RSNSW Council Election 2023

Statements from Candidates

Nominees for Councillor positions were requested to provide brief statements outlining how their expertise and experience fits them for these roles and will benefit the Society. Where these were provided by the close of nominations at 5.00pm AEDT on Friday 4 March, they are listed below in alphabetic order and are accessible via the links shown.

Office-bearer and Councillor Candidates

Kathy Belov AO FRSN—candidate for Councillor

Professor Kathy Belov uses immunogenetics to study immunity and health in Australia's native species. Her work has directly contributed to government actions and new policy and was integrated into the Save the Devil strategic plan and Wild Devil Recovery program and the NSW koala strategy. Kathy publishes in top journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, PLoS Biology, PNAS and Genome Research. The importance of Kathy's research discoveries have been recognised by fellowship of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2022) and Royal Society of NSW (2019) and award of the Australian Academy of Sciences Fenner medal (2014), Crozier Medal by the Genetics Society of Australasia (2013) and the MJD White Medal from the Genetics Society of Australasia (2021). She has co-edited one book and published over 200 research papers.

Kathy is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global and Research Engagement) at the University of Sydney. Kathy is an active contributor to science leadership as evidenced by her roles on the NSW Koala Expert Advisory Group (2017-), scientific advisory boards at Taronga Zoo (2019-) and the Ramaciotti Centre (2020-). She is the co-chair of the International Policy Advisory Committee of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (2019-) and a trustee of the Australian Museum, where she chairs the Science Advisory Board. Kathy is also currently on the Council and Executive Committee of the Royal Society of NSW. Kathy was president of the Genetics Society of Australasia (2016-2017).

Return to the top of page

Lindsay Botten FRSN—candidate for Webmaster

Since joining the Society in 2019, I have served as Webmaster, on Council, and on the Executive, Program, and Publishing Committees since 2020. With the inception of the pandemic, online communications became increasingly vital to the Society's business. With that, my role as webmaster evolved to encompass oversight of all IT/AV infrastructure services - website administration and content provision, management of back-end collaboration infrastructure and the membership management system (including generation of membership data analytics), and administration and content provision for the Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube channels. Since March 2020, almost all Society events have been recorded and made available on YouTube after postproduction by me. Three years later, our channel, which has 115 videos online and more than 500 subscribers, provides strong outreach for the Society.

It has been a pleasure to serve and I seek the opportunity to continue for two further years, with still much more to do.

Professionally, I am an applied mathematician/physicist. During my 30+ years at UTS, I was Professor of Applied Mathematics and variously Head of School, Associate Dean, and Acting Dean. The final decade of my academic career was at ANU where I was Director, National Computational Infrastructure — Australia's national supercomputing and research data service. I am a Fellow of the Australian Mathematical Society, Australian Institute of Physics, Optical Society of America, and Royal Society of NSW. Now retired, I am an Emeritus Professor at both UTS and ANU and devote my time to the Society and expert consultancy in research computing and research infrastructure.

Return to the top of page

Stephen Garton AM FRSN—candidate for Librarian

Stephen Garton is Professor of History and currently Principal Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney. He is a former Dean of Arts, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, the Royal Australian Historical Society, and the Royal Society of NSW.

He is an historian largely of 19th and 20th c Australia, although he has also published on the history of the USA and the history of the British Dominions and India. He is the author or co-author of seven monographs, a number of award winning digital humanities websites and over a hundred articles, chapters and related writings in such fields as the history of psychiatry, the history of war especially aspects of demobilisation and repatriation in the 20th c, the history of eugenics, masculinity, and more recently the history of higher education.

Return to the top of page

Donald Hector AM FRSN—candidate for Secretary

It is an honour to stand as a candidate for the position of Secretary of the Royal Society of NSW. As a society, we have a responsibility to lead by example and to govern ourselves with integrity and transparency.

As Secretary, I will work tirelessly to promote good governance within the Society. This means ensuring that our decision-making processes are fair, inclusive and responsive to the needs of our members. It also means fostering a culture of accountability and transparency, so that everyone can trust in the work we do.

But good governance is not just about rules and procedures. It is also about fostering a sense of community and social interaction among our members. The Society exists for the exchange of ideas, the sharing of knowledge, and the building of relationships. I will work hard to create opportunities for members to socialise, to collaborate, and to learn from one another.

In addition to my commitment to good governance and social interaction, I bring a wealth of experience in leadership roles in ASX-listed and private companies and not-for-profit organisations. During my four years as President, I worked closely with the Council and, together, we transformed the Society. I would like the opportunity to work again with the Council to guide the Society through the substantial challenges that lie ahead.

Together, we can make the Royal Society of NSW an even more vibrant and vital organisation. I ask for your support and your vote in this election. Thank you.

Return to the top of page

Davina Jackson FRSN—candidate for Councillor

Dr Davina Jackson (M.Arch UNSW, PhD Kent) is a current Councillor of the RSNSW and a writer of books and websites on architecture, urban development, geospatial technology, and historical themes. After editing Architecture Australia during the 1990s, she produced several exhibitions for the City of Sydney's Customs House, was a NewSouth Global professor advising UNSW's Arts, Built Environment, and Engineering faculties, was a founding director of the Vivid light festival (2009), and set up the d_city@NICTA project (now the data61 group at the CSIRO). Since 2010, she has edited the world's first survey report on global research evolving the Digital Earth/Data Cities movement, guest-lectured at conferences and universities in Britain and Europe, and held visiting scholar roles with Goldsmiths College (University of London), and Kent and Cambridge universities. Her latest books are Australian Architecture: A history (Allen & Unwin, 2022) and Data Cities: How satellites are transforming architecture and design (Lund Humphries, 2018).

