Farewell, and welcome to the new COMBINE committee!

It is with great pride (and a twinge of sadness) that I announce an end to my reign as President of COMBINE and welcome the new COMBINE executive committee.

I am so lucky to have worked with an amazing committee for the past year. You have all truly gone above and beyond for COMBINE. Secretary/Vice-President Westa Domanova took on the massive task for chairing the first interstate COMBINE Symposium in Sydney last year, to great success. Jane Hawkey was lured into the Treasurer role with promises that we didn’t have much funding, only to be swept up in two major grants and a merger with ABACBS. Zoe Dyson was the voice of COMBINE, injecting her style and wit into COMBINE’s online presence, from emails to combine.org.au to Twitter (and provided much amusement with the many Photoshop gems, never to see the light of day). Scott Ritchie took on coordination of all our COMBINE workshops in a year where we had record numbers, particularly Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry. He put huge effort into developing an R workshop that has since been embraced by the international training community.

And of course ex-president, web guru and all round COMBINE aficionado Andrew Lonsdale, who can never seem to say no to a side-project. Andrew defies categorisation, as he has hands in every part of COMBINE. Last year he became the first student representative of ABACBS, paving the way for COMBINE and ABACBS to merge and work together to support bioinformaticians and computational biologists at all levels.

2015 has been a year of massive growth for us. We have more than doubled the number of events from the previous year, and cemented ourselves as a truly national organisation. We are now active in five cities: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, each hosting their own social events, seminars and workshops with support from the exec. We have formally affiliated with a professional society to help support our financial growth. We are now a subcommittee of The Australian Bioinformatics And Computational Biology Society (ABACBS), while remaining the official  International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) Regional Student Group (RSG) for Australia. Last year we received our first competitive grant from AGTA along with VLSCI to support an Australian and New Zealand training program.

There are many exciting things already planned for this year, including a National COMBINE Student Symposium in Brisbane in November as well as dozens of seminars, workshops and social events around the country. So stay tuned for more COMBINE!

I have had an extraordinary time as VP and then President of COMBINE these past years. Now it is time for me to step back to make way for the next wave of COMBINE (and focus on my PhD!).

I am extremely pleased to announce the 2016-2017 COMBINE executive committee!


President: Jane Hawkey

Secretary/Vice-President: Leah Roberts

Treasurer: Stephen Watts

Media, Comms and Web team:

Claire Gorrie

Ai Tran

Andrew Pattison

Training coordination team:

Chenkai Ma

Sohni Jain

Beth Signal

Sepideh Foroutan


In particular, I’ve been really pleased to see Jane Hawkey flourish in the role of Treasurer, and am so glad she agreed to accept the nomination. I have every confidence that COMBINE is in great hands and look forward to seeing what this year’s exec have in store for us!


Harriet Dashnow

(ex) President, COMBINE

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