From the President: The RSV’s Response to COVID-19

On behalf of all the RSV Council and staff, I hope this finds you in good health as the COVID-19 pandemic presents our community with some unexpected situations.

The RSV is no different, which is why I am writing to update you on our plans until the end of May.

Executive Committee Meeting 02-2020
RSV Executive Committee Meeting of 12 March, 2020 – the last to be held in person for awhile.

When the Executive met last Thursday, we discussed and approved a plan to keep our activities going for the benefit of our members and supporters – but in a way that keeps everyone safe.

We agreed that from today until the end of May 2020 all our meetings and lectures will be held online to ensure the safety of our members, tenants, clients, guests and staff.

The following plans are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation continues or finishes:

  • All our public lectures will be live streamed at the advertised time and date as publicly circulated. We are working with our scheduled speakers to start developing this content this week. You will be sent further information by our CEO closer to each lecture with login details so you can watch and (hopefully) participate online.
  • The Society’s AGM on May 14 will also be live streamed, and we will have to rely on proxy votes more than in general circumstances – so RSV members are urged to please fill out and return your forms, once circulated. We are working out a procedure to ensure that all Members who wish to submit any questions will have the opportunity to do so. Later in the year we aim to hold a “town hall” style meeting for members to update you on any other issues.
  • We do not expect there to be any other functions in our building during this time and the CEO is arranging for RSV staff to work remotely where possible.

You will be able to contact the RSV office on 9663 5259 during normal office hours if you have any queries.

These are difficult times for all of us, but I want you to know that the Executive, Council and staff are all working to keep you informed of our activities and plans during this difficult time, and for ways to support the Victorian health authorities.

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or call me on 0418 346 999 if you have any questions.

Please stay safe. My warmest best wishes to you.

David Zerman

UPDATE, 23 March:

Happy National Eucalypt Day! A meeting of the Executive Committee conducted this morning determined that all RSV meetings for the remainder of 2020 will be conducted “virtually,” using conferencing and other tools to bring members, scientists and audiences together online. Members will be invited to join discussions at our Ordinary Meetings via Zoom, and all lectures will be filmed and shared with audiences across Victoria via our social media channels (specifically, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).