16th March 2020
ACS Members, Customers and Stakeholders
I wanted to provide an update to all members on further precautions and actions being undertaken in light of new developments in response to the changing situation of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. ACS announced on 16th March that we saw two important areas where we felt we could contribute to flattening the infection curve and spreading of the virus:
- To limit the potential for the virus to spread so that the most vulnerable in our communities have the best access to Australia’s world leading health system; and
- To support small to medium businesses with advice that optimises working from home arrangements across all industries to minimise contagion and protect Australian jobs.
This meant that as of close of business that same day, Monday 16th March through to the end of Easter Tuesday 14th April, ACS announced to members that we would be:
- Closing all our Technology and Innovation Hubs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to all members and visitors; and
- Cancelling planned ACS physical events for members and guests through until Easter, with further information is being worked through for virtual events to continue.
We have continued to monitor the situation and update our advice and response as required. This has included testing of ACS’ business continuity plans with ACS staff testing working from home arrangements and evaluation and assessment of these arrangements. As you’re aware, since then the Australia Government and State and Territory Governments have announced further measures. ACS has updated our response by:
- Having ACS staff work from home from Friday 20th March and closing the Technology and Innovation Hubs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and ACS Offices in Darwin, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra;
- Cancelling all events until 30th June and developing a weekly virtual professional development series until 30th June;
- Assessing all major events planned until 31st December, making alternative arrangements to reschedule these in the first half of the 2021 calendar year; and
- Accelerating the development of high-impact initiatives, products and services that will help ACS members during this uncertain and difficult time. In the short term these will be designed to provide our members with some immediate relief and in the longer term to assist ACS members to be recognised as the economy begins to recover.
We remain committed to ensuring that we do our part to ensure the current Australian COVID-19 trend flattens but also to delivering value for ACS members. ACS will continue to monitor the situation and update our advice and our response as appropriate. In the coming days ACS will be making a series of announcements of new initiatives products and services for our members.
Dr Ian Opperman Andrew Johnson
President Past Chief Executive Officer