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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE FOR THE 2018 CONFERENCE

We are celebrating 88 years since the inception of the Queensland Society of Sugar Cane Technologists and 40 years since this society became the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists.  During that period Australia sugar industry has been recognised as leaders in the development of world best practice in both agricultural and manufacturing production.
 
As such the 40th annual ASSCT Conference will be held in Mackay from the 18th to 20th April 2018 at the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre.  The theme for the conference is “Platforms, Synergies and Innovation”. 
 
The 2018 conference will see the continuation of ‘Sugar week’ – a week of sugarcane-related activities. This will comprise a single industry information day (Tuesday 17th April, devoted to training, demonstration of new technologies and sharing of useful information) plus the conference (18th to 20th) which will remain the pinnacle of the week.  It is hoped that Sugar week will continue to develop, providing greater opportunity for industry technologists and industry personnel to interact in areas not directly related to the reporting of research results.  An information day exploits the opportunity provided by the gathering of leading technologists from around the country and promises to provide an even better value proposition for those attending the conference.  More information will be available on the ASSCT website at a later.
 
Our industry continues to face ongoing challenges and the conference theme of “Platforms, Synergies and Innovation” will provide delegates with an opportunity to engage on topics that will help us challenge the paradigm of our industry and providing a pathway to success.  Our master of ceremonies for the week is the well-known Scott Hillier (Creek to Coast).  One of the keynote speakers for the conference will be Professor Chris Greig.  Chris leads the University of Queensland Energy Initiative as well as the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation.  Chris will provide us an overview of the energy industry and insight into the future.  A second key note speaker will present the topic of “platform” technology in society and potentially in our industry.  We look forward to these presentations.

The Mackay and Whitsundays region on the central coast is surrounded by rich cane growing land supported by a large manufacturing sector.  The region has much to offer visitors, including the Great Barrier Reef and many island resorts. The Whitsundays region is recognised as an international destination of choice for tourists and welcomes visitors with open arms.  

An excellent Partner’s Program is being arranged by my wife Odette Van der Berg, together with her organising committee.  Partners will tour the attractions included in the Mackay and Whitsunday regions. Naturally there will be plenty of time for shopping with some added retail therapy.

My Executive and I look forward to welcoming members, conference visitors, sponsors, industry equipment exhibition participants, and accompanying partners to what promises to be a great ‘Sugar’ week. Look forward to seeing you there.
 

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS TO AUSTRALIA

All visitors to Australia must have a valid Visa before boarding their plane regardless of the length of stay.

For the best possible chance of obtaining a Visa to travel to Australia to attend our conference, you should:

1. Determine which visa you should apply for, more information available here.

2. Apply for your Visa at least 6-8 weeks before your intended date of travel to Australia (or 2 weeks for online applications) as Visa processing times may vary.

3. Consider Australia’s health and character requirements, which you will have to meet as part of the Visa application process.  More information available here.

4. If you are not from a eVisior or ETA eligible country, ensure you obtain a confirmation of your registration or a letter of invitation, to attach to your paper-based visa application.

Lodge paper-based Visa applications at the Australian Visa Office nearest to your current country of residence.