There have been a number of highlights this year:
1. The Treasurer suggested, and Council accepted that a year’s free membership of the Foundation be offered to all grantees over the past 5 years. This led to us acquiring 15 new members, a welcome addition to our numbers, and we hope they will represent a dynamic addition to the Foundation.
2. In a further step to promote the Foundation we set up the Australian Flora Foundation Essay prize, for University students. The winning essay came from Amy Prendergast, University of Western Australia.
3. We have approved a total of $52,651 in research grants for the 10/11 financial year, of which $28,091 was for continuing grants, and $24,560 for new grants. The new grants are to:
a. Karen Johnson, University of Tasmania, for a project titled ‘Determining the pollinators of rare and endangered Epacris species: implications for conservation’.
b. Melinda Perkins, Centre for Native Floriculture, University of Queensland, for a project titled ‘Techniques for improving Phytophthora resistance in potential new floricultural crop Newcastelia interrupta’.
c. Sean Roche, School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, for a project titled ‘Functional diversity of mycorrhiza in Kwongan sandplain heath species (Ericaceae), in Western Australia: implications for restoration of rare species’.
4. Final reports on Australian Flora Foundation research projects have been received from:
a. Matthew Denton, University of Western Australia: Harnessing native Fabaceae for agriculture - the importance of mycorrhizal fungi.
b. Tony Page, James Cook University: Breeding behaviour of Santalum lanceolatum: self-, intra- and interspecific cross-compatibility.
c. Phillip Ainsley, South Australian Seed Conservation Centre: Developing a screening procedure to determine impact of climate change on seed germination threatened native plant species.
5. The final reports, as well as summaries and interim reports, publications arising from grants, details of grants, the essay which won the Australian Flora Foundation Essay prize, details of Young Scientist awards, Newsletters and much else can be found on the Australian Flora Foundation website http://www.aff.org.au/
And finally my thanks to each member of the Foundation, and particularly to those on the Council, for all your efforts towards fostering the aims of the Foundation.
22nd November 2010