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AFF Gathering #14 in CBR on 4 - 6 December 2020

Added to Calendar: 04-12-20, 05-12-20, 06-12-20

**This event is now fully booked! For those who've already registered, this thread contains important information & updates about the weekend. We look forward to seeing you soon.**

Canberra has been chosen as the AFF Annual Gathering destination for 2020, occurring over the weekend of the 4th to 6th December; this will be the second time the event has been held in the final month of the year. The average temperature range for December is 11.9ºC to 26.3ºC. The average rainfall is 53.2mm with 7 rainy days. It is Australia's eighth most populous city (as of June 2018) representing 1.83% of Australia.

Canberra has previously played host to an Annual Gathering, as the fifth city chosen in the fourth year (2011). On that occasion, 13 attendees made the journey. Canberra is not the first city to play host twice, with Melbourne previously taking that honour as the first (2008) and eighth (2014); Adelaide as the second (2008) and twelfth (2018); and more recently Sydney as the third (2009) and thirteenth (2019).

Helping to organise this year will be @support & @Mattg.

If you're attending, we recommend downloading the Check in CBR App. Due to COVID-19, please be mindful to practice good hygiene and social distancing where possible. If you are unwell, please do not attend.




Schedule

Here is the itinerary for the weekend:

Friday 4th December
To start the weekend, we'll be holding a dinner at Southern Cross Yacht Club, Yarralumla. You are welcome to arrive between 6.30pm-7.30pm for drinks at the bar, and dinner will be served from 7.30pm-9.30pm. There will be a fixed 3-course menu (we can account for dietary requirements), and the cost is $59 per person. Drinks will be available for purchase from the bar on the night.

Saturday 5th December - morning activities

Saturday Activity Option 1 - Parliament House tour

We'll meet at Parliament House and join a 30-minute public tour of the building. There is no cost for this activity - you'll just need to make your own transport arrangements to/from Parliament House. You must be at Parliament House by 10.15am, in preparation for the tour which will take place from 10.30-11am. We'll meet outside the main entrance, before the security checkpoint.

Saturday Activity Option 2 - visit to Australian War Memorial
Join other AFF members for a visit to Australian War Memorial. Please note that tours are not currently available, so you'll be visiting as a guest. There is no cost for this activity - you'll just need to make your own transport arrangements to/from Australian War Memorial. Meet outside the main entrance at 11.30am.

Saturday Activity Option 3 - Full-day winery tour
This will be a full-day winery tour with a maximum of 10 people, running from around 9.30am until approximately 3.30pm. You'll be picked up from Pepper's Gallery Hotel in Civic in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and visit 3 wineries in the Canberra region. The cost is $190/person and includes lunch at Olleyville as well as a professional guide for the day. Note: This tour includes visits to wineries in NSW and it is recommended that you eat breakfast before joining the tour.

Saturday 5th December - evening
On Saturday evening, we'll be holding a dinner at Kingston Hotel. Before the dinner, there will be an optional one-hour Frequent Flyer Points Masterclass + Q&A session hosted by AFF editor Matt Graham from 6-7pm. This event is sponsored by Frequent Flyer Solutions and attendance is free, but you'll need to register.

After this, the main dinner will commence at 7.15pm. There will be a guest speaker at this dinner. Members will be able to order and pay for food & drinks on the night - no pre-payment is required.

Sunday 6th December
On Sunday we're offering a sightseeing tour to some of Canberra's best outdoor spots.

Sunday Tour - Mt Ainslie, Lanyon Homestead & Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Departing from Pepper's Hotel at 9.45am on Sunday morning, we'll visit Mt Ainslie for panoramic views over Canberra before heading to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the south of Canberra, where you'll see some of the local wildlife including koalas and we'll stop for a short walk. Along the way, we'll visit Lanyon Homestead for a homestead heritage tour and lunch at the Barracks Café. We'll return to the airport by 4.45pm & the city at around 5pm. The cost is $80/person excluding lunch. This tour will remain entirely within the ACT and we recommend bringing a bottle of water with you.
 
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RooFlyer

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It has been announced today the Australia & India will be playing a One day cricket match on Fri 4th Dec & a T20 match on Sun 6th Dec at Manuka Oval , so those that haven't booked accomodation , might be advised to get in quick before prices go up. I have just booked Rydges.

Great message! I need to book an extra night but had been slack. Now extended my Ovolo Nishi by a night. Same price as when I originally booked through Qantas Hotels, ages ago - $190/night.
 

kpc

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Not sure if I can make this at this stage but i have made a flexible booking at the Novotel at $145 pn with 12% cashback via booking.com and cashrewards.

Saturday 5th December - evening
On Saturday evening, we'll be holding a dinner at Kingston Hotel. Before the dinner, there will be an optional one-hour Frequent Flyer Points Masterclass + Q&A hosted by Matt Graham from 6-7pm. This event is sponsored by Frequent Flyer Solutions and attendance is free, but you'll need to register.

After this, the main dinner will commence around 7.15pm. We hope to have a guest speaker at this dinner. Members will be able to order and pay for food & drinks on the night - no pre-payment is required. But you will need to register as there is a limit of 31 people.

