AA NSW Service Council Inc
BIRTHPLACE OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS IN AUSTRALIA
ABN: 30 477 528 898
Tel: (02) 8872 0235
AA WEEKLY MEETING GROUPS in NSW & COVID-19
This message gratefully acknowledges and borrows from the recent message issued by AA World Services, Inc.
Many members have sought guidance on whether AA Weekly Meeting Groups in NSW can or even should continue to have physical gatherings despite the increasing Coronavirus (COVID-19) “Social Distancing” restrictions. Your Service Council is a repository for all AA members and groups in NSW who are looking for the shared experience of the Fellowship. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, we are fully committed to continue to serve as a resource centre of shared experience to help navigate this unprecedented public health emergency.
AA does not have an authoritative body over our groups, it does not initiate rules or directives, as each AA group and entity is autonomous and decisions are made through its group conscience. Providing guidance on health issues is outside the scope of any AA body. For anyone experiencing a health and safety question, it is suggested that they contact the Australian or State health authorities for appropriate information. However, in response to the global outbreak, we do have some general experience regarding how some AA groups and members have responded.
Many building owners have required AA meetings to cease. Many groups have decided that whilst AA is recognised and respected by all levels of government as falling under “essential” health services, it is practically prohibitive to run AA “physical” meetings due to the unmanageable risks and severe possible consequences. They are following the “Social Distancing’’ guidelines, while at the same time maintaining their recovery and attending “digital” AA meetings. By way of digital meetings, groups can continue to focus on AA’s primary purpose: to carry its message of recovery to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Many groups have alerted local AA offices if they are temporarily not meeting in their regular space. Some groups have shared that they are utilising digital platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or conducting conference calls. AA groups are also creating contact lists, keeping in touch by phone, email or social media. Many local AA central/intergroup offices, and areas have added information to their websites about how to change a meeting format from “in-person” to a digital platform. AA in the digital age has certainly taken on a new meaning in these challenging times.
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