Welcome to the December edition

Written by Keelie Munroe

Published December 2022


WA Members of RACI, welcome to our December Newsletter.  

Hello and welcome to my first President’s Corner as the new WA Branch President. For those who don’t know me, I’m Keelie Munroe and I thought I would give you a quick introduction. I’m originally from Canada, having grown up on the East Coast in Nova Scotia. I studied my BSc (Chemistry) and MSc (Chemistry) at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Frederiction, NB. My research was towards hydrogen storage materials and my thesis was entitled “Toward the Direct Hydrogenation of Aluminum”. I met my husband during my studies, another Chemist, and following the completion of our respective degrees, we started our journey with 3 years in Norway, followed by 16 months in Japan, before arriving in Perth nearly 8 years ago. I started a new career which allowed me to stay connected with my Chemistry background, in Scientific Recruitment at PERSOLKELLY (formerly Kelly Scientific Resources). It was through my new role as a recruiter that I came to know about the RACI, when I was often asked to present on career development and participate in career nights. Three years ago, Tamsin Collins approached me to ask if I would like to join the WA Branch Committee, and here I am today. 

It’s amazing how quickly the past 2 years have gone and I want to thank Tamsin Collins for all the hard work she has put into her term as WA Branch President. It wasn’t an easy period of time, with Covid and so much uncertainty, but she managed to make the most of things and successfully led the Branch to carry out many events over this challenging period. In addition to Tamsin, I’d like to thank all of the WA Branch Committee members over the past year – it’s been a pleasure working with all of you!

We have had a few changes to the Branch Committee, which I’d like to highlight. Ferdie Ferrante has now finished his term as Past President but will continue to be part of our Committee in a Member role. Tamsin Collins will step into the vacancy, as Past President. Matthew Boon has put his hand up as our next President, taking on my former role of President Elect. Dino Spagnoli has stepped down as Chair of the Chemical Education Group, and Nathan Curnow will take his place. Finally, Elodie Rousset has joined the Committee as a Member. 

This means your 2022-23 WA Branch Committee is as follows:
Tamsin Collins – Past President
Keelie Munroe – President
Matthew Boon – President Elect
Peter Anstis – Secretary
Vicky Barnett – Treasurer
Alistair Day – Chair, Analytical Chemistry Group
Nathan Curnow – Chair, Chemical Education Group
Alexandra Yeung – Chair, Women in Chemistry Group
Varshini Kumar – Chair, Early Career Chemist Group
Paula McLay – Member + Newsletter Editor
Terry Humphries – Member + Chemeraderie Coordinator
Elodie Rousset – Member
Ferdie Ferrante – Member

We are excited to work together to bring you some exciting events over the next year. Please join us for our end of year wrap up on Sunday 4th December in Whiteman Park Shelter T for an afternoon of relaxation, socialising, and some fun in the sun (fingers crossed). We will have a sausage sizzle and light refreshments – please remember to bring your sun protection and any outdoor games you’d like to share with the group. Please RSVP for catering purposes. Plans are already underway on a line up of Chemaraderie speakers for 2023 – if you would like to present one of our talks, or make a suggestion, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or Terry Humphries, who is our Chemaraderie Coordinator. The Bayliss Youth Lecture Series Lecturer has recently been announced as Prof Mauro Mocerino, who will present the lecture series next year. The Global Women’s Breakfast will return again in February, our National Science Week Awards Dinner in August, Hackers, and much much more. Stay tuned to future Newsletters and the RACI events page for more information.

Recent events included our November AGM, where we introduced the new Branch and Group Committees and plans for the year. We were very fortunate to have Peter McCafferty, CEO of ChemCentre, present our Chemaraderie titled “From corroding the carpet to the CEO” followed by pizza and networking. The Hackers Golf Day also took place on 24th November, where Bryony Collins, Tamsin Collins, and Peter Anstis (again!) took home the coveted trophy. From all accounts, it was a fantastic day out!

As I’m writing this article, I’m getting prepared to travel to Melbourne to participate in the RACI National Awards Night and National AGM and Assembly. I’m looking forward to meeting my peers across the country to build some valuable connections that will hopefully lead to some future collaboration and sharing of ideas/knowledge. I will be sure to update you all in the next Newsletter set to be released in February.

I’m new to the role of President, and relatively fresh to the RACI, which allows me to be very openminded and receptive to new ideas. I welcome any and all suggestions and feedback as I progress through my term. If you would like to get in touch with me, please don’t hesitate, and I genuinely mean that. You can reach me on 08 9263 9008 in working hours, or on 0400 240 737. I can also be reached on the President email address here: [email protected]

Looking forward to connecting with you all over the next year.

Best Regards,
Keelie Munroe

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