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Published: 22 November 2019

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Dena Lyras

President of ASM

Dear Members

We recognise that the discipline of Microbiology is changing rapidly, and we continually strive to bring diverse offerings to our members. For example, we organised the Australian Microbial Ecology conference (AusME), successfully held in 2017 and 2019, to specifically meet the needs of our members interested in microbes and their environments. We also recently established new interest groups, such as the Bacteriophage Biology and Therapeutics and Eukaryotic Microbes SIGs, because of the growing interest in these areas. We have also successfully run our teaching focussed meeting, EduCon, for a number of years, to support our members involved in educational activities. If you have ideas for other initiatives that we can support please do get in touch; after all, ASM is your Society and our utmost priority is to serve the needs of our members and to support the discipline.

Two new important initiatives I would like to bring to your attention are detailed below.

The ongoing professional development of our members is very important to the Society. For this reason, the Australian Society for Microbiology is a strong supporter of the proposed certification scheme for medical laboratory science professionals. Tony Jennings has represented ASM during the process of developing the national certification scheme and will continue to represent ASM on the certification board. The planned launch of the certification scheme is 1 July 2020 and a communique from the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) and The Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS) can be found on page 200 of this edition of Microbiology Australia. On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank Tony for his ongoing contributions in supporting professional development and for representing ASM in this initiative.

We have recognised for some time that, in addition to our annual national meeting, our clinical diagnostic microbiologist members needed something more to suit their changing needs. Due to popular request, we are pleased to announce the inaugural meeting for this purpose, designated CliniCon, to be held in Melbourne on Wednesday the 8th and Thursday the 9th of July 2020, directly following our regular ASM Annual Scientific Meeting. CliniCon will deliver a diverse and engaging program relevant to diagnostic laboratory scientists, technicians, microbiology registrars, diagnostic microbiologists, students and the trade. It will be a great networking opportunity for the clinical diagnostic sector of ASM, and we hope to add it annually as an adjunct to the main meeting. The ASM Executive is delighted to be initiating and supporting this meeting, and we would especially like to thank Belinda McEwan for agreeing to develop and organise it. If you would like to be involved with the organisation of the meeting, or would like to know more about it, please contact Belinda directly (belinda.mcewan@ths.tas.gov.au).

As always, please visit our website www.theasm.org.au to access information regarding upcoming meetings and awards. Note our fresh new website, which is easier to navigate and currently showcases content created by our wonderful ASM Communication Ambassadors. You may also like to follow, and contribute, to ASM on Twitter, @AUSSOCMIC, or on Facebook to make sure you keep up with the latest news, trends and developments in Microbiology in Australia and around the world.

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