New RACI initiatives enable us all to connect

By Jenny Pham posted 30-05-2024 13:29


This article is in Chemistry in Australia magazine - Issue June 2024, section "from the ceo"

Author: Shenal Basnayake - Chief Executive Officer of RACI

I am pleased to let you know that we have completed our new website and launched our MyRACI online community. The website is constructed to provide as much information as possible about the RACI, our members and what we do. The website is looking great, and I hope it will be a useful resource for you and those outside RACI.

The website is feature-packed, and I am particularly pleased to see the new Resources section that will provide you with answers to the most-asked questions. The website also links directly to the MyRACI online community, which provides a wealth of further information and the ability to connect with each other. MyRACI is Australia’s largest online community for chemistry professionals and enthusiasts.

MyRACI is Australia’s largest
online community for chemistry
professionals and enthusiasts.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the site is as accurate and error free as possible. Any issues we identify will be addressed over time. If you do see something wrong, please let us know. We aim to run a number of information sessions for our members on the new system; there are also a considerable number of resources available via the developer of the system.

On other matters, I am pleased to see the establishment of the new School Science Educator Advisory Group. This group consists of a stellar group of current school science educators from across Australia, and we are fortunate to have several Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science winners on deck.

The group will support the Education and Outreach Unit to design and deliver new initiatives that will help increase the visibility of chemistry among schoolchildren and support school science educators with their professional journey. I briefly attended the inaugural meeting of the group, and have seen ideas for initiatives that have been discussed. I look forward to seeing them realised. It is important that we invest in initiatives that are relevant to the current teaching and learning needs within our schools, and RACI must continue to stay at the forefront of supporting school science education.

Our existing school initiatives will continue. The Branches will be responsible for the delivery of the Titration Competition, Titration Teacher Challenge, Crystal Growing Competition, and Youth Lecture Series. RACI National will provide support and details of this.

RACI National will be responsible for running the national Chemistry and Art Competition and the International Chemistry Quiz. The Quiz is now open for registrations (closing date 31 July 2024) and further details about this year’s Chemistry and Art Competition are available on the website.

The Events and Awards Unit has been busy assisting with a range of events. It is great to see more larger events planned for the year ahead, which will no doubt be well received. The Unit itself has been getting ready for the use of the new MyRACI online community, which will allow our community leaders access to event set-up and information unlike they have had before. This has been time-consuming work because information has been shifted from one system to another. Information sessions will be run for community leaders on the new system, so please keep an eye out for announcements about when sessions will occur.

On the membership front, it is great to see growth. Since cleaning up our database and with the increased effort in promoting activities, RACI is seeing a growth in members. Not only is RACI gaining new members, it is also retaining more members and, as a result, there has been a net increase in members. We are also excited about the opportunities for partnership with universities, schools and industry. To support this, we have been having discussions with various parties and have concluded successful discussions, which have led to new partnerships. By increasing our partnerships with universities, schools and industry, we will see more opportunities for individual members.