VicWater wish to advise that due to ongoing lockdowns in both NSW and Victoria we are unable to proceed with the VicWater Annual Conference as scheduled 8 – 10 September 2021. We have decided to postpone the event to 10 – 11 February 2022 to provide the best possible chance of proceeding in person.
We did consider the option of converting the conference to a completely virtual event, and while still very valuable, a streamed conference does not support the very interactive style of event that we have planned. If the event was streamed it is likely we would need to cancel the moderated debate and interactive panel and sessions.
This decision has not been taken lightly and we are very disappointed that we cannot proceed as planned. However, it is my firm belief that an in-person conference will deliver the best possible experience for our sector, and it is this reasoning that informs our decision.
A February event provides the best chance of a successful conference, enjoyed at full capacity. The current capacity limits of one person per four square metre does not allow for a full conference experience, and severely compromises networking opportunities, which are such an important and valuable aspect of attending a conference in person.
Our keynote speaker, Dr Norman Swan, is Sydney-based and many of our delegates are based in regional Victoria. With travel restrictions in place in NSW and Victoria, and coronavirus prevalent in the community, it is not fair or reasonable to expect delegates and speakers to travel to Melbourne at this unpredictable time. Our program will remain unchanged, and we are very excited by the range and calibre of speakers we have planned. It is certain to be a dynamic and thought-provoking event, made all the better by all attendees being able to collaborate in person if that is their choice.
We are aware that many people have already purchased their tickets and booked accommodation at The Langham. These bookings remain unchanged and will be carried over to the new date. If you are unable to attend on the new dates, a full refund will be issued to you on request.
Thank you for your understanding, around this very difficult decision. I am confident that starting the new year with such an exciting event, having the opportunity to come together for rigorous discussion, to hear intelligent and knowledgeable experts deliver their insights, and to share a drink and a meal, will be a great thing for the Victorian water sector.
If you have any questions, please get in touch by email [email protected] or by phone.