David Purnell, Yearly Meeting Planning Committee.


Arscott House

Arscott House

In January 2013 Yearly Meeting will be held in Canberra, hosted by Canberra Regional Meeting. We look forward to welcoming you at the beginning of our centenary year as the capital city of Australia.

The University of Canberra in Belconnen will be the venue, from Saturday 5th to Saturday 12th January. Friends will be encouraged to arrive on the afternoon of 5th and depart after lunch on 12th January. The University has grown rapidly in recent years and now has around 13,000 students during the academic year. It is located 8kms to the north-west of Civic Centre in Canberra, near Lake Ginninderra and the Belconnen Town Centre. Parking should be readily available at that time of year, and cycle paths are nearby. Frequent bus services travel between the University and Civic Centre.

Most activities each day will be held at the conference centre (Building 2) of the University, which is close to the main Refectory area and next to a large courtyard with grass, shrubs and trees in profusion. This will allow for outdoor use when desired or needed. There will be space for an art exhibition in the conference centre. The Backhouse Lecture by Jocelyn Bell Burnell will be given in the large lecture theatre in the conference centre.

The main accommodation offered will be at a residential college called Arscott House run by the Students’ Association and situated on Aikman Drive, near Lake Ginninderra, on the western edge of the campus. Single rooms will be available there, with some flexibility for small children to share a room with a parent. The cost is expected to be $54 a day bed and breakfast, with linen supplied. There is an early deadline (1 September) for confirming bookings at Arscott House.

The Canberra Motor Village in Dryandra St, Lyneham (4.5kms from the University of Canberra) offers cabins which will accommodate several people, from around $130 a night (3 people). Caravan sites with power cost $35 a night, and tents on unpowered sites $25 a night. Early bookings are essential for that time of year. Go to www.canberravillage.com.au . Billeting options will be explored and made known later. The nearest hotel is the Quality Inn in Benjamin Way, Belconnen, and the standard single room rate there is around $130 a night.

Specific plans will be made for the children and Junior Young Friends during the week. We expect that Young Friends will also be closely involved. There will be provision for extended free time and/or outings one afternoon during the week. Time will be allocated for Share and Tell sessions.

Catering for lunch and dinner will be arranged with the Refectory at the University, and will allow for a range of diets to be covered. Breakfasts will be available as part of the accommodation at Arscott House. Morning and afternoon teas will be served by our volunteers in the conference centre.

Summer School will focus on the theme of achieving a peaceful and sustainable Australia. The Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee (QPLC) and YM Earthcare Committee will organise the Summer School, as they are preparing a blueprint for Australian Friends to consider and adopt at Yearly Meeting. Details of the draft blueprint will be circulated with Documents in Advance. The committees welcome creative contributions to the overall theme, and invite anyone willing to lead a session on a particular aspect to contact the conveners – Brian Turner at: brianturner@netspeed,com.au or Vidya at Vidya.sutton@finance.gov.au.

Friends are asked to bear several points in mind:

The booking requirements for Arscott House mean that we will need definite numbers by the beginning of September. Registration arrangements will take this into account, and will be sent to RM Clerks in the coming months.

The distance between Arscott House and the conference venue will mean a walk of around 10 to 15 minutes each way. Transport will be available for those needing it.

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