AGM. President’s Report January 2022.
Australia Science Fiction Foundation. ASFF
Juliette A H Cavendish
It was a great pleasure to join the Australian Science Fiction Foundation Committee mid-way through 2021. Having spent most of my life in Sydney, I am a relative newcomer to the Victorian Science Fiction Community. What a warm welcome I have received to date and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to introduce themselves, share their ideas and support the ASFF. You are very much appreciated, and I have enjoyed hearing the ideas that you have for the future of the ASFF.
With a background in science fiction, writing, teaching, journalism, politics, research, and photography, I hoped that by joining the ASFF that the skills I have acquired along the way could be put to good use. I have been an avid Science Fiction fan all my life, dating back to watching Dr Who and Blake’s Seven as a child. As a writer, my favorite place to be is within the unimaginable world of science fiction.
I have always enjoyed working as a collective, especially when working towards creative and engaging activities. I love seeing a spark ignite and a team leaping towards something better. We understand that within the world of science fiction, a word, a gesture, and a solitary idea can transform into something wondrous, awesome, and original.
2021 was a tough year however, in which the Covid Pandemic again limited the activities of the ASFF in many ways – some more subtle than others. There were several key resignations at the 2021 AGM held on February 2021 and it was clear that the ASFF was not working from a united and healthy premise. It resulted in the ASFF being in caretaker mode for the majority of 2021.
Despite suffocating Covid restrictions, we awarded the 2021 Chandler Award to Perry Middlemiss. We were able to film a basic presentation of the award with Perry during the heavy lockdown restrictions and this was shared on our Facebook page. We congratulate Perry for his contributions to Science Fiction in Australia.
We then re-grouped and had some tough conversations about the future of the ASFF. Positive movement was generated and in 2022, the ASFF has several constructive goals that feed straight into our Mission Statement – ‘How do we support Science Fiction in Australia?’
That is our aim, our goal and our motivation. It is at the heart of everything that we do.
With this Mission Statement at the heart of our intentions, we are creating several exciting projects that will ultimately support the creation of Science Fiction activities in Australia, empower creativity in younger people and give everyone a chance to participate in ASFF activities. With the end in sight to Covid lockdowns, despite the Pandemic still stinging us all, we feel that we can stride towards these goals in an easier logistical environment. Some of these goals will become clearer to our members after our AGM on the 30th January 2022.
We are working towards rebranding the ASFF with a new online presence that will hopefully attract more people into joining the ASFF. Fresh, invigorated, and innovative are some terms that we will keep in mind when creating our new ASFF goals. We are looking forward to inviting others to join us on the Committee in 2022 and hope that we can engage with a positive and dynamic range of like-minded individuals, all of whom have the best interests of the ASFF in mind.
The current ASFF Committee is a diverse and talented group of individuals all with one common umbrella of traits – a love, excitement, and passion towards Science Fiction. This is what has kept us going through the darkness and this is what will unite us during 2022 as things start to look brighter. We look forward to seeing these goals realised and our ability to share them with the wider community provides us with enormous motivation.
Our members collectively provide us with a beating heart. We thank you for your support and look forward to 2022 with you all at our side.
On behalf of the ASFF I would like you to join us in 2022 to celebrate Science Fiction in Australia.
Juliette A H Cavendish
Australian Science Fiction Foundation Annual General Meeting 2022
Vice President’s Report Geoff Allshorn
“Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.”
⁃ Ray Bradbury (per Brainyquote)
The Australian Science Fiction Foundation has a long history stretching back nearly fifty years, and as I write this report, I note with sadness the passing of Bill Wright, a long time SF fan who was involved with Aussiecon 1 (birthing-ground of the ASFF) and later with various aspects of the ASFF including the Hemming and Chandler Awards. His list of fan achievements in ASFF and beyond is breathtaking. Bill’s passing symbolises a transition for us all at ASFF, and it strikes me as being as significant as was the passing of Hari Sheldon to another (more fictional and galactic) Foundation. Vale Bill, so long and thanks for all the fandom.
The ASFF has also – like the world around us – been experiencing other times of transition, where most pointedly COVID has hastened the decline of various aspects of life in the early 21st century, and hastened the rebooting of others.
At this time, it is appropriate to acknowledge and pay tribute to some of those whose leadership within the ASFF has been important over recent years – we thank them and hope to take up the mantle they have left for others.
The ASFF has a role to play in the development, encouragement, and facilitation of science fiction in Australia. I see this as including the fostering of arts, literature, fandom, critical thinking, related sciences, and the nurturing of individuals and cohorts within the genre.
