|Highlights of the 1995-96 year
• Fourteen research projects were in progress — a level of activity never previously attained.
• Grants distributed to researchers totalled $79,000 — the Foundation's best year ever.
With so many research projects in progress,
it is tempting to concentrate on the fascination of their science and
discoveries. However, I will let the researchers speak for themselves
in their Progress Reports, which are printed elsewhere. I will concentrate
in my report on roles of the Board of the Foundation in administering
research grants, fund-raising and promoting the Foundation.
Coping with fourteen different administrations has stretched our administrative ability. We have to check on their financial accountability and ensure adequate reporting on outcomes or changed circumstances. A member of the Foundation, Dr. Candy Briggs, has helped us in setting up our Grants Committee to undertake this work. The Grants Committee is appointed at the Annual General Meeting; it includes at least one member of the Board and of the Scientific Research Committee. Most of the work of the Grants Committee can be done by e-mail, but it meets once a year: all members may attend.
The Foundation's loyal supporters continue to enable us to fund projects. In 1995-96 donations of $400 or more were received from the Central Coast Group of the Society for Growing Australian Plants NSW, Maroondah Group of the Society for Growing Australian Plants Victoria and Mackay Group of the Society for Growing Australian Plants Queensland, M.L. Reed, Society for Growing Australian Plants Queensland Region Inc. and Society for Growing Australian Plants New South Wales Ltd. Though related industries are interested in research, there is growing interest in "do your own" research, for which read "development". Procedures or products which can be used in a few years are expected of the researchers and there is little thought given to the encouragement of the future generation. Consequently the Board will have to seek help from philanthropy in the broader community. I am grateful to Board member, Val Williams, for exploring this avenue.
My thanks also to other members of the Board and the Scientific Research Committee for contributions towards the scientific and promotional aspects of our activities.
Malcolm Reed, President