Welcome to the final edition of the AFAE Newsletter for 2016! This members update includes reports from our recent AGM, news from the WFAE and a series of events and opportunities for 2017.
2016 has been an exciting year for the AFAE with various members activities and a national conference. Feedback from members in 2015 identified the need to host national events to expand our current focus on virtual meetings. As a result we agreed to host a conference and we are pleased to report this was a highly successful event.
In July 2016, the Australasian Computer Music Association joined forces with the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology and NIME 2016 (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) to host an interdisciplinary conference at the Queensland Conservatorium on the theme of Sonic Environments.
Sonic Environments invited composers, performers, academics, field recordists, acoustic ecologists and technologists to present research and creative works exploring the ecological, social and cultural contexts of our sonic environments. This conference aimed to expand our current perceptions of acoustic ecology and the role of sound and technology in understanding rapidly changing environments across the world.
The program featured over 100 artists and presenters showcasing new work from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Vanuatu. Sonic Environments opened with a dynamic keynote panel featuring international leaders in the field of acoustic ecology who each presented short provocations on the conference theme. Panelists included Sabine Breitsameter (Germany), Sabine Feisst (USA), Stephan Moore (USA), Andrew Skeoch (Australia), Vanessa Tomlinson (Australia) and Ian Whalley (New Zealand). It was a pleasure to host members from our WFAE affiliate organisations from Germany, Canada, and the USA.
The AFAE management committee experienced a significant change at our recent AGM, with Nigel Frayne and Anthony Magen both standing down from their current executive positions. While they will both remain on the committee, I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge their dedication and commitment over the years. I would have never been able to take on the role of president without their consistent advice, guidance and support. Anthony and Nigel have been the backbone of the AFAE for many years and have also served in various capacities for the WFAE. As the previous president of the AFAE, Anthony has played a critical role in the WFAE, including his role on the editorial committee for Soundscape Journal. Anthony’s sound walks have been a valuable tool for public engagement around the field of acoustic ecology in Australia and he has been instrumental in the design, development and governance of every aspect of our organisation.
Nigel Frayne has had an incredible impact on the field of acoustic ecology. As a founding member of the AFAE, he has spearheaded various activities over the years, including the 2003 WFAE conference in Melbourne, which was a pivotal event for many people, both nationally and internationally.
As the first and longest-standing chair of the WFAE, his commitment, passion, persistence and dedication transformed the organisation into a truly global network. Nigel’s vision to make the WFAE a more manageable organisation resulted in a restructure into clusters of groups with geographical administration and governance. This was the beginning of WFAE affiliates, which is how we continue to operate internationally today.
On behalf of the AFAE, I want to thank both Anthony and Nigel for their incredible investment in our organisation and commitment and dedication to the field of acoustic ecology. I am extremely grateful for the support and will look forward to ongoing collaborations in other capacities.
I am pleased to report we have a new management committee in 2017, with Toby Gifford stepping into the public officer role and Andrew Skeoch, Vicki Hallett and Jesse Budel joining as new committee members. I will continue as president through 2017 and Anthony Magen and Nigel Frayne will remain on the committee in advisory roles.
The reports from our 2016 AGM are available to all members and video documentation is available for those who were unable to attend. The other important outcomes from the AGM was the decision to update our digital presence, which includes launching a new website in January 2017. As part of the digital transition, which includes our existing virtual forum project, we will begin actively using social media in 2017. Please join us on facebook and twitter to connect with other members and stay up to date with the AFAE.
As the members of our organisation, we want to support and promote your work. Our current focus on virtual meetings is not designed to replace physical events or meetings, just extend our opportunities to engage with members across Australia. If you would like to be involved in planning these activities, or have your own ideas, please don't hesitate to contact us. Please suggest ideas or projects that you believe are well aligned with the AFAE in 2017 and we can help bring them to fruition. Members are welcome to host local AFAE meetings, sound walks or events and we are always happy to promote your activities through our national database. The AFAE exists to connect and support the acoustic ecology community across Australia.
It has been a privilege to serve in the position of president for the AFAE throughout 2016. Thank you again to Nigel Frayne and Anthony Magen for their ongoing support. I am thoroughly looking forward to working with all of our members and new management committee in 2017 and hope we can continue to bring a wider awareness and engagement with acoustic ecology in Australia in beyond.
We hope our members across Australia have a wonderful festive season and happy new year!
President, Australia Forum for Acoustic Ecology