Welcome to 2021! There was no nomination for President of AWMS for 2021, but I am very pleased to be Acting President this year until our next AGM.
For those who do not know me, I have been affiliated as a member of AWMS since 2007. I held the Treasurer role from 2016 to 2019, and was elected as Vice President in 2020. My research has a heavy wildlife management focus, and I seem to find myself studying the ecology and impacts of controversial species such as dingoes, deer, and scavengers (animals that eat dead stuff).
I would firstly like to thank Tarnya Cox for the dedicated service she provided to AWMS through the various roles she held on the AWMS Committee, especially as President from 2019-2020. Tarnya was a true advocate for AWMS, and along with taking the dress-up competition very seriously at annual conferences she helped AWMS stay afloat and active during the pandemic year of 2020 where we held our first ever online conference. I would also like to extend thanks to Terry Korn who is stepping down from being our Public Officer, and to Melissa Snape who served as Secretary from 2019-2020.
AWMS ran a very successful online conference last year. The AWMS Committee decided to make the conference free to attend to encourage participation and engagement, including from our international partner SAWMA. Thanks again to Konnie Gebauer for leading the efforts to organise such a great conference. The 2021 conference will be held at The University of Canberra from 7-9th December. We are working towards a face-to-face conference pending our ongoing success living with COVID.
The AWMS committee held its first meeting this year in April. I couldn’t help notice how young the Committee is, and I reflected how it felt like a “changing of the guard”. The Committee identified the need for AWMS to engage more with members, to recruit more members, and to become a more active and vocal advocate for appropriate use of wildlife management to tackle environmental issues at the local, State and Federal Government level. I look forward to working with the Committee and AWMS members in 2021 to achieve these goals.
Wishing you all the best.
Last December the 33rd #AWMS2020 conference was held online on Zoom and Facebook live and it was a success. We had attendees from 21 countries (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, United Kingdom, Argentina, Austria, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Nepal, Norfolk Island, Peru, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe). No doubt that AWMS went global.
There were amazing talks on many different topics like conservation, reintroduction, eradication and new technologies and methods on wildlife management.
In 2020 we all missed the conference dinner and the traditional dress-up competition but we had a great response from the attendees on tweeting about the conference and we have more followers on all our social media platforms from people all around the world.
If you would like to check the highlights of the conference on social media, you can follow us on twitter @AWMSociety or use #AWMS2020.