Following on from the wrap-up of 5IAS at last year’s AGM, 2011–12 has been a year of taking stock. This also follows changes to the Executive with Chairman Tim Griffin and Treasurer John Bunting stepping down to be replaced by me and Wally Witt, respectively. This year also saw the final acts of 5IAS completed with the publication of special volumes of the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences and of Precambrian Research; thanks there are due to Kevin Cassidy and Stephen Wyche, and Steve Beresford and Hugh Smithies as the Guest Editors.
At the 2010–11 AGM, a Strategic Planning subcommittee was tasked with reviewing the role of Geoconferences over the next ten years and of developing a “mission statement”. The environment in which Geoconferences operates in Western Australia has changed over the last decade with a range of groups now providing relevant technical geoscientific conferences and training, most significantly the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. It is important to define a robust future role for Geoconferences, particularly with regard to spanning the boundary between academic research and highlighting its application to successful resource exploration. The draft strategic plan was circulated for comment in March 2012. We also need to clarify Geoconferences role beyond Western Australia, and if we should be actively promoting the IAS brand interstate or overseas; this reflects the apparent nonstarting of the Canadian bid to hold a mid-term 6IAS.
Geoconferences formalised its sponsorship of Earth Science Western Australia (ESWA), becoming a Platinum supporter, alongside the likes of BHP Billiton and Chevron Australia. Support of this important initiative by the Western Australian geoscience community will be continued.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the resignation of John Bunting and Carl-Knox Robinson from Geoconferences (WA) Inc. John has been involved with Geoconferences for 13 years and for 11 of those as Treasurer. His efforts in maintaining the groups finances, particularly through troubling times around the 4IAS, has allowed Geoconferences to be in the strong position that it is today. I wish him well in his retirement, but I do note his ongoing contribution to ESWA, in particular the Field Guide to Perth and its Surrounds, and I am sure we have not seen or heard the last of him!