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Report from the Honorary Secretary
I am delighted to be writing my first report as Honorary Secretary after taking on the role from Wendy Martin. Wendy has been an outstanding Secretary and has worked tirelessly on behalf of the BSG for the last three and a half years – thank you Wendy for all your hard work and dedication, you have left me a tough act to follow! We are, though, all delighted though that you will continue to act as Past Secretary so that we may continue to benefit from your great knowledge and expertise. My thanks also to Rachel Hazelwood who has been calm, kind and extremely helpful in easing me into this new role and I am looking forward to working with you.

As new Secretary I would first like to congratulate Catherine Hennessy and the organising team of the BSG 2011 Annual Conference held at the University of Plymouth last week for hosting such an excellent conference. We were fortunate to be a part of a very interesting academic programme, three informative, measured and entertaining plenaries, and who could forget the wonderful conference dinner at HMS Drake where Angela Rippon gave her inspiring and engaging after dinner speech.

I am also delighted to welcome our new Secretary-Elect, Mary Pat Sullivan of Brunel University, and Cassandra Phoenix of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry as a new member of the Executive Committee, as well as our two new Co-Chairs of ERA, Deborah Cairns of Brunel University and Naomi Woodspring from UWE. I am very much looking forward to working with you and all the members and officers of the Executive Committee.

We are now entering a uniquely difficult time for the social and behavioural sciences, given the current economic climate, and it is more important than ever that we have greater visibility in discussions around ageing research, policy and practice. We also need to ensure the BSG continues to value and support its membership as well as finding innovative ways to encourage new members from all areas of research in ageing, from practice, policy and political arenas, and from older people themselves, and identifying our potential key audiences will be fundamental in achieving that. As we enter years three and four of the five year strategy, I strongly believe that good communication will be essential in helping to achieve all we plan to do, and the new website will play a crucial role in this. I am therefore very much looking forward to working with everyone to continue the development of a clear communication strategy within and for the Society.

In highlighting my belief in the importance of communication, I should close now by asking everyone to feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions, and/or questions. I am very interested in hearing what you would like from your Society.

Sue Venn
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