bushfire management agencies such as the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Professor Sharples graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics/Physics) and Bachelor of Mathematics in 1995 and an Honours degree in Mathematics in 1996, all from the University of Newcastle (UON). He then completed his PhD in pure mathematics and mathematical physics at the University of Canberra. He was UON’s first indigenous student awarded double degrees in Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Mathematics and a recipient of the University Medal.


Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-1

Dr Alan Finkel AO“On readying our region for low emissions technology”

Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE FAA
Former Chief Scientist of Australia

Date: Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 5.30pm AEST 
Venue: Newcastle Conservatorium of Music (cnr Auckland and Laman Streets, Newcastle) and Zoom live-streaming
Video presentation:YouTube video

In Conversation with Dr Alan Finkel AO.

This presentation, from the University of Newcastle and the Royal Society of NSW, coincides with the visit by Dr Finkel to the University of Newcastle.  It includes a public address, and an in-depth interview which will allow his audience to understand and explore the vast opportunities available through low emissions or carbon neutral technologies. 

In particular he will share insights into the government and technology directions and how regional industries might respond, particularly in the context of the Hunter in which the University of Newcastle is leading research in clean hydrogen energy, the transition to zero emission mining of aluminum, iron ore and steel, renewable energy storage technology, and bio-sequestration in regional farming practices.

Dr Alan Finkel AO is one of Australia’s most distinguished scientific, engineering, and academic advisers and advocates for innovation in technology. In 2021 he completed his tenure as Australia’s Chief Scientist and has since been appointed Special Adviser to the Commonwealth Government on the research, development, transition, and application of low emissions technology.

He is noted for making the topics of science, engineering, technology, accessible and exciting to young people through his advice and contributions to the development of the nation’s modern STEM curriculum. 


RSNSW Hunter Branch Annual General Meeting 2021

Hunter AGM NoticeNotice of the 1st Annual General Meeting of the RSNSW Hunter Branch

Date: Wednesday, 31 March, 5.00pm AEDT
Venue: Collaborative Teal Room, X201, NUSpace, University of Newcastle (Hunter St) and via Zoom live-streaming
Entry: No charge
Only financial Members and Fellows of the RSNSW Hunter Branch are eligible to attend.

Notice is hereby given of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW.

Due to social distancing restriction imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the capacity of the room is limited to 36 people.  For those unable to be accommodated, or to attend physically, access to the meeting will be provided via Zoom. 

An agenda for the meeting is available online.

Amongst the business of the meeting is the Election of the Branch Committee for 2021-2022.  Nomination forms and further information is available from the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Calendar of Meetings 2021

RSNSW SealThis page lists the Calendar of Meetings for the
Royal Society of NSW in 2021.

Please check this page regularly since the program is under ongoing development.

Last update: 1 October 2021

Follow the links below for meetings held by the Society in Sydney, in Newcastle by the Hunter Branch, in Mittagong by the Southern Highlands Branch, and in western NSW by the Western NSW Branch.

Sydney Meetings 2021

Please note that the program in the table below lists events that are scheduled as monthly Ordinary General Meetings and the Annual Forum of the Royal Society and Four Academies. In addition to these events, there are three named lectures, associated with the Society’s 2020 Awards, that remain to be scheduled:

  • Clarke Lecture — Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman (Macquarie University)
  • Liversidge Lecture — Professor Richard Payne FRSN (University of Sydney)
  • Poggendorf Lecture — Professor Angela Moles FRSN (UNSW Sydney)

together with another lecture in the [email protected] series, and the Society’s contributions to Science Week 2021 in the latter half of the year.


3 February 

6.30pm AEDT

1290th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture:
2020 Jak Kelly Award and RSNSW Scholarship Winner Presentations

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Controlling how electrons move in silicon at the atomic scale
Mr Matthew Donnelly — Jak Kelly Award Winner
PhD Student, Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, UNSW (Sydney)

3D Printing for Microfluidics (TBC)
Mr Sajad Razavi Bazaz — RSNSW Scholarship Winner
PhD Student, School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Technology Sydney

Molecular mechanisms of inflammasome activation by enterotoxins of the foodborne pathogen Bacillus cereus
Mr Daniel Fox — RSNSW Scholarship Winner
PhD Student, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University

Improving the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in refugees: The important role of emotion regulation
Ms Phillipa Specker — RSNSW Scholarship Winner
PhD Student, School of Psychology, UNSW (Sydney)

3 March 

6.30pm AEDT

1291st Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

What are the best options for growing Australia’s mental health through the COVID-19 recovery?
Professor Ian Hickie AM FRSN FASSA FAHMS
Co-Director (Health and Policy), Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney

7 April

6.00pm AEST

154th Annual General Meeting (6.00pm)
1292nd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture (immediately following)

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Antarctica, this ain’t no mirage: The value of art in disseminating scientific information
Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger
Artist, exploring connections between science and art practice

15 April

6.00pm AEST

[email protected]: April 2021

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Australia and the Dickens Boys
Thomas Keneally AO DistFRSN

5 May

6.30pm AEST

1293rd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar (TBC)

Big, bad fires in NSW
Emerita Professor Mary O’Kane AC FRSN FTSE HonFIEAust
Chair, Independent Planning Commission of NSW and former Chief Scientist and Engineer of NSW

