The Energy Breakthrough Management Group made the decision Monday (02/08/2021) to cancel the 2021 Maryborough Energy Breakthrough Festival, due to the ongoing health risks of COVID-19 and their impact on public events. The event was due to be held from the 17th to 21st November 2021.
Central Goldfields Shire Councillor and Energy Breakthrough Management Group Chairperson Liesbeth Long said “the safety of participants, visitors, volunteers and local Maryborough residents was paramount in making the decision”.
“We apologise for the disappointment this cancellation will cause, particularly as it is the second consecutive year that we have had to make this decision.”
The much-loved and highly recognised STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) festival attracts over 20,000 people, including 350 school teams, to Maryborough each November over five days. A range of possible scenarios were explored by the Group, but it was felt that holding a public event of such size brought with it too many health risks to all those involved.
In response to the decision, the Management Group are working with a number of Energy Breakthrough schools to consider smaller, COVIDsafe celebration events. Such events could be held before the end of the year as a way of providing an opportunity for students to collaborate.
Chair of Country Education Partnership, Helen Clarke expressed her disappointment at having to cancel the event in Maryborough.
“With existing funding from the Department of Education and Training, a solid partnership between Central Goldfields Shire Council and Country Education Partnership, and the commitment of our Sponsor Partners, we are confident this much loved, award-winning program will continue to provide a fantastic way for students to be involved in STEM related learning in 2021 and beyond”.
Cr Long indicated that the Management Group, which comprises representatives from Country Education Partnership, Central Goldfields Shire Council, Committee for Maryborough and local community, is upbeat about the future of the Maryborough Energy Breakthrough Festival and looking forward to the next 12 to 18 months.
“We are all looking positively towards the future and the development of a bigger and better Energy Breakthrough Festival in 2022. With a range of significant infrastructure
upgrades to Princes Park, funded by the State Government, both schools and the visiting public will enjoy a more dynamic festival experience.”