I write to wish you well for 2016 – I trust that it will be a good year for you personally and professionally and that the spirit of international cooperation in research and scholarship promoted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation will continue to flourish in the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows.
For the Association last year ended very well with the highly successful biennial meeting, Global Perspectives, Local Knowledge, in Hobart organised by Dr Peter Jarvis and fellow committee members – Professor Simon Ellingsen, Associate Professor Michael Gardiner, Dr Nathan Kilah and Professor Jeff Malpas. On your behalf I congratulate them and thank them most sincerely for their dedication over many months in planning and organising the conference. There were some 91 participants together with some 20 partners. The spirit of Humboldtian collaboration was particularly evident in the presence of our counterpart New Zealand association and the joint reception with the Royal Society of Tasmania generously hosted by the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner AM. The next biennial gathering will be in New Zealand when we will be guests of the New Zealand Association.
The Hobart conference committee applied to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a Kolleg grant in support of the meeting and gained a significant subsidy in line with the excellent participation rate. This will enable partial reimbursements of travel and/or accommodation costs to attendees who requested same and provided relevant documentation to the Honorary Treasurer, Professor Gary Bryant.
The Australian Association’s biennial awards were presented at the reception hosted by the German Ambassador, His Excellency Dr Christoph Mueller, held prior to the conference dinner. They were as follows:
- Distinguished Fellow Awards recognising Association Fellows who have excelled in their professional field and/or provided service to the Association
- Professor David St Clair Black AO FAA FRSN FRACI
- Professor Robert Edward Robson
- 2015 Peter Schwerdtfeger Award recognising the academic or professional achievement of an Association Fellow in the early stages of his/her career
- Dr Jared Cole.
I have attached the citations read when these awards were presented and which will be posted shortly on the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows website.
One of the matters suggested and agreed at the Association’s annual general meeting held at the end of the conference was an upgrading of our website and the Vice-President, Professor Jeff Malpas, is currently exploring options to advance this initiative.
In the spirit of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the many opportunities provided to us, as Fellows, by the Stiftung, Association members are encouraged to explore the offering of occasional Humboldt Colloquia across the nation – for example, organising a lecture when a German academic is visiting and inviting other Humboldtians in your State/Territory to attend. Our State/Territory representatives would be happy to distribute details for you (with the minutes of the recent annual general meeting, the Honorary Secretary, Associate Professor Trevor Finlayson, will shortly provide you with details of the Association’s State/Territory representatives). A small subsidy, for example for refreshments for a Humboldt Colloquium, may be able to be provided by the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows. An approach should be made to the Honorary Treasurer, Professor Bryant, before the event to explore options (email: email@example.com).
Please make contact with me (Gabrielle.McMullen@acu.edu.au) or the Honorary Secretary, Associate Professor Finlayson (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have further ideas for the development of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows. Thank you in anticipation.
With very best wishes for 2016 and kind regards,