After a challenging summer overshadowed by the bushfires that ravaged so much of Australia, we’ve arrived in Autumn, only for coronavirus to occupy our every waking moment. As I write, clubs and facilities in Australia and New Zealand remain operational, along with most other businesses, but the speed at which the situation is evolving means that this is by no means a certainty for the days and weeks ahead.

While businesses remain open it can be difficult knowing how best to respond: we don’t want our people-facing businesses to be drastically impacted, but we must appreciate the valid concerns of clients, members and staff. Reassurances that you are strictly adhering to government recommendations pertaining to hygiene and social distancing may help ease concerns to some degree, but there is no doubt that we will all feel huge repercussions, both personally and professionally. We must put health and safety first, and, if we find ourselves unable to go about business as usual, we can at least use the enforced downtime to communicate with and support our members and clients, and to work on, if not in, our businesses.

The Autumn 2020 issue of Network magazine features a number of articles from industry leaders who were due to present at this year’s FILEX Convention, which was scheduled to take place in Sydney this May. As with other large gatherings, the event has been postponed due to the coronavirus. As the previous operators of the convention, we know first-hand how much blood, sweat and tears go into pulling this remarkable event together, so we send our best wishes to the FILEX team and hope that we are all able to congregate and celebrate our industry at a later date.

These will be the most challenging times many of us have faced, but we will get through this: not unscathed, and quite possibly changed in the way we operate, but we are a resilient industry and brighter days will follow.


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