Please see below update from the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous Australia to all groups regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
25th March 2020
IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL MEMBERS
UPDATE RE CORONAVIRUS IMPLICATIONS FOR AA AUSTRALIA
We are being made aware, daily, of group closures around the country and it is inevitable that, due to Government directives, many more will close. It is essential that we continue to operate our services, all of which are primarily set up to help the still suffering alcoholic, as well as providing a service to existing members. These services include providing literature, maintaining the national and service websites, maintaining the 1300 help line number, providing public liability insurance, etc.
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions:
WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF OUR GROUP HAS TO CLOSE?
The first thing you should do is ensure that your group meeting information is up to date on the national website. You can do this by accessing https://aa.org.au/meetings/report-a-meeting-change/ ; where you can complete and submit the form there so that our meeting list administrators can make the changes as your group requests.
You can set up an online group using a video conferencing service. Many groups have already done this.
You can keep in contact with other members via phone, email or by the many social media groups operated by members.
Please remember that, although meetings are extremely important, sometimes we just can’t get to them and must rely completely on our 12 Step programme. Many members, such as those in remote communities, do not have access to physical meetings at all. You may wish to consider joining the Loners Internationalists Meeting Australia, which could benefit you and others. We are sure all those Loners out there would appreciate hearing from you. For information on Loners just send an email to email@example.com Please be patient as the Secretary may be a bit overwhelmed right now.
HOW CAN WE CONTINUE TO CARRY THE MESSAGE TO THE STILL SUFFERING ALCOHOLIC?
Make sure any newcomers have lots of phone numbers to call.
Make sure you leave agreed 12th Step contact numbers with your local doctors and treatment facilities.
Our 1300 number will continue to operate as usual.
IF OUR GROUP IS STILL OPEN DO WE HAVE TO ABIDE BY GOVERNMENT INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING MEETING NUMBERS AND DISTANCING?
Absolutely yes! Group Office Bearers, you must ensure that your group complies with any government directions. These are not suggestions; they are mandatory requirements which will be enforced by police if necessary. Please keep yourself informed on restrictions by checking the government website www.health.gove.au regularly.
IS THE GENERAL SERVICE OFFICE CLOSED?
Yes and No!
Although staff are not operating out of the General Service Office at Arncliffe and you cannot visit until restrictions have been lifted, rest assured that the office staff are all busily working from home, so normal services will be provided. We seek your help by requesting that, where possible, you communicate with the office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
However, if you need to call the following telephone numbers apply:
For Literature enquiries/orders and insurance Certificates of Currency please ring:
0466 319 786
For all other enquiries, please ring:
0466 319 796
Please be patient, as there are a lot of members trying to call us right now.
If you are trying to find out if a meeting if open, your best bet is to check on our national website meetings list. You will find this on www.aa.org.au
SHOULD WE CONTINUE TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT OUR SERVICE OFFICES?
Most definitely. It will be difficult to provide services if donations decrease.
Donations can be made by:
- Cheque to 48 Firth Street, Arncliffe, NSW 2205. All mail will be redirected to a Post Office Box for the time being. Please make sure that you make any cheques payable to the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous Australia. All banks are now reluctant to accept third party name cheques.
- By direct deposit to
Account No: 009750529
Account Name: General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous Australia
- By using the Donate button on our national website.
Remember, any donations made by individuals are tax deductible.
Please, if you have any questions, or suggestions, just drop us an email. In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to read this important message. As recovering alcoholics we all face the same difficulties and concerns, but if we all pull together, AA will survive and come out even stronger.
Yours in Service
The General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous Australia
Download a copy of the letter below in Word format file