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Dear colleagues.

After waiting and weighing up risks and options about holding this year’s conference I have decided that, as convenor, we should postpone the event. The facts are that international delegates and our two invited speakers would be not allowed access to Australia given the strict border controls likely to still be in place come September. Australian-based delegates, too, might have found it difficult to get a plane to Melbourne for the conference. All this meant that we would not get enough numbers to justify the venue costs. Another telling factor was that the social distancing requirements was likely to remain place make holding conference in relatively confines problematic.

I propose therefore to hold the conference in Melbourne around the same time next year. By then hopefully the virus will have disappeared or medical science discovered a vaccine for it. Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of HETSA so it would be imperative that we hold a conference to mark this event. I would intend to invite the two guest speakers I had arranged for this year to attend. Incidentally Professor Nobu Nakazawa informs me that the virus in Japan has postponed this year’s summer Olympics until next year and that this will disrupt his plans for hosting a joint HETSA/JHET conference there next year.

I am sorry to convey you this news but your safety and that of the general public is paramount.

Best wishes

Alex