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Steadfast Convention falls victim to coronavirus

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The annual Steadfast Convention, due to take place in Perth from March 22, has been cancelled due to “ongoing concerns” about COVID-19.

The event, the largest in the Australian insurance industry calendar, was anticipating about 2000 attendees.

It was scheduled to take place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and keynote speakers included former foreign minister Julie Bishop, Hollard founder and CEO Richard Enthoven, and former Antarctic expedition leader Rachael Robertson.

“Over the past few weeks, we have been closely monitoring and evaluating the situation around COVID-19 to ensure we are taking reasonable measures to protect the health and wellbeing of Steadfast Convention attendees,” CEO Robert Kelly told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Due to ongoing concerns about the current outbreak of the coronavirus, Steadfast has made the difficult decision to cancel the Steadfast Convention.

“Our staff, delegates, sponsors, and suppliers are our top priority and we strongly believe this is the right decision given the evolving public health risks, travel concerns and other current circumstances.”

In a message to brokers Mr Kelly says the decision was “not taken lightly”.

“We understand that many Steadfast brokers will be disappointed with this news and look forward to the Steadfast Convention every year,” he said.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and as a sign of good faith we would like to reimburse all delegate tickets to the convention.”

Last week the Insurance Council of Australia cancelled its Annual Forum in Sydney, with the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters having already shelved this year’s Asian Claims Convention, scheduled to be held in Japan next month.

As insuranceNEWS.com.au has reported, many insurance companies have imposed travel bans and some are advising against attending large public gatherings.