The proud history of the ASFF has helped to create the modern face of Australian SF, and with the decline of many of the traditional ASFF activities due to COVID lockdowns and other changes in the lives of our traditional membership base, it is time for us to take stock and look ahead with new eyes and fresh ideas. We need to outgrow the fan rivalries and insularity that have become sadly evident within some specific cohorts of our SF communities, who do not represent the noble ideals of the greater majority.
We also need to move beyond the false dichotomy of “media versus lit” that has impeded Aussie SF fandoms for too long – we must become welcoming, inclusive, and celebratory of diversity and creative new outlooks. Science fiction is a forward-looking field, and it behoves us to make it so.
There are many people involved with the SF genre, in various fandoms, franchises, and forms. There are cohorts of fandom – for example Whovians or furries, Trekkers or cosplayers, Browncoats or gaymers, PotterHeads or Jedi – that have evolved during the lifetime of the ASFF and whose enthusiastic adherents deserve inclusion within our activities and purview. It is my hope that during the year ahead, we might invite and involve such communities within our own.
There is also an ongoing need to encourage and nurture creativity within the genre. Fiction, fanfic, and futurism all need to be tended. Actors, authors and audiences need fresh inspiration. Literature, life learning, and liberating legacies may be our ultimate gift to the future if we have the courage to not only dream dreams but to weave those ideals into reality.
As someone who entered fandom in 1975 through a fan club that survives and succeeds to this day, I welcome the arrival of fresh ideas and new blood. As a fan, I literally grew up alongside those who entered fandom with enthusiasm and new perspectives. They were not held back by others who told them that such-and-such could not be done because it had never been done before. They changed the face of fandom in this country and even contributed to the ASFF with their own strength and vision.
My own writing of this VP report – not strictly necessary for our AGM – is demonstrative of this idea that things can and should be forever open to change.
I thank members of ASFF for our history so far, and for the future history that we are yet to write together. I invite others to join us in this quest.
Awards the A Bertram Chandler Award for Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction.
Awards the Norma K. Hemming Award which marks excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class or disability in science fiction.
Sponsors the Amateur SF Competition, conducted by the Australian National Science Fiction Convention.
Lends seed money to Australian National Science Fiction Conventions to cover their start-up costs.
Provides banking facilities to the Australian Fan Funds.
Members receive The Instrumentality, an essential information source for Australian SF&F events and news.
Operates as a resource centre/clearing house for science fiction activities in Australia.
Offers connection through social media events to those interested in Science Fiction.
Supports and Encourages International Science Fiction Organisations.
The ASFF Committee
NOMINATIONS FOR 2021 HAVE CLOSED AND JUDGING IS UNDERWAY!
The Australian Science Fiction Foundation is seeking nominations for the A.Bertram Chandler award. It is given by the A.S.F.F. for ‘Outstanding achievement in Australian Science Fiction.’ The Chandler, as it is fondly known, is a jury award and, although nominally an annual award, is not necessarily presented every year.
To nominate someone whom you believe has made a significant contribution over twenty years, to Australian Science Fiction and/ or Australian fandom,
write or email to the ASFF, noting the nominee’s achievements and why you consider the nominee worthy of the Award.
Please send the several paragraphs of your written nomination to our e-mail address: email@example.com.
We need details in your nomination that clearly explain the attribute your nominee holds.
Nominees should be recognised members of the Australian speculative fiction community, whether in professional areas such as
publishing or from the myriad fandoms that make up the scene.
We will soon be announcing the winners of the A Bertram Chandler Awards for 2020 and 2021.
The Australian Science Fiction Foundation
(Affectionately known as the Foundation) was formally established back in 1976, partially to carry on the work of the 1975 Aussiecon, the first Australian World Science Fiction Convention. The Foundation was the nucleus for the successful Aussiecon II bid and its members worked, along with many others, to run the 1985 Worldcon in Melbourne. In March 1988, the Foundation became an incorporated association.
The ASFF sponsors, encourages and supports the creation and appreciation of science fiction in Australia through a variety of activities that are funded by membership subscriptions and donations. We are currently developing our new Conduct Charter & Social Media Code of Conduct to ensure that all ASFF events are a positive experience to attend. In 2022 we will be hosting new and exciting science fiction events. Renew your membership today so that you don’t miss out!
- Awards the A Bertram Chandler Award.
- Awards the Norma K. Hemming Award.
- Sponsors the Amateur SF Competition.
- Lends seed money to Australian conventions.
- Provides banking facilities to the Australian Fan Funds.
- Operates as a resource centre for the Australian Science Fiction scene.
2022 Memberships are now open. Help further the work of the ASFF, and join today. Pay with PAYPAL.