President's Letter - July 2020

Written by  Dr Yvonne Mah, FRACI CChem

Published 6 July 2020

We are the voice for the chemical sciences.

Women in STEMM, Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Dear RACI Victorian Branch community,

Wishing you, your family, friends and colleagues well and warm. It is amazing that we are in the middle of the year; our days are colder and darker earlier. And we are still at home working in isolation. While in isolation, we have not stopped connecting and working. Well done to our determination and inspiration. In contrast, the external environment is not at its best. In addition to the dilemma of securing a vaccine for COVID-19, there is so much disharmony among people in particular on the recent Black Lives Matter movement. This has highlighted our awareness that people matter, people of diverse backgrounds matter. Everyone counts.

The Inclusion and Diversity Group in the RACI has been present since 2016. It has a policy in place to ensure that we work towards achieving gender balance and inclusion. Since the inception of diversity and inclusion across our community, we have seen it grow. Now there is the emphasis on Belonging. Hence, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. It is so important that we welcome diversity and create a safe environment where everyone feels that they belong. This is where the most creative ideas are generated, this is the pool of talent. A powerful one. We want to have this talent because together it leads to innovation for a sustainable future (I tell my daughter that she is born in the dawn of clean energy).  Recently, I completed (yes, learning is a life-long hobby) a subject on leading, managing and developing people. It was a very rewarding learning exercise that complements my everyday (work and life). While there were aspects on learning about team-building skills, collaboration etc, one of the key take-aways was listening. Listening to the voices from the diverse backgrounds, the pool of talent.

Our previous monthly Victorian Branch meeting was an open one, 28 members attended. Thank you very much for your attendance. I appreciate your time and interest and look forward to more of your attendance and contribution to the RACI Victorian Branch. This month we have our Analytical Group back in action. The Chair, Dr. Rajesh Ramanathan and the Office have been hard at work setting it up. We welcome the committee members (list below) and look forward to the announcement of the complete Chair Committee in the next few days.

We are happy that the new face of the RACI Website is up. There are still some areas being developed so we ask for your patience and understanding. Any constructive feedback is a positive contribution. Please let the office know of your feed-back so that they can make the improvements. This is for the voice of Chemistry. Your voice counts. If you have not already read, ‘The story behind the periodic table – and the crucial role played by women’ by Jenny Sharwood OAM, this is available on the RACI Website.

I hope you can attend our virtual events in July, the Retirees’ Lunch led by Dr. Richard Thwaites on Tuesday 7th,  Chemistry on the Couch led Dr. Claire Weekley on Tuesday 14th July, Art of the Deal led by Brett Carter on Wednesday 22nd and first of its kind, RACI Trivia Night the Southern States series led by John Francescini and Dr Tayla Chick on Wednesday 29th.


Analytical Group Committee Members

Rajesh Ramanathan as the Chair for 2020

Amin Yu

Bradley Clarke

Dominic Hare

Elleen Nguyen

Jason Dang

John Franceschini

Katherine Ganio

Melinda Christophersen

Sean Yamada

Shaan Floyd

Yuning Hong

Alex Duan

Edward Nagul


Don’t forget to drop me a line so we can communicate and share inspiring stories within our community. Appreciate and celebrate the Nurse and Midwife J


Warmest wishes to you.

Stay safe. Your health counts, 


Victorian Branch President




Chemistry in Australia
Magazine free subscription

RACI Members can enjoy an annual online subscription to Chemistry in Australia, the RACI’s member magazine.

Join Now