The Australian Entomological Society began on 17 August 1965 at a meeting of entomologists from all States and the Australian Capital Territory held in association with the Hobart meeting of ANZAAS. This followed three years of behind-the-scenes activity and debate among most Australian entomologists and existing entomological societies. Ian Mackerras, the first president of the AES, listed four responsibilities of the Society that, if fulfilled, would guarantee its success:
to acquire wealth;
to maintain the highest attainable standard of excellence in everything it does;
to have a clear central purpose and source of inspiration;
to exist, not for what it can get, but for what it can give.
The first annual general meeting and scientific session was held in Melbourne in January 1967 and was attended by 55 members and five visitors. Subsequent AGMs have been held at various places in all States and Territories but not in every calendar year. The smallest meeting was attended by 32 participants in Quindanning, south of Perth, in 1973, while the largest was in Canberra in 1990 when 330 people attended. In 1996 the AES and the New Zealand Entomological Society held their first joint annual conference at Lincoln University in Christchurch. Current plans are to hold similar joint conferences every three years. The Society was the national host for the 14th International Congress of Entomology (Canberra, 1972) and the 22nd International Congress of Entomology (Brisbane, 2004).
The Australian Entomological Society is an incorporated, non-profit company limited by guarantee.
This overview of the history of the Australian Entomological Society is based on a keynote presentation made by Dr Murray Fletcher to the 45th Scientific Conference of the Society in Canberra, September 2014.
Copies of the Society’s constitution and the by-laws are available to view.
The Australian Entomological Society aims to be inclusive to the largest number of contributors, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and religion. This policy outlines our expectations of those who participate at AES functions.
The Society’s logo features the red bull ant Myrmecia gulosa (Fabricius, 1775) which was one of the first Australian insects to be formally named. The first specimen was collected in “New Holland” by Joseph Banks in 1770 and this specimen is still in good condition in the Joseph Banks Collection held in the Natural History Museum, London.