Message from the President, Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows (AAvH)
Following the Honorary Secretary’s recent announcement to the membership of Professor Robert Robson’s resignation as President of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows, this is my first message to you, my fellow Australian von Humboldt Fellows. I am honoured to serve you in this capacity and see this new role as an opportunity, through my efforts and those of the other members of our committee, to acknowledge the extraordinary generosity of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, of which we have all been beneficiaries.
Let me start by paying tribute to my predecessors, who have both served this Association with great generosity and distinction. As I take over from Rob, I know that the Association is in good shape thanks to his tireless work and a number of new initiatives established during his Presidency. I offer you my gratitude, Rob, and I know that I can confidently express the appreciation of Fellows from all around Australia.
All members of our Association will also be forever indebted to the founding President, Emeritus Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger, without whose efforts we would not have the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows. It is a cause of sadness to those who know Peter that he is not in good health and I send him, on behalf of all members of the Association, our very best wishes.
Our Association is very fortunate to have a dedicated committee providing leadership across the country through the State/Territory representatives and outstanding support to the respective Presidents through the professionalism and selfless work of our Honorary Secretary – Associate Professor Trevor Finlayson, Treasurer – Professor Gary Byrant, and Vice-President – Professor Jeff Malpas. I look forward to continuing to work with them in my new role.
Over the years I have met many of you at our biennial colloquia, three of which I was involved in organising – one at Mannix College, Monash University (1993), and one at each of the Ballarat (1997) and Melbourne (2007) campuses of Australian Catholic University. I look forward to seeing many of you next year when the Foundation and Association colloquia will be held jointly from 17-19 October 2013. We are expecting Bonn to announce the venue before the end of the year. Our Tasmanian colleagues had previously offered to host the 2013 Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows colloquium but have graciously postponed their hospitality to 2015, to allow the Foundation to determine the venue for the joint colloquium.
I wish you and your loved ones every blessing for a joyous Christmas and New Year and hope that 2013 will be an occasion for a reunion of many the Australian Fellows in association with the colloquium.
With very kind regards,
Gabrielle McMullen AM FRACI
President, Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows
Emeritus Professor, Australian Catholic University