Welcome to SFRR Australasia
The Australasian region has a proud history of free radical research and remains home to some of the field's leading research groups. Links to some of these groups can be found on the Groups & Links page.
SFRR Australasia was formed in 1988, and since that time has held 22 conferences throughout Australia and New Zealand, including 6 joint meetings with SFRR Japan.
26th Annual Meeting - Society for Free Radical Research Australasia
When: December 8-11, 2018
Where: Auckland, New Zealand
Message from the President
25 and still kickin'
Based on the title, some of you may think that the following describes a necrology of our Society. Of course, this is a joke, albeit - possibly - a bit coarse. To tell you the truth, the opposite is the case: Our Society, in fact, is going from strength to strength - having been started quarter of a century ago. Yes, it is correct - in this year 2017, we are celebrating 25 years from the first meeting SFRR(A), although some may argue that the Sydney Free Radical Group (FROGS) preceded formation of SFRR(A) with the formation of SFRR(A) coinciding with the SFRR(International) meeting held in Sydney some years later. Nevertheless, membership of the early SFRR(A) Society included distinguished members Christine Winterbourne, Jan Gebicki, Roger Dean, Nick Hunt and Peter Southwell-Kelly, to name only a few of the most prominent members of the Society.
The Society has evolved in a dynamic manner, reflecting contemporary research priorities and focus. From almost physico-chemical approach to the field of free radicals to current biomedical focus, investigating the role of free radicals one way or another in the onset, progression as well as therapeutic approaches to a variety of pathologies, including cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and oncological states, to name a few.
An important milestone in the life of the Society was the launch of biannual joint meetings with the Japanese branch of the SFRR, with alternating meetings convened in Australia/New Zealand and Japan. This brings together world-class research from both sides of the Pacific, resulting in cross-fertilisation with scientific ideas and fostering new collaborations. Not to mention the social aspects that are a central part of these joint meeting.
As of 2001, the Society has been honouring those members who contributed significantly to the mission and vision of the SFRR(A) as well as to the diverse field of free radicals, in the way of Lifetime Achievement award to Jan Gebcki, Roger Dean, Christine Winterbourne, Peter Southwell-Kelly, Nick Hunt, Roland Stocker, Mike Davies, Tony Kettle and most recently Kevin Croft.
Annual meetings of the Society in the last quarter century have been hosted in big cities like Sydney or Melbourne, to cosy, fairy tale-like locations, the prime example being the wonderful township of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula near Christchurch. These meetings have been attended by the 'usual suspects' plus 'new kids on the block', who have been swept up in the pleasant, vibrant and scientifically top class encounters. Amongst the venues, Sydney tops the scoreboard with 5 conferences followed by Christchurch with three held over the 25 years - and I have just heard through the grapevine that the 2019 Annual Conference of our Society will be held in Sydney again... While in New Zealand, the places of these conferences have varied from the very south (Dunedin) to the very north (the 2018 conference will be held in Auckland), we still miss several states/territories of Australia to host our annual event, which includes Tasmania, the ATC and the Northern Territory (alas, we have not yet established a core membership in these regions, to the best of my knowledge).
Of course, we should not forget the social function of our Society, including some memorable moments, such as giving away travel and poster awards. I recall that it was at one of the Christchurch conferences (chaired by one of the Societie's diehards Tony Kettle), were the award for best poster was a bungee jump! Needless to say that the winner and the runner up both gave up this coveted for award, which then was taken by the bronze medalist (mind you, I totally understand the gold and silver medalists!).
To wrap it up, we have achieved a lot during the 25 years since the "conception" of our Society, going from strength to strength, and I wish that future members of the Executive to take this legacy further, so that it maintains its prime status and evolves in line with the new challenges that the scientific community at large, and the field of free radicals more specifically, is going to face. Needless to say, it is clearly obvious that free radicals are involved, one way or another, in a plethora of human pathologies, including some of the most challenging ones. We believe that we have contributed to unraveling the role of free radicals in these pathologies and will continue to do so, for the good of the mankind. This I can see as one of the central aspects of the mission and vision of our Society.
Let's give a toast to the SFRR(A): Happy 25 th birthday!