Planning for ASAL2020 began in earnest in the week after ASAL2019 concluded in Perth in July 2019. JCU Cairns was getting ready to host the conference until COVID-19 restrictions required a reimagined format, which is the virtual format we present in the new program.
In reimagining ASAL2020 as a virtual conference, my JCU colleagues — Emma Maguire, Victoria Kuttainen, Claire Hansen, and Allison Craven — provided advice and encouragement that made this job less daunting. Thanks also to members of the ASAL Executive — especially Fiona Morrison, Julieanne Lamond, Brigid Rooney and Demelza Hall — who have helped to turn an imagined event into a reality.
Along with ASAL Postgrad reps, Matilda Grogan and Meghan McLean, ASAL ECR reps, Kate Noske and Joe Cummins, have designed a series of workshops that we hope will provide a foundation for future mentoring opportunities.
Special thanks goes to the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund for its ongoing sponsorship of ASAL activities, and to Nicola Evans for being a wonderful liaison between our two organisations.
Finally, thanks to all those keynotes and presenters who have taken a punt with me on the virtual format. ASAL and JCU look forward to providing a platform for you to present your work to a dynamic network of writers, critics, editors, teachers, and scholars. We wish you all the best, and look forward to seeing you at ASAL2020.
Roger Osborne, ASAL2020 Convenor and ASAL Treasurer.