Call for Southern eDNA Society (SeDNAs) Board Member Nominations

Background to the opportunity

It has been 2.5 years since the first seed was sown for a collaborative group to help foster eDNA research and adoption in Australia and New Zealand. Since this time a number of workshops have been held identifying a common purpose for collaboration, along with a management group and working groups to help pursue this. Amongst new networks being formed and efforts to establish our group, SeDNAs has: helped with developing best practice guidelines; established a website to form the basis for knowledge sharing, and; collaborated with the eDNA conference committee to deliver seminars.

While an action plan is still being developed and to be endorsed by the new Board, over the upcoming years it’s anticipated SeDNAs will help with: developing and promoting best practice in eDNA application for research and management purposes; providing educational resources and activities for applying eDNA; collaborating with First Nations people to support eDNA evolving with consideration and respect to country and culture, and; expanding frontiers of eDNA technologies by facilitating scientific collaboration and liaising with industry partners. A key output of the group will be the organisation and oversight of the eDNA conference.

If you are passionate about eDNA, believe in what SeDNAs is trying to achieve, and are excited about the idea of driving SeDNAs direction and activities please consider this leadership opportunity.

Formalising our group

Despite SeDNAs collaboration predominantly being online due to Covid, we have built traction and gained the interest of ~50 people who have put their hand up to get involved. A NZ based workshop helped to forge connections across the Tasman and build momentum. The decision was made to formalise our group and establish an independent not-for-profit organisation. Further discussions have put us on a course of becoming a membership based society. We expect income to assist with SeDNAs operation and activities to primarily come from membership and sponsorship.

The establishment of SeDNAs as an independent not-for-profit organisation (Charity Company Limited by Guarantee) is in final stage of implementation. Not-for-profit organisations are run by a board or committee that is made up of people appointed or elected in accordance with the organisation’s rules. We are seeking for up to 8 active Board members (Directors) to be elected to form the inaugural management Board. The Board members will ensure we stay focused on SeDNAs objectives, ensuring the Society is operating in alignment with its main mission, manage its finances effectively and comply with the legal, operational and ethical requirements of SeDNAs (Please visit the following links for good governance and responsibilities of Board Committee members). We propose that this new Board supersedes the current SeDNAs Management Group and will be regularly re-elected by the SeDNAs members (the frequency of elections to be defined and prescribed in the constitution of the Society). An initial task of the Board in 2023 will be to elect the Office Bearer roles according to the SeDNAs upcoming constitution, which we anticipate to be a SeDNAs president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. The Board will meet quarterly and it is expected that Board members also take leadership roles or at least be actively involved in implementing the SeDNAs work i.e. overseeing the Purpose Goals (please refer to the Action Plan draft document). Therefore, being a Board member implies certain time commitment.

What does it mean to be a SeDNAs board member?

We are still in early stages of establishing an organisation and we need people who can bring the right energy and passion in our start up days. We need to be flexible, strategic and able to learn so that we can grow in a way that is valuable for our members and for the cause we are pursuing. We are small so we all need to be willing to roll up our sleeves when needed, change direction when needed, support each other, collaborate and enjoy working together. We are voluntary so we will need to ensure our plans are achievable – start small and grow from there. We want diversity of perspectives and experience. We welcome anyone to nominate themselves. During this election cycle, we expect more nominations coming from the research community given existing participants, but we hope that the following election will provide extra encouragement for industry professionals, ECRs, and/or indigenous people at various career stages to also nominate.

Basic criteria for nominations are:

  • Passion for our mission
  • Willing to and can commit the time (quarterly 1h30 meetings + at least 5h per month).
  • Willingness to undertake some leadership roles in the operation of organisation
  • Board experience or no board experience (but strong motivation to learn)
  • Valuable perspective and/or skill sets for the Society (we need a range of skills across our Board members to run our organisation initially such as management, administration, business, stakeholder relationships, industry knowledge, facilitation, eDNA technical skills and scientific skillsets, engagement and communication skills, First Nations knowledge and connections, advocacy, etc – ideally coming with a range of perspectives and experiences)
  • Leadership – with strong experience or at least strong aptitude and motivation to lead
  • Collegial attitude and high ethical standards

Initial tasks for Board members (2023-2024):

  • Nominate and Appoint SeDNAs President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer
  • Secure leaders positions for each purpose and business goals
  • Oversee the good functioning of purpose and business goals
  • Help coordinate the next eDNA conference with organizing committee

Process for nominations

  1. The call for nominations was opened during the inaugural eDNA conference in Hobart.
  2. Following the conference, the participants will receive a short nomination registration form via Survey Monkey indicating who they are, their current position and career stage, and a brief description on why they are interested to apply and what they can bring to the Board position. Form submission date March 10th
  3. Shortly after, a Survey Monkey will be sent to all SeDNAs participants for voting for up to 8 preferred candidates (candidates can include themselves in the vote)

For more information about the SeDNAs, the information packs below provide a snapshot on where we want to go and offers more background of what we have achieved so far.


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