Pleae note: The Saturday dinner is now fully booked.
Will there be more spots opening up?
 
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Mattg

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Not sure if I can make this at this stage but i have made a flexible booking at the Novotel at $145 pn with 12% cashback via booking.com and cashrewards.

Will there be more spots opening up?

It's possible that more spots will become available for the Saturday dinner (e.g. if some people can't come and/or the border to Victoria remains closed), but to be fully transparent with you, there are currently 8 people already on the waitlist.

If there are any changes to the COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT between now and 5 December, we would be able to increase capacity. The limit is purely due to the 4-square-metre rule which the venue has to follow under the current government restrictions. I realise it's not an ideal situation.

If there are significantly more people that want to come than there are places available in the private function area (as seems to be the case), I will consider booking another table in the neigbouring restaurant area. We unfortunately won't be able to have people mingling between the two areas once the dinner starts, and everyone needs to be seated due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but that would allow more people to at least come along.

I'm open to all options and will try to accommodate as many people as we're able to. And the restrictions could change at any time. So if you are interested in attending and haven't yet registered, please do so.
 

knagelli

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It is fully flexible until 24 hours before hand but I would probably like to give them at least a weeks notice. I will not cancel this one until I hear from you then. If I haven't heard by the 25th November I will cancel

Thanks @VPS ; Appreciate that.

I will be able to confirm after the next announcement for Metro Melbourne on Nov 8th.
 
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Mattg

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Much to my surprise, it looks like those in WA might be able to come after all!

Western Australians might not be able to attend the winery tour as this is in NSW. But the remaining activities are all within the ACT.

Good news for @oz_mark, @Glider_ and possibly @JohnM :)
 

Glider_

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Just checking flight prices... ooof! $1k return for QF Y red-e deals. Quick, what's the sweet spot on AA miles right now? :)


...double oof, no reward seats via AA anyway.
 

JessicaTam

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Thanks @VPS ; Appreciate that.

I will be able to confirm after the next announcement for Metro Melbourne on Nov 8th.
Any announcement on Nov 8th will only relate to what we can do *in* Victoria. We have to wait for other states to announce what Victorians can do wrt them.
 

Lynda2475

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Any announcement on Nov 8th will only relate to what we can do *in* Victoria. We have to wait for other states to announce what Victorians can do wrt them.

Yesterday Gladys said once Victorian Ring of Steel is removed (not sure if that is 8th Nov), if Vic goes 2 weeks without any major community outbreaks NSW will open to all of Victoria. Once NSW is open to Vic, ACT will need to follow, as ther is no policing of the NSW/ACT border.

NSW unlike some other states doesnt require zero community cases, just low levels with controlled repsonses.
 
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Mattg

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Yesterday Gladys said once Victorian Ring of Steel is removed (not sure if that is 8th Nov), if Vic goes 2 weeks without any major community outbreaks NSW will open to all of Victoria. Once NSW is open to Vic, ACT will need to follow, as ther is no policing of the NSW/ACT border.

NSW unlike some other states doesnt require zero community cases, just low levels with controlled repsonses.

I will need to confirm final numbers for the gathering by 26 November, so this doesn't give much of a margin, but it does at least give a little bit!

My fingers remain crossed.
 

knagelli

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Any announcement on Nov 8th will only relate to what we can do *in* Victoria. We have to wait for other states to announce what Victorians can do wrt them.
I was just being hopeful looking at low numbers , us victorians will be allowed to enter their state.

just keeping my fingers crossed that I am able to make it to this event.
 

JohnM

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Much to my surprise, it looks like those in WA might be able to come after all!

Western Australians might not be able to attend the winery tour as this is in NSW. But the remaining activities are all within the ACT.

Good news for @oz_mark, @Glider_ and possibly @JohnM :)

My original intention was to drive, but that won't be possible with NSW still terra coronus.
 

oz_mark

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My original intention was to drive, but that won't be possible with NSW still terra coronus.

Well, I was planning to fly over terra coronus, and now the wait is on the see if viable flight schedules appear. I guess the airlines will be working on it..
 

tuapekastar

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I had indicated I would like to attend, and that is still the case, but too much uncertainty for me re borders etc. I had planned on catching up with a friend who lives in CBR that weekend had I gone so it's not totally out of the question that I may get to CBR that weekend, and maybe drop in on something - if there is any function/session available to drop in on - but it is unlikely I'll get to CBR.
 

Major

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As the dinner is booked out there is not much point in attending. My Rydges room will probably be vacant
 

JohnM

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I will start watching for flights.

I have friends in CBR that I have been wanting to catch up with, and with whom I would stay.

If I come, it will likely be a last minute decision, partly (err... maybe largely) driven by whether I could get QF to release a J seat for a WP, and I would just catch up with AFF activities as best as possible.

Even though I'm desperate to get aboard a Flying Machine, I don't know that I could face a whY ride PER-CBR-PER in a B738. o_O

Right at the moment I'm also doing some unexpected work for my mate's agricultural research company whose Busselton-based operator was run into and badly hurt by an idiot driver while on his bike training for a triathlon - right on the cusp of the busy season. That's keeping me flat out and it's not yet clear when it is likely that will finish.

So, don't write me off just yet.
 

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