ASA Council Ballot – 2023

Electronic Voting closes: Friday 30th June 2023 at 5pm AEST

Information on Candidates is below (alphabetical order).

Ballot for the ASA Council 2023-2025



Associate Professor Christoph Federrath, Australian National University

Federrath’s research focuses on understanding the formation of stars. Federrath develops theoretical models and supercomputer simulations of molecular clouds, the birthplaces of stars. An essential part of this work is to compare supercomputer simulations performed on thousands of computer cores to real observations in galactic clouds. Federrath therefore primarily brings representation of the theoretical community as ASA Council member, but also has a clear understanding of and experience with bringing together the theoretical and observational communities. Federrath has served on ASAC and ASTAC before, and therefore brings general understanding of priorities of the different communities in the Australian and international astronomy landscape.

Professor Richard de Grijs, Macquarie University

I aim to play a facilitating role to benefit the Australian astronomical community. My passions and strengths are in (1) research in stellar astrophysics and the history of maritime navigation, (2) outreach/engagement, and (3) international liaisons. I am decisively pursuing those interests, e.g., as President of the IAU’s Division C (Education, Outreach and Heritage). I am keen to serve a second term on the ASA Council, aiming to bring to the role significant experience in and insights into the international research, funding, engagement, and publication landscapes; a key focus will be to engage more widely with communities in regional Australia.

Associate Professor Richard M McDermid, Macquarie University

I am Director of the Macquarie University Astrophysics and Space Technologies Research Centre, and leader of the Macquarie Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D). I am also the Project Scientist and acting Principal Investigator of the “MAVIS” instrument (the first Australian-led facility instrument for the ESO VLT), and current Chair of the AAL Science Advisory Committee. I wish to remain on the ASA Council for an additional term, as I believe I still have more to contribute to the ASA Council, in particular around building the ASA’s case to join ESO as full members, and reflecting community priorities in upcoming ASA strategic planning efforts. As co-organiser of the 2023 ASM, I am also strongly committed to the vitality of the ASA community, and as a Councillor would aim to see it thrive as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Bernhard Müller, Monash University

I am a computational astrophysicist working on supernova explosions at Monash University and a member of the ANITA chapter. I have served one term one the council before and formerly served as senior representative 2020-2022. There are two things that I find most rewarding about my work in ASA roles and that will remain my biggest priorities as a councillor: First, the opportunity to provide support, recognition and training to young researchers. Second, to use the few opportunities we have as ASA council to make research conditions a little better and more equal where we can.

Dr Sarah E Pearce, SKA Low

I currently work as Director of the SKA-Low telescope and prior to this spent ten years in CSIRO.  I’m an active contributor to the Australian astronomy community, including as a member of the ASA Council, the GMT Board and the National Committee for Astronomy. Increasing diversity in astronomy is one of my highest priorities and I bring this perspective to my role on the ASA Council. The ASA can be a powerful voice advocating for astronomy in Australia: I hope to continue using my experience and networks to contribute.

Dr O Ivy Wong, CSIRO Space & Astronomy

I am Ivy Wong, a staff astronomer at the Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO in Perth, WA.  I have been an ASA member for over 20 years (ever since I was an undergraduate student). I was previously a steering committee member of the ASA’s ECR chapter. I also volunteer as a mentor for the ASA ECR chapter and participate in their annual meet-a-mentor programme.  In addition to my contributions to the ECR and the IDEA chapter, I would like to provide contributions to the ASA at a higher level. This is why I am volunteering to be a council member.


Council positions elected unopposed: The President, John Lattanzio completes his maximum two-year term and is not eligible for nomination to the same role.  The Secretaries and Treasurer have no limits on their terms. Councillors can serve for up to four years (two 2-year terms) in a single unbroken period. The Immediate Past-President, Chair of the Editorial Board, the Prizes and Awards Co-ordinator and the Media and Outreach Officer are ex-officio members of Council. The following will be elected unopposed at the Annual General Meeting at Macquarie University, Mason Theatre, and by Zoom, on Wed 5 July 2023 commencing at 1.30 pm AEST:

President:  Ass Prof Stas Shabala, University of Tasmania

Vice-President: Dr Ashley J Ruiter, University of NSW

Secretaries:  Dr Marc L Duldig, University of Tasmania (adjunct) and Ass Prof John W O’Byrne, SIFA, University of Sydney

Treasurer: Dr Yeshe Fenner, OZGRAV, Swinburne University


The following are ex officio and not for election:

Immediate Past President: Prof John C Lattanzio, Monash University

Chair PASA Editorial Board: Dr Ivo R Seitenzahl, University of NSW, Canberra

Prizes & Awards: Dr Tanya Hill, Melbourne Planetarium, Scienceworks

Media & Outreach: Ass Prof Michael J I Brown, Monash University