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Free Language Festival in Erina (NSW Central Coast)

The Language Festival Association is hosting a free language festival on Saturday, 3 December, at Erina Fair.

Greg CooperThe purpose of this language festival is to promote awareness of language diversity, by providing “tasters” of multiple languages and cultures in a fun environment.

A highlight will be a fascinating presentation by Australian linguist, Dr Gregory Cooper. In the early 1980s Dr Cooper travelled to remote north-western Pakistan to study an as-yet unwritten language. Just by interacting directly with the native speakers, he was able to learn the language (Kalashamondr), create a system of writing for it and teach it to the Kalasha people, who are now recording and publishing their own stories and songs.

Also presented will be Esperanto, the world’s most successful international language. Apart from its role in neutral and equitable communication, Esperanto can also be useful as a “springboard language”: Because its simple rules have virtually no exceptions, and because its grammatical structure is always clear, starting with Esperanto can give one the confidence and solid grounding that are so important in language learning.

Some other languages to be presented at the festival include: Korean, Japanese, Farsi, German, French, Dutch, Lithuanian and Hindi.

The festival will be held at the Erina Centre, Erina Fair, from 12 noon to 5.30 pm.

For more information, visit languagefestival.org/cc.

Image: Dr Gregory Cooper, linguist

2016 tri-nation congress report

Tri-nation Esperanto congress and summerschool, Bandung, Indonesia : 23 – 28 Mar 2016

Jonny M sings during the congress

Jonny M kantas dum la kongreso

“Selamat Datang untuk congress Darby trunk negara pertama.
Welcome to the tri-nation Esperanto congress.”

With these words, the three national associations welcomed 101 participants, among them 40 foreigners.

When we (Australians, Indonesians and New Zealanders) decided to organise this tri-nation congress in January 2015 we hesitated and – of course – feared a flop. But ultimately we were able to harvest and enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

AEA and NZEA supported the congress financially and practically. At the same time IEA helped us attract some Esperanto speakers from Australia, who until now have not participated in national arrangements.

Coming from a country where the majority of Esperanto speakers are elderly, the large number of young, lively students here have given us more hope. Having three country associations organise the congress and foreigners attending from other countries, created a much more international atmosphere than just a national congress.

The program was very varied. There was a class for beginners and advanced learners, presentations about: volcanoes in Auckland, the landscape, flora and fauna in Australia. There were also various interesting lectures from the young Indonesians, the topics included orang-utans, coffee from Javapreanger, the history of gamelan and the publication of books in Indonesia. The young and energetic rap artist Jonny M became very popular among the young local and foreign people.