2 June

6.30pm AEST

1294th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar (TBC)

Murray-Darling Basin turmoil: past, present and future
Professor Richard Kingsford FRSN
Director, Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW (Sydney)

7 July

6.30pm AEST

1295th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Society as an information-processing system, and the influence of the media
Dr Erik Aslaksen FRSN
Director, Systems Engineer, and Author

22 July

6.00pm AEST

[email protected]: July 2021

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Music as a Superfood: How music can help us live longer, sleep better, calm down, find flow, and feel happier
Greta J, Bradman
Writer, broadcaster and psychologist

4 August 

6.30pm AEST

1296th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

An intimate history of evolution: From genesis to genetic with a scientific dynasty
Professor Alison Bashford FRSN FAHA FBA FRHistS
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW (Sydney)

24 August 

Time TBA

2021 Clarke Lecture of the Royal Society of NSW 

Venue: Macquarie University (C122, 25 Wally Walk) and live streaming - POSTPONED

From bulldozers, pests, and pathogens to climate change and urban futures: the tough life of plants
Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman 
Director, Smart Green Cities, Macquarie University

1 September

6.30pm AEST

1297th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Taking humour and laughter seriously: Exploring the multi-disciplinary field of humour studies 
Dr Jessica Milner Davis FRSN
Honorary Associate, School of Literature, Art and Media, University of Sydney

6 October

6.30pm AEDT

1298th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Topic: Privacy and identity in an AI world 
Scientia Professor Toby Walsh FAA FACM FAAAS
School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW (Sydney)

4+5 Nov.

9.00am - 12.30pm AEDT

Royal Society of NSW and Learned Academies Annual Forum

Venue: Live Streaming and subsequent availability on YouTube

Topic: Power and Peril of the Digital Age

1 December

6.30pm AEDT

1299th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Managing psychological distress in times of stress: handling the stress of COVID-19 and all that
Scientia Professor Richard Bryant AC FASSA FAA FAHMS — James Cook Medal Winner 2020
School of Psychology, UNSW (Sydney)

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Hunter Branch Meetings

The Hunter Branch Event Program for 2021 is still under development, with the table below being updated on a regular basis.

26 May

Time: 5.30pm

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-1 and Lecture
Jointly with the University of Newcastle as part of the Looking Ahead — In Conversation Series

Venue: University of Newcastle and Live Streaming

On readying our region for low emissions technology
Dr Alan Finkel AO FAA FTSE
Former Chief Scientist of Australia 

30 June

Time: 4.00pm for 5.00pm

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-2 and Lecture

Venue: Noah's on the Beach

Extreme bushfires and the age of violent pyroconvection
Professor Jason Sharples
Director, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
UNSW Canberra

25 August

Time: TBA

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-3 and Lecture

Venue: to be advised

Royal Commission for Ageing and the care and welfare of the elderly
Professor Kathy Eagar
Director, Australian Health Services Research Institute
University of Wollongong

29 September

Time: TBA

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-4 and Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Topic: To be advised
Mr Nathan Towney
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Leadership)
University of Newcastle

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Southern Highlands Branch Meetings

The Southern Highlands Branch Event Program for 2021 is still under development, with the table below being updated on a regular basis.

18 February

Time: 6.30pm

Southern Highlands Branch Lecture 2021-1

Venue: RSL Mittagong, Carrington Room

The five islands off Port Kembla — a historical and ecological study
Dr Kevin Mills
Botanist and Ecologist 

18 March

Time: 6.30pm

Southern Highlands Branch Lecture 2021-2

Venue: RSL Mittagong, Carrington Room

The general development of the Sydney Basin Coast and its recent history since the last ice age
Dr Howard Brady

15 April

Time: 6.30pm

Southern Highlands Branch Lecture 2021-3

Venue: RSL Mittagong, Nattai/Joadja Room

Particle radiation therapy and human space exploration: commonality in challenges and solutions
Professor Anatoly Rosenfeld
University of Wollongong 

20 May

Time: 6.30pm

Southern Highlands Branch Lecture 2021-4

Venue: RSL  Mittagong

Burnout  — the hottest issue
Professor Gordon Parker AO
Scientia Professor of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney

17 June

Time: 6.30pm

Southern Highlands Branch Lecture 2021-5

Venue: RSL Mittagong, Carrington Room

Reach for the Skies
Max La Galle
Materials science student, UNSW (Sydney) 

15 July

Time: 6.30pm

Southern Highlands Branch Lecture 2021-6

Venue: RSL Mittagong (CANCELLED due to the July Greater Sydney Lockdown)

Neutron scattering and the ANSTO WOMBAT project
Dr Helen Maynard-Casely
Instrument Scientist, ANSTO 

19 August

Time: 6.30pm

Southern Highlands Branch Lecture 2021-7

Venue: to be advised

Topic: Transgenerational Epigenetics
Alyson Ashe

Western NSW Branch Meetings 2021

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The Western NSW Branch Event Program for 2021 is still under development, with the table below being updated on a regular basis.

19 October

Time: 1.00pm

Western NSW Branch Meeting 2021-1

Venue: Zoom Webinar

With the Falling of Disk
Professor Stan Grant
Vice-Chancellor's Chair of Australian-Indigenous Belonging
Charles Stuart University 

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