Bower Place is taking action on COVID-19. Read More

Close but Distant

When the pandemic hit early in 2020 plans initially ground to a halt and it soon became clear to the executive of the Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT) that our advertised conference in Perth would not proceed. All local professional development events were cancelled as were the regular meetings of the board. But as systems thinkers know, systems are living dynamic beings and very soon we were holding our regular meetings on-line and professional development events were offered to all members irrespective of postcode, through the same medium. To our delight and surprise numbers and enthusiasm swelled. Next, we addressed our conference which had already absorbed significant time and resources and decided we would learn from our COVID experiences and offer the best of both worlds. For the first time the conference will be held both literally and virtually with participants free to gather in Perth or attend in their own state on 9-10 SEPTEMBER 2021. Several State Representatives are working to offer parallel gatherings where participants can view presentations, including on-line keynote addresses and to submit abstracts for contributions that can be run from their home state and viewed around the country from the virtual room. States will also offer a social program, welcome drinks, and dinner to encourage family therapists to come together to share their virtual conference experience in ‘real life’. Our title, D_ISTANCES: GENERATIONAL IMPACTS OF DISPLACEMENT AND RESETTLEMENT was chosen well before the pandemic, yet touches one of the central themes of the past year. We have been both dislocated and distanced from our families, friends, colleagues and our old lives, yet, like many of the families with whom we work, we are finding our way forward

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