History of the Society
In the late 1970’s a group of histotechnologists met with the objective of forming a study group. The aim was to assist those intending to sit the Histology Fellowship examination of the Australian Institute of Medical Technology (now the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists). This group met monthly at various laboratories throughout Sydney. As a result of the expansion of the group in June 1981, it saw the formation of the Histotechnology Group of NSW, which was open to all interested in Histotechnology. This extended group aimed to further the interests of all persons involved in Histotechnology.
Monthly meetings and discussions were held at the University of Sydney in the Veterinary Faculty under the chairmanship of Mr. Bruce Munro (now a life member of the group), the secretariat of Mrs Beverley Horsburgh and Ms Anna Vimlati as Treasurer. A regular newsletter was produced called Histograph, which was edited and published by Mr Alan Smith.
By September 1981 the first weekend workshop was held as a joint meeting between NSW and Victorian Histotechnologists. Over the next few years the group endeavoured to advance the histotechnologist as a recognised laboratory professional. We now have as members, scientists, technical officers and pathologists from all fields involved in Histotechnology.
The group continues to thrive and the membership represents a broad spectrum of histotechnologists and related specialties – pathologists, veterinary pathologists, biologists, botanists, pathology scientists, university lecturers, scientific companies, company representatives and trainees involved in post graduate studies for degrees or technical qualifications. Although the group is based in NSW it accepts membership from persons with any interest in Histotechnology from any region of Australasia, and at present boasts members from all states in Australia.
Over the past twelve years the group has held weekend seminars at various locations throughout NSW including Armidale (University of New England), Port Stephens, Dubbo (Western Plains Zoo), Albury-Wodonga (Clyde Cameron Campus), Thredbo Alpine Village, Bowral, Medlow Bath, Mudgee twice and Sydney twice, including the inaugural National Histotechnology Conference in 2003. These weekend seminars attract at least 100-120 registrants, with one third of these being interstate members or speakers.
Overseas speakers who have addressed the group have included: Dr Jules Elias and his wife Rene, Mr Lee Luna (two occasions), Mr Harry Cook, Mr John Bancroft, Mr Colin Read, Dr Richard Cartun, Dr Tillie Boon, Dr L Kok, Ms Florence Niggard. Australian guest speakers include, Dr Stuart Chew, Professor Tony Leung, Mr Jim Milios, Dr Richard Jaworski, Mr Leigh Windsor, Dr Michael Bilous, Dr Elisabeth Salisbury, Dr Karick’s, Mr Ron Rainbow, Mr Roy Ellis, Dr Jack Raisanen and Mr Peter Wong.
Over the years a wide range of topics have been covered and they include tissue artefacts, laboratory safety, staining techniques (including workshops), immunohistochemistry, plastic embedding, electron microscopy, microtomy, photography, waste disposal and recycling, forensic topics, astronomy, fishing, microscopy, pathology, veterinary topics, tissue processing, microwave staining and fixing, image analysis, neuropathology, fish biology, plant biology, serial sectioning and chemistry of dyes. Wet workshops in several of the above topics have been conducted with company support for the supply of materials. Throughout the years the trade have given great support to the group both through sponsorship and active participation in all our activities. Several company representatives have been committee members for many years and their input is always greatly appreciated.