The conference weekend was originally planned for 2021 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the postponed date (11-13 March) approached it became clear that many of those who had registered would be unable to attend, mainly because of factors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The committee reluctantly dropped the full conference agenda and proceeded with a modified program for those who were able to attend at Hahndorf Resort and Adelaide Hills Convention Centre. They included persons with Cri du Chat, parents, grandparents, and other supporters from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
Most of those who had arrived by Friday afternoon gathered on the verandah of one of the Hahndorf resort cabins to share drinks, snacks, and relaxed conversation. Later a group went for dinner at Comida in Hahndorf village.
With the Saturday program reduced to a single afternoon discussion session and dinner, participants were free at other times to enjoy the resort facilities or explore the local area.
The afternoon session with refreshments featured Natalie Wade, founder and principal lawyer at Equality Lawyers in Adelaide. The practice specialises in matters related to disability and the lawyers operate out of their own experience of living with disabilities. In guiding a free flowing discussion, Natalie focused on ensuring long term support for persons with disabilities to live their best lives according to their needs and desires. There were plenty of questions and shared experiences to make the session practical.
Dinner at the onsite bistro included a series of appetisers, a selection of mains, and dessert. There was lively conversation and some fun and games.
Congratulations to the organising group – Sasha Arnoux, Carol Neal, and Julianne Menzies – and President, Sue Green on what was, despite the challenges of COVID-19, a very enjoyable and informative event for those who were able to attend. The embedded slideshow has some photographs of people engaged in the various activities.