The Astronomical Society of Australia was formed in 1966 as the organisation of professional astronomers in Australia and currently has over 600 members. The very first Annual Scientific Meeting was held from the 30th of November to 2nd of December 1966, at the University of Sydney, and was attended by 125 people.

 

The first ASA Council, from left to right: Harley Wood, Olin Eggen, Ben Gascoigne, Donald Mugglestone, Bob Shobbrook, Ron Giovanelli, Steve Smerd, Paul Wild and John Harris. Absent are Kevin Sheridan and John Carver. Courtesy CSIRO Radio Astronomy Image Archive.

The first ASA Council, from left to right: Harley Wood, Olin Eggen, Ben Gascoigne, Donald Mugglestone, Bob Shobbrook, Ron Giovanelli, Steve Smerd, Paul Wild and John Harris. Absent are Kevin Sheridan and John Carver. Courtesy CSIRO Radio Astronomy Image Archive.

After 50 years the Annual Scientific Meeting will be once again held at the University of Sydney and we are planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Astronomical Society of Australia by organising a special session dedicated to the history of the ASA.

In the meantime we encourage participants of the 51st Annual Scientific Meeting to read the publication by Nick Lomb on the formation of the Society. The article can be accessed either via the Historical Records of Australian Science or via the University of Southern Queensland preprint server.