Commencement & Conferral and Booksale both cancelledMarch 17, 2020
I am writing to you with the sad news that we have had to cancel this year’s Commencement and Conferral Service, and this year’s Book Sale, in accordance with the new health directives that have been put in place by the Australian government.
Both these events have now been cancelled.
If you have made plans to join us either to celebrate the achievements of our graduates, or to support our new students, or to find some great bargains at the Book Sale, we are truly sorry that this decision will affect your plans.
As you are no doubt aware, the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared a COVID-19 pandemic, and in Australia many new health directives have been put into place to protect members of the community vulnerable to the virus, and to help slow its spread lest the health system be overwhelmed with people seeking treatment.
This includes the Australian government ban of mass gatherings of more than 500 people. Last year our Commencement and Conferral service attracted almost 500 people, and with sixty-four students due to graduate this year, the numbers of those attending would very likely place our service above this limit. So, too, our Book Sale attracts hundreds of people every year as they all crowd into confined spaces in search of their bargains.
This decision was taken in discussion with the Executive Committee of the Baptist Union of Western Australia, and in fact, our cancellations are part of a wider group of cancellations (the annual Pastors’ Retreat, the Fresh Conference, camps, etc.), all taken in the interest of the safety of our whole community, including all our staff and students, families and friends.
We continue to monitor this developing and unpredictable situation, with a commitment to act in accordance with the official health directives of our Commonwealth and State governments, and with the best interests of our Vose staff and students, and family and friends in view.
Because of the open-ended nature of the present health crisis, we find that we are unable to reschedule these events at this time, and the most likely scenario is that we will proceed with usual events in 2021. We hope to include all this year’s graduates in our next graduation service so that they can still celebrate in style, and in the company of their families and friends.
With respect to the Book Sale, because we have already filled our available storage space, Vose can no longer receive second-hand books, but will hold the stock we presently have in anticipation of next year’s Book Sale.
Again we are very sorry that we have had to make this decision, and trust that you understand that Vose, along with everyone else, is doing all we can in these unpredictable times, to serve and protect our community, and especially the most vulnerable. We also encourage you to keep yourself updated to on-going progression of COVID-19 by visiting the Department of Health website for more information.
Dr Michael O’Neil,