Flood Damage Forces Volunteering Australia National Conference Changes
11 August 2011 at 11:55 am
Volunteering Australia has been forced to change the date and location of its National Conference due to flood-related problems affecting the Brisbane Convention Centre.
The flooding of the Brisbane River in January this year saw the greatest peacetime volunteering effort in Australian history, as volunteers and Not for Profit organisations responded to the crisis and subsequent cleanup and rebuilding efforts.
However, flood damage to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre has meant the centre will not be ready to host Volunteering Australia’s National Conference.
The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre notified Volunteering Australia that due to escalating and unforeseen circumstances resulting from the catastrophic Brisbane Floods they are no longer able to host the National Conference on Volunteering this year as the new Grey Street Plaza Level simply will not be ready on time.
Following an extensive search for an alternative venue within Queensland, the conference will now be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on the dates Monday 28th to Wednesday 30th November, 2011.
The first social function, Casual Drinks and Registration, will now be held on Sunday, 27th November.
Volunteering Australia CEO Cary Pedicini says they appreciate that this may cause some difficulties for delegates however conference organiser Eventcorp has negotiated an excellent range of accommodation options within the budget preference of delegates and subject to delegate confirmation they have transferred all existing bookings.
Volunteering Australia says the new venue, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) is a state of the art venue centrally located in Broadbeach. The Gold Coast has its own domestic airport at Coolangatta, 30 – 40 minutes south of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre with regular flights from all capital cities. Services are provided domestically by Virgin Blue and Jetstar airlines, and internationally through multiple airlines. Brisbane International Airport is located less than one hour’s drive from Broadbeach and there are many options for transport.
Volunteering Australia will release a revised program once they have received confirmation from all presenters that they are able to commit to the new dates. VA says the following keynote speakers, including two international keynote speakers, have already confirmed they will attend:
- Ms Donna Keher, Chief of the United Nations Volunteers Partnerships and Communications Division
- Dr. Ram A. Cnaan, University of Pennsylvania (USA)
- Mr Paul Ronalds, First Assistant Secretary, Office of Work and Family, Australian Government
- Ms Jan Owen AM, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Young Australians (FYA)
- Hon Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Social Inclusion
Cary Pedicini says he would like to thank conferences attendees in anticipation for their understanding and support.
He says he wishes to assure attendees that Volunteering Australia have exhausted every avenue available to them to reach this decision and now look forward to hosting a fantastic conference.
Earlybird registrations have have been extended until 31 August 2011.
Regular updates will be available on the Volunteering Australia website, www.volunteeringaustralia.org/conference.
As Official Media Partner, Pro Bono Australia will keep our readers up-to-date with all the news relating to the conference.
For more information and enquiries please contact Eventcorp on 07 3334 4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on registration and accomodation, visit http://www.eventcorp.info/index.php/volunteeringconference
Update: While the new Grey Street Plaza Level is not ready operational, the existing Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre is operating as normal.