Congress Cancelled - FAQs

We know that the cancellation of the ASO 2020 Congress is disappointing for members, exhibitors, suppliers and industry professionals who were due to attend the event. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and there are two overriding concerns that caused us to make this decision. First is the duty of care we have to our delegates in relation to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Second is the Government announcement advising not to hold gatherings of 500 or more people to help stop the spread of the virus. Given the situation, the ASO had no choice but to cancel the event.

We appreciate that some ASO members will have questions following the cancellation of the ASO 2020 Congress. Please see below for some additional information.

Has the Congress been postponed or cancelled?

Unfortunately, the ASO 2020 Congress has been cancelled. The Congress is a large-scale event and it has been four years in the making. This is the first time in history that an ASO Congress has not proceeded as planned, but under these unusual and difficult circumstances, the ASO’s only option was to cancel. 

We all extend our sincere thanks to the Congress Organising Committee for their hard work in preparing what would have been an exceptional event in Cairns.

Why was it cancelled only a week before it was due to be held?

The situation regarding coronavirus has been extremely fluid. The ASO had been closely monitoring the situation for weeks in light of our Congress and was relying on information provided by Federal and State Government and health authorities. 

The ASO was prepared to proceed with the event so long as it was safe to do so based on government advice regarding public health and safety. 

The health and welfare of Congress delegates is paramount and as soon as the Government updated its information and advised against gatherings of more than 500 people (issued on Friday 13 March), we immediately followed this advice and cancelled the ASO 2020 Congress. 

We are working with the Congress organisers to now address all the issues that arise when cancelling an event such as the Congress. We will keep members updated. 

Will delegates be refunded for Congress registration fees?

Registration fees will be refunded, but we ask that you please bear with us as we had hundreds of registrations and it will take time for us to work through them. 

Some members have said they would like to donate the cost of their registration to the ASO or ASOFRE. This is of course is a decision for each individual member to make. Federal Council would like to express their sincere thanks to those members for their generosity. 

If I choose to donate to ASO or ASOFRE, how can I do this?

All Congress registered delegates will be refunded the full cost of their registration. Once you have received your refund, you can then choose to donate to the ASO or ASOFRE by making a direct bank transfer. Please send us an email at [email protected] and let us know if you would like to donate to ASO or ASOFRE and will then send you the banking details.

Will the ASO cover my accommodation fees?

If you booked your accommodation through the Congress website as part of your booking process, you will receive a full refund for any amounts paid to date. These refunds will be processed within the next 30 days, and we appreciate your patience while we work through this process. If you booked accommodation yourself, you need to contact your accommodation provider directly.

Will the ASO cover my Congress travel expenses?

No. Please contact the airline you booked with directly for information on cancellations/refunds/vouchers etc.

When will the AGM be held?

An email was sent to ASO members recently regarding the AGM. 

We will be postponing our proposed AGM meeting given COVID-19 restrictions. We have been speaking with the ACT regulator, Access Canberra, who has confirmed that as there are a number of associations in similar positions they need to relax their AGM requirements.

Under the circumstances, it could be some months yet before the AGM can be held. 

Can you webcast some of the lectures that were going to be presented at the Congress?

We are currently considering a number of options regarding what to do with the program that was developed for Cairns.    

My ASO committee/branch meeting was scheduled to be held at Congress. Has it been rescheduled?

It is up to each ASO committee and branch to decide whether to reschedule or go ahead using telephone conferencing etc. If you need assistance to organise this, please contact the ASO.  

If you are an ASO committee member and you are unsure about when your next meeting will be held, please contact your Committee Chair.

Will I be refunded for the Congress levy which I paid when I renewed my membership?

No. The ASO Congress levy is part of the yearly membership fees and compulsory for all members.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch via [email protected]