2011 Wrap Up and 2012 Welcome

Dear members, friends and associates of MAHRS,

We would like to wish you a very warm (and belated) welcome into the New Year! 2011 was a fantastic year for the development of MAHRS, and we hope that 2012 will be just as successful! Judging by the leaps and bounds achieved by the society across the last year, such optimism is well deserving.

And what better way to enter into the new year than by recognising the greatest accomplishments of the previous one?

Firstly, MAHRS has paid witness to a number of fascinating talks on interesting topics, separated in geo-space and time from nomadic cultures, through Sogdian linguistics, to Roman knowledge of the Great Wall and media policy towards Asians in 19th century Australia. Importantly, these presentations have come from people of varying academic backgrounds—from accomplished leaders in their respective fields, through to Post-Graduate and also inclusive of Honours students. This perfectly demonstrates one of the founding aims of MAHRS—that all members of the academic community can become actively engaged in Asian historical research. This is further complemented by the relaxed nature of our sessions, with time allocated for questions and other discussions.

Secondly, the organisational structure of both our sessions, as well as MAHRS itself, has been refined to a practical and efficient model. The leadership of MAHRS is, as has always been the case, headed by our president, Lyndon Arden-Wong. Lyndon has been supported by an Executive, consisting of Tristan Doust, Nathan Stormont and Daniel Lee. Importantly, this group has been responsible for shifting MAHRS into a well-structured society, with official affiliation with Macquarie hopefully occurring once semester gets underway. This structuring is best exemplified with the society’s constitution, which was available on our website for critiquing. With regards to our sessions, through trial and error over the course of the year, meetings have been honed to create a practical and efficient forum for discussion, centred on a presentation. In 2012, we hope to further perfect the format of our meetings.

Thirdly, under Brett Lee-Price, our website has developed into an exceptional reflection of our society: be sure to visit it at http://www.mahrs.org. The website provides information on our meetings (including group minutes), various events both in the academic world and beyond (including museum exhibitions), as well as profiles of members, their research, and helpful related links. Many thanks to Brett for his hard work in creating and maintaining the MAHRS website.

As we launch into 2012, a number of key changes have already become apparent. Most notably and with great sadness, we farewell Daniel Lee, our Honourable Secretary, from an official capacity. Daniel has been a fundamental member of both the executive committee and the society at large, working very much behind the scenes to organise every meeting—from booking the room to contacting each speaker, and, of course, acting in his position as Honourable Secretary to contact all members about future sessions via email. Daniel has also worked tirelessly in pushing MAHRS towards official university affiliation, tallying member numbers and crunching the numbers as necessary. Daniel is leaving us in an official capacity in order to complete his PhD work, although he will remain a regular attendee of our meetings. We wish Daniel all the best with his academic work, and for the future! Entering into the role of Honourable Secretary, the executive is joined by Laura Sowden. Laura is one of the founding members of MAHRS, and we have full faith in her ability to match the amazing efforts Daniel has demonstrated.

Similarly, another of the changes is in promotion and membership. Walking hand-in-hand with our upcoming affiliation with Macquarie is the issue of future student membership and participation. We hope to spread word of MAHRS through other Macquarie-affiliated bodies, and thus become a much more integrated part of the wider university community. Importantly, we hope this will generate broader interest in MAHRS and, eventually, a wider base of membership at all levels of university life: from undergrads to academics. Through providing the tools and opportunities (including, for example, voluntary book reviews and museum reports—and a website to present them), we hope that all members of MAHRS will be able to communicate their opinions and, therefore, contribute to the society in a meaningful and interesting way. Judging by the progressive achievements of 2011, 2012 will be a very successful year. The executive committee is hard at work organising fascinating events to present to you across 2012. Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for information on these seminars and events.

Once again we wish you a very happy new year, and all the best for 2012!

 
 

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