The Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) has confirmed that the Indo-Pacific’s leading forum for information sharing and debate on submarines and submarine matters – the SIA Conference – is set to go ahead this year.
Social distancing and other restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic mean the 10th Biennial SIA Conference will be distinctly different to the corresponding events in past years.
SIA executive director David Nicholls said, “Understandably, there has been a lot of uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the SIA has moved to clear this up. The SIA is pleased to announce that the 10th Biennial SIA Conference is set to take place as scheduled, on 16-18 November at the Hotel Realm in Canberra.”
The major change in 2020 is that this year’s conference will have a hybrid in-person/online format.
Despite the interrupted nature of planning for the conference, the program has brought together the following high-calibre speakers:
- Richard Marles MP – shadow minister for defence
- Professor Don Winter – chair, Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board
- Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, RAN – Chief of Navy
- Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Gregory Sammut AO, CSC, RAN – General Manager, Submarines, Capability, Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Department of Defence
- Rear Admiral David Goggins USN – Program Executive Officer for Submarines, US Navy
- Professor Tanya Monro – Chief Defence Scientist (Australia)
- Peter Jennings – executive director, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
- Innes Willox – chief executive, Australian Industry Group
This means a maximum of 100 people (in total) will be permitted to attend the event (to comply with current ACT government social distancing restrictions) and everyone else who wishes to attend but are unable to will be able to watch all conference presentations online (webinar format).
Nicholls added, “Naturally, the SIA will continue to monitor the public health environment for significant changes, but the conference is set to proceed, unless another major health threat emerges.”
Where possible, preference for in-person attendance at the conference will be given to delegates who register the earliest.