COVID: ICMJ National Conference postponed

COVID: ICMJ National Conference postponed

MEDIA RELEASE                                          Tuesday, 29 June 2021

The Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association (ICMJ) has been forced to postpone its flagship national conference and competition, which was due to be held next week in Wagga Wagga NSW, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The growing number of Covid-19 cases being detected around Australia has resulted in state border closures or movement limitations which will prevent many delegates reaching Wagga and hamper organisers’ efforts to deliver an effective training program.

ICMJ National President Peter McGilchrist said the committee was now investigating dates to hold the event later in the year, and in the meantime would be implementing digital activities based on its successful 2020 online campaign, including a virtual careers fair scheduled for August 10.

“The re-introduction of travel restrictions, social distancing and crowd size limits in recent days has unfortunately left ICMJ with little choice but to postpone next week’s event,” Dr McGilchrist said.

“The restrictions make it logistically impossible to deliver a comprehensive ICMJ experience that inspires and develops the next generation of meat industry leaders.

“As a result, we are now investigating alternative dates later in the year when hopefully the current outbreak will be under control and higher vaccination rates will enable ease of travel and movement.”

Delegates who had registered to attend the Wagga conference will be entitled to refunds, and the ICMJ organisers will be communicating with sponsors and careers fair exhibitors as it investigates new dates for the event.

ICMJ is a not-for-profit association which aims to provide an opportunity for students to learn and to build the pool of intelligent young meat industry representatives who will give the Australian meat industry the expertise and to compete internationally.

Its national conference and competition is held annually at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, where the top competitors are selected to represent Australia at events in the United States.

The event also features a careers expo which is used by close to 50 companies to recruit the best and brightest university graduates the industry has to offer.

The outbreak of Covid-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s event, with ICMJ moving instead to a digital delivery model – an experience which Dr McGilchrist said would now be drawn upon to set up interim educational and networking events until new dates have been set for the national conference.

“One of the highlights of ICMJ’s 2020 digital delivery program was our virtual careers expo, which connected people from around Australia in meaningful one-on-one discussions about career opportunities,” he said.

“It was so successful that we had already committed to keep this on the event on the ICMJ calendar so that career development is available to people who cannot attend ICMJ conferences in person.”


Media inquiries: Michael Thomson, CQUni, 0408 819 666