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Message from the President of BSG
Judith Phillips
	Judith at the AAG with the president of the Australian Association of Gerontology, Laurie Buys; the

Happy New Year!

By the time you read this we will be into a new year and looking forward to reading another edition of Generations Review. There have been a number of developments over the last few months which are reported in this edition and I briefly mention a few key appointments and initiatives.

Rachel Hazelwood has been appointed as the BSG administrator, initially for one year, while we explore the possibilities of support and sponsorship for a permanent secretariat. We are already seeing the benefits of Rachel’s work in organising and refining our membership data base, servicing the executive committee, liaising with members and associated organisations and dealing with a considerable number of enquiries. Rachel comes with considerable experience in the role and we are delighted that she is working with us.

Our new executive committee met for the first time in October and agreed to change the format of our executive meetings with an emphasis towards more strategic planning, looking at where we want the society to be in 2015 and beyond. This allows us to prioritise the Society’s business and to remain clearly focused. This will form the core business of the executive over the next year during which time we intend to develop a robust five year strategy. For now we will retain the working groups (publications, membership, international and national) but would encourage members to contact us if they feel there are areas of the Society that need strengthening or developing and where they are keen to play a role. I would like to take the opportunity to thank members who responded to the last piece in GR setting out the vision for BSG.

There is clearly a larger role for BSG to play in the British Council on Ageing and in the UK Age Research Forum and also with the Research Councils. The committee is looking into the feasibility of compiling an ‘impact brochure’ of members research that can be used to advertise the Society along with the setting up an ‘advisory’ group to ‘lobby’ research councils and discuss issues such as research capacity in ageing.

In relation to specific business, among other things, Wendy and Rachel have been working towards streamlining membership renewal processes and developing a communications strategy for the Society. I am pleased to report a telephone number and PO Box for the Society now exists so that members can contact us directly.

Paris 2009 is looming and the deadline for paper abstracts is the end of January. I urge members to attend the IAGG. BSG along with BGS will have a stand at the conference and we look forward to welcoming members to the stand where we will be showcasing and promoting UK research in ageing.

The BSG conference will be held again this year at the University of the West of England, Bristol following the success of last year. The theme for the conference is Culture, Diversity and Ageing. The programme so far looks appropriately very diverse!

One of the key areas which the Society is keen to develop is our ERA, Emerging Researchers in Ageing. The Australian ERA, established by Helen Bartlett, a member of BSG, invited me to speak at their annual conference this year in Fremantle, Perth and this provided me with the opportunity to establish some formal links between the two groups and to explore collaborative possibilities. Following this meeting both societies are looking into the possibilities of a joint Australian-UK video seminar series in 2009 using the access grid nodes. I would be grateful to any university/ organisation that has access to this to contact me if they would like their gerontology students to participate in this series of seminars. Further possibilities are being explored in relation to their international exchange programme.

The AAG are also enthusiastic about having stronger links with BSG and again we are exploring the possibility of joint symposia at certain UK-Australian conferences as a starting point.

With very best wishes for 2009,

Judith

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