This column is intended to give you some insight into the workings of your Executive. I'll try to summarise the items being discussed at executive meetings and elsewhere. 
The new
www.assta.org web-site was announced recently. This is intended to take over as the central home of ASSTA on the web and much of the content of other ASSTA web-sites has been moved here.  One missing item at the moment is the membership directory which was hosted by Roberto Togneri but which had to be shut down recently.  We do hope to re-incarnate the membership directory and link it to our central membership database.  Other missing items are the records of executive meetings and AGMs and various other ASSTA guidelines.  Again, we plan to make these available to members via the new web site as soon as time permits.  If any members are interested in helping maintain the web-site, please contact me to discuss how you might be able to help. 
Much of the executive's time over the last few months has been taken up with discussions on how to disperse the excess funds resulting from our hosting the ICSLP'98 conference.   As you will see from the announcement in this newsletter and from the information on

the new web-site we have developed  three new initiatives: PhD study awards for new PhD students, PhD completion awards and Research Event Awards for one of events organised by members.  As agreed at the AGM last year, these initiatives will amount to around $17,000 each year. 
Last month, a proposal for holding SST2002 was tabled from Alan Bradley in Melbourne.  The executive was happy to endorse this proposal and I  understand that the organisation of this conference is now under way.  We look forward to the continued success of this important ASSTA event following the excellent conference held last year in Canberra.
The executive has recently commissioned a report on non-academic membership of the association. With the growing speech and language technology industry in Australia we would like to ensure that ASSTA is able to address the needs of members in industry and can provide relevant services where appropriate.     Please feel free to contact the association if you have views on how ASSTA should address these issues.