Terms of Reference

  1. The Chapter will be managed by a committee consisting in approximately equals parts women and men, at different stages of career (including students), representing the geographic and demographic diversity of Australia’s astronomical community. The committee will have a Chair and the committee will consist of approximately 8 people. The Chair will be elected by the Chapter membership following a nominations process. The term length for committee members is 2 years, with staggered tenure. New members of the committee can be drawn from the Chapter membership and will join every two years via a process that involves a nomination and ballot for vacant positions. The term of the student representative will for 1 year and will be elected by the student members of the Chapter. The committee will appoint a Secretary and a Webmaster from the committee members.
  2. Chapter membership is open to ASA members. Membership of the Chapter can be gained via application to the committee Secretary.
  3. The ASA Council will provide one of its members as an ex-officio member of the Chapter committee.
  4. The ASA Early Career Researcher (ECR) Chapter will provide one of its members as an ex-officio member of the Chapter committee.
  5. The Chapter will seek to collect data and statistics in order to establish the status of minorities in astronomy in Australia, to track progress in key indicators such as the participation of women in the student body, the academic workforce, and in others areas of astronomy. The Chapter will publish these statistics as well as interpretive commentary.
  6. The Chapter will publicise the Baltimore Charter and encourage Australian participation in the IAU Working Group on the Status of Women in Astronomy.
  7. The Chapter will develop coherent networks and fora with the goal of advancing the status of minorities in astronomy in Australia, so that the views and needs of minorities in this field are recorded and used to inform future policies at Australian institutions and national bodies such as the ASA, also to build a culture in Australia that seeks to advance the status of minorities in astronomy.
  8. The Chapter will survey the Australian astronomy community and institutions for examples of minority and family-friendly policies and practices, to build a picture of the support networks available to minorities. This may assist people when deciding the best location for employment or study and may promote better outcomes for the institutions. Also, it may encourage greater uniformity of policy and practice across the Australian community. The Chapter will publish this survey.
  9. The Chapter will maintain a web presence in order to publish materials it generates and as a location to record events and news, as well as document the activities of the Chapter.