In 2018, the Australian Council of Learned Academies transitioned through a governance restructure and is now a recognised Australian Research Institute, a registered Charity and is an endorsed Deductible Gift Recipient organisation.
As part of this transition, ACOLA welcomed a new Board of Directors comprised of the Presidents of ACOLA’s Member Academies and the ACOLA Chief Executive Officer. The Chair of the ACOLA Board rotates between the Member Academies and we welcome Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE as Chair of the Board for 2019.
ACOLA also extends our congratulations and warm welcome to Director of the Board Professor Jane Hall AO BEc (Hons) PhD FASSA, newly elected President of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia who succeeds Professor Withers.
Under ACOLA’s new structure, a Research Committee has been appointed, comprising the Presidents of the four Member Academies of ACOLA and a non-Member Academy President.
The Research Committee’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the research undertaken by ACOLA is scientific (defined as systematic and organised) in nature and that it is, or may prove to be, of value to Australia. The Members of the Research Committee are appropriately qualified in the field of research that is to be undertaken or have appropriate experience in reviewing such research. ACOLA welcomes the following members to the Committee: Professor Jane Hall AO BEc (Hons) PhD FASSA, Professor Joy Damousi FASSA FAHA, Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, Professor John Shine AC PresAA and Professor Ian Frazer AC FRS FAA FTSE FAHMS.
Over the past year, ACOLA has benefited greatly from the presidency and leadership of Professor Withers with successful delivery of the Horizon Scanning reports Synthetic Biology in Australia: An outlook to 2030 and The Future of Precision Medicine in Australia, and development of the next report of the series, The effective and ethical development of artificial intelligence: an opportunity to improve our wellbeing, due for publication in early 2019.
In 2018 ACOLA also farewelled Professor Andrew Holmes AC FAA FRS FTSE, outgoing President of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), and warmly welcomed incoming AAS President Professor John Shine AC PresAA.
ACOLA thanks Professor Withers and Professor Holmes for their leadership and contribution. We look forward to working with the newly appointed Board of Directors in 2019, in providing novel and influential perspectives to complex social, cultural and technological challenges in the year ahead, as ACOLA’s influence and breadth of its audience continues to grow.