The year 2004 has seen mixed blessings for the AFF. We were saddened by death of Val Williams early in the year. Val was a strong and active supporter of the Foundation. On the brighter side, we gained Professor Acram Taji (from University of New England, Armidale) and have recently been joined by Dr Elwyn Hegarty who replaces lan Cox as the ASGAP liaison person. lan continues as a Councillor and Elwyn was co-opted to Council membership at the August meeting and has accepted nomination for election at the AGM.
A major achievement was the launching of the AFF Web site http://www.aghort.uq.edu.au/aff/. This Web site has continued to grow under the guidance of Peter Goodwin. One of the challenges has been to compile all the research reports dating back to the early days of the Foundation. With the various changes in office bearers and the relocation of the files over the years, the records are incomplete. It has also been difficult to contact some of the researchers, especially since many were postgraduate students at the time of their grants and have since moved on to jobs.
Bill Payne is also working on a related site that will provide a central database of articles and papers relevant to the conservation or cultivation of Australian flora. This site will be linked to the AFF main site and provide a forum for material in addition to research reports ratified by the AFF.
Three new AFF Research Grants were selected by the Council for funding in 2005, after ratification by the AGM. Christine Cargill will investigate the 'Biology and cultivation of Revwattsi fragile'. Alan Lymbery will extend his research into 'the impact of secondary salinisation on riparian flora'. Jodi Price will be documenting the impact of land-use on Red Gum woodlands.
As in previous years, two prizes will be awarded for best student paper and best poster on research into the native flora, presented at the annual conference of the Ecological Society'.
Once again I wish to thank the members of Council and all our financial supporters who have kept the Foundation going for another year.
Professor Richard Williams