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A Brief History

By Dr. Keith Reeve (A founding member and past federal secretary of the society)

The Society’s roots lie in both New South Wales and Victoria. In New South Wales, it had its genesis in the Department of Ceramic Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) which had been established in the late 1950’s under the late Professor Eric McCartney. In 1961, a meeting was called by Professor McCartney of all Sydney ceramists interested in the possible formation of some kind of Ceramic Society. The keynote speaker at this meeting was the late Len Cane, whom I believe became Chairman of the ‘Ceramic Society of New South Wales’ which resulted from this meeting. This infant Society progressed rapidly. In 1962, its name was changed to ‘The Australian Ceramic Society’ and a decision was made to hold the First Australian Ceramic Conference at UNSW in that same year. In 1964, another bold decision was made, namely to incorporate the Society as a public company in New South Wales under a legally-binding Memorandum and Articles of Association. In 1965, the Society’s ‘flagship’ Journal – J. Aust. Ceram. Soc – was launched, and in 1966 the Second Australian Ceramic Conference was held, this time in Melbourne.

In Victoria, events were moving in parallel. Another Australian Ceramic Society, which had been inactive for some years, was reactivated in the early 1960s. This situation of two similar Societies could obviously not be allowed to continue for long, so discussions on amalgamation were begun. These culminated in the setting-up of a Federal Liaison Council (FLC) which first met in Sydney in November 1966. The FLC met twice-yearly until November 1970, when full amalgamation under the NSW Memorandum and Articles of Association was achieved. At the same time, the pre-existing logo of the Victorian-based Society was adopted for the newly-strengthened Society, and it remains our proudly-displayed logo to the present day.

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