With the RSNSW Council since 2021, she has served as the secretary of two committees and helped to guide the Society's recent rebranding, NEXUS exhibition, and bookselling projects. She is now co-editing a 'Bicentennial Bibliography' of citations linked to online facsimilies of several thousand Journal articles and science papers published by RSNSW members since 1822. This interactive PDF is expected to be circulated to RSNSW members, allied organisations, libraries and multi-disciplinary researchers by mid-2023.

Return to the top of page

Susan Pond AM FRSN—candidate for President

It has been my privilege to serve as President during the past two years as the Society increased its public profile, deepened its influence, and grew its position as an independent, authoritative voice. In standing for re-election, I offer again my leadership experience in academia, business, government, and not-for-profit organisations.

Most recently the Director of Sydney Nano, an innovative, multidisciplinary institute at the University of Sydney, and Chair of the NSW Smart Sensing Network, a state-wide enterprise that creates value for the economy, environment, and society of NSW, I remain a non-executive director of several companies, listed, private, or government.

Previously, I was Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Research Australia, Chair or Member of several significant Australian Government Boards, and Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

As President of the Society, I personally achieved six years of core funding from the NSW State Government (from FY2022-2027), and together with Council and its Committees attracted younger, and retained the majority of existing, members, attracted younger and more diverse speakers and audiences to its Open Lectures, Branch events, Ideas@theHouse and Annual Forum, significantly expanded our online audience, celebrated our 200th anniversary, and improved our governance and financial underpinnings thus setting the foundations for significant growth in the Society's stature and impact in its third century.

I will continue to amplify the energy and firepower of our entire membership so that the Society is positioned as a preeminent body for the advancement of knowledge and debate in New South Wales.

Return to the top of page

Bruce Ramage MRSN—candidate for Secretary

I have been involved with the Society since the 1970s and have been a Councillor and Secretary since 2019, during which time I have worked tirelessly for the Society. I led the implementation of the Bicentenary celebrations during 2021-2022 - involving extensive liaison and negotiation with high-profile organisations and individuals to achieve impact for the Society. Key events were:

I have 30 years' experience in senior administrative roles in three universities: Sydney, UNSW and UTS, and 10 years in the not-for-profit sector in medical-related NGOs, eight years as a CEO. This experience and knowledge has been invaluable to the Society.

As Secretary, I have contributed extensively to the Society's executive management, ensuring smooth functioning on a daily basis. In addition to my secretariat, administrative, and member service roles, I contributed significantly to:

If re-elected, I shall continue to ensure sound governance, administrative professionalism, and ongoing revitalisation of the Society.

Return to the top of page

Bhavin Raval MRSN—candidate for Treasurer

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in India in 1989, I worked in various countries from 1990 (East Africa, Middle East, Far East and Europe). I migrated to Australia in 2001 and undertook further studies to contribute effectively to the organisations for which I have worked. completed the following courses with excellent marks: CPA Australia; The Chartered Governance Institute, Australia; The Institute of Internal Auditors, USA ; and Information Systems Audit and Control Association, USA.

In Australia, I have worked in multinational companies - Johnson & Johnson Research Pty Ltd, Calimmune Inc, and currently SpeeDx Pty Ltd - heading their Finance divisions. A summary Of my relevant responsibilities follows:

I volunteered for 2001 to 2013 in their Finance Team.

I believe that have experience and knowledge to be the Treasurer of the RSNSW and would deem it an honour to serve to the best of my abilities.

Return to the top of page

Peter Shergold AC FRSN—candidate for Vice-President

Professor Peter Shergold is an eminent Australian with extensive experience at the highest level of the Australian public service, in business, and in the not-for-profit sector. He has completed numerous major reviews for state and federal governments that have contributed to the shaping of Our nation. He is a former Chancellor of Western Sydney University of over 12 years standing. He would be a highly skilled and energetic office holder in the Royal Society of NSW.

Return to the top of page

Christina Slade AC FRSN—candidate for Councillor

I have been a senior academic in Australia, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the UK, where I served as Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University 2012-17. My background is in logic, philosophy of communication and more recently new media and privacy. I have chaired the Program (formerly Events) Committee for the RSNSW since 2020 and have been on Council over that period. I have greatly valued the support of Council, in particular of the Webmaster, Emeritus Professor Lindsay Botten. Throughout the vagaries of lockdown we curated a regular and often highly successful series of programs offered online and face-to-face. Topics have ranged across the entire span of scientific, technical. philosophical, political, creative, and artistic spheres of the Society's vision. With the able support of Professor Elizabeth Deane, we also coordinated lectures associated with Awards, often sponsored by the university home of the awardee.

The Royal Society of NSW aims to advance knowledge in the interests of Society. I believe we can achieve that through reasoned debate on issues of social importance, crossing discipline boundaries and conducted in a spirit of generosity.

Return to the top of page