The 2016 Australian Skeptics National Convention will be held in Melbourne from November 25-27, and the organisers have just announced a raft of special features and events to augment what already promises to be a great event.
For those with limited time or budget, single-day tickets are now on offer. The schedule of speakers will soon be announced, which will help those coming on only one day to choose which day to attend.
The earliest event – preceding the dates for the Convention itself – will be a Skeptical Trivia Night on Thursday evening, November 24. More details on this are to be announced, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
On Friday, November 25, the Melbourne University Secular Society is organising a Skepticamp-type event at the University, which is also the venue for the Convention itself. Most Convention speakers have generously offered to participate in this event, which will be designed for students. Again, look out for more details.
The first official Convention event is the Meet & Greet at Bridie O’Reilly’s, 29 Sydney Road, Brunswick, from 6pm on Friday, November 25. This will be very informal, with finger-food supplied (although you’ll have to buy your own drinks). Free to any Convention and/or Convention Dinner attendee, the M&G will feature early registration for the Convention, cutting down on waiting in queues the next day. Bridie O’Reilly’s is close to public transport, being on a major tram line (the #19 for tram aficionados), and close to Jewell train station. Parking at the venue is limited, but free parking in nearby Park Street West is plentiful after 5pm.
The two-day Convention will be held at the Carrillo Gantner Theatre, part of the Sidney Myer Asia Centre at the University of Melbourne. Registration will commence at 8am on Saturday, November 26, for those not already registered at the Meet & Greet. The official opening will be at 9am, with a 5pm close. On Sunday, November 27, registration will be from 8.30am, again with a 5pm finish.
More details about parking, access, etc will be available soon on the website.
Dinner with the animals
The Annual Dinner will be held at Leopard Lodge, Melbourne Zoo on the evening of Saturday 26 November. This venue is about 10 minutes by car from the Carrillo Gantner Theatre or about 25 minutes by public transport.
However, the organisers will supply a coach to pick up those Dinner attendees who wish to use it, from Swanston Street near the CG Theatre to take them to Leopard Lodge, and to pick up from Leopard Lodge to return to Carlton and the CBD with a hotel drop-off run. The current plan is to have two pickups for the Zoo run, at 5.30 and 6.15pm. This will be a free service.
The Dinner will feature Melbourne-based performer Nicholas J Johnson as entertainer and MC. Nicholas is well-known to many in the Skeptical community.
Note that, to keep the Convention as affordable as possible, the organisers are not supplying lunch on either day, although tea and coffee will be available on arrival, and morning and afternoon break refreshments will be supplied. As the Carrillo Gantner Theatre is close to the gastronomic centre of Lygon Street, finding lunch should not be a problem.
Info on accommodation is available for those who have not already chosen their place to stay in Melbourne. Suggestions have been made on the basis of convenient access to Convention sites, comfort, and value for money. In most cases, the supplier is quoting a special Convention rate.
More details will be announced as the Convention rolls closer.