Updated: Nov 6
President of the ASFF Juliette Cavendish has stepped down as President to pursue her international photography career. After having won over 21 international awards for her photography, Juliette was invited to New York in late 2022.
Juliette wishes the ASFF all the very best with its future endeavours in cultivating interest and excitement with all things Science Fiction. 'In my time as President, I was fortunate to be able to design and relaunch the ASFF website along with our Vice-President Geoff Allshorn. We made it our priority to carefully collate the historical aspects of the ASFF so that future generations could appreciate the fifty years of ASFF activities.'
She notes that Geoff Allshorn has also made the decision to resign as Vice-President, to pursue his career in research, writing and educational consultancy. 'Geoff and I spent hundreds of hours, if not thousands, inviting science fiction community members to send us ASFF materials before they were lost in time, as well as designing a website that could be used as an historical reference. It was an enormous job and we are both very proud of the website. Within three hours of its launch, the ASFF was widely being discussed throughout social media platforms. The overwhelming response was more than we ever imagined. We hope that future ASFF members will add to the website and perhaps complete some of the projects that I started planning. I have enjoyed working alongside Geoff, who was also visionary with his ASFF intentions.
I thank the rest of the ASFF committee too, who worked to promote the ASFF during what might be reflected as a difficult period in the history of the ASFF. It was difficult to deal with the pandemic whilst trying to organise ASFF activities. I wish the committee happy days ahead.
We developed a greater presence on social media for the ASFF. With a greater reach, so much more can be done by the ASFF to promote science fiction in Australia. Social media has the ability to share content in a much greater capacity than ever before.
I had so much more to do as President. My dream had been to launch a writing competition for Primary and Secondary students in Australia - to promote creative writing and encourage our younger generation of writers. Unfortunately this won't be done during my time as President, but maybe in the future the ASFF will continue to plan this. Geoff and I also wanted to create a science fiction art gallery and poetry resource as well as sell science fiction merchandise supporting Australian artists. Sometimes though, the best of plans remain as great ideas... we just didn't have enough opportunities to see some of these ventures through, before my photography and Geoff's other work became our priorities.
I am now pursuing my photography full-time and that requires global travel. I also have my third science fiction novel to complete. Hopefully with the pandemic now behind us, we won't experience the complicated difficulties that we had trying to undertake projects and meetings. It was certainly challenging running the ASFF during the pandemic with everyone locked away in their homes. Trying to organise events and competitions proved to be thwarted with logistical issues. People were tired, fed up and struggling with lockdowns which made event organisation extremely complicated.
Juliette wishes the ASFF all the very best for the future and formally hands the President baton to the next brave soul who would like to lead the Foundation into a new era of possibilities. She hopes that the science fiction community will welcome the new ASFF President in the same manner in which they welcomed her. 'The support was overwhelming at times. So many voices all contributing so much. It was a giant cacophony of science fiction personalities. I hope that those strong voices will remain vocal in promoting science fiction in Australia. If they do this, the ASFF is sure to thrive well into the future and be discussed widely on social media platforms and in the wider community.
I look forward to now concentrating on my photographic career which gives me enormous pleasure and professional satisfaction. Again I wish the remaining committee all the very best as they plan the future for the ASFF. May they find a safe place in which to operate from and thrive.'