Community & Lifestyle

NSW Rural Womens Gathering postponed until 2021

Terry Sim, May 18, 2020

NEW South Wales’ rural women have had to postpone a popular annual gathering for the first time in 27 years due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The NSW Rural Women’s Gathering was to be held at Forbes on 23-25 October 2020, but has now been postponed to 22-24 October 2021.

The Rural Women’s Network in consultation with the 2020 Forbes Rural Women’s Gathering committee decided to postpone the event due to restrictions and challenges around COVID-19.

Rural Women’s Network senior co-ordinator, Allison Priest, said this was the first time in the 27-year history of the event it had been postponed.

“This decision wasn’t made lightly and has been made in accordance with federal and state government restrictions around gatherings, with no known date for when these restrictions might be lifted.

“In coming to this decision, the social and financial impact of postponing the gathering was considered along with the need to protect rural communities from risk of transmission,” Ms Priest said.

However, The Forbes Rural Women’s Gathering committee remains operational and is still open to receiving expressions of interest from individuals, groups and organisations keen to host a tour or workshop or to participate in next year’s event.

Forbes Rural Women’s Gathering chairperson Di Gill said the postponement will be disappointing for many, but the organisers wanted to be able to gather safely and see Forbes and the central west region at its best.

“The committee had the opportunity to review all of the possible scenarios that could play out over the next six months, and agreed that we would prefer to provide early advice to local businesses and to our Gathering participants, many who have already made reservations and bookings.

“The committee is disappointed, but know that this is the best possible option for our rural people, including locals and visitors,” she said.

Communities who submitted a proposal to host the 2021 gathering have been contacted and advised of the changes. Rural Women’s Network will contact relevant communities next year when submissions open for the 2022 Gathering inviting them to update and re-submit their proposal should they wish to still host the event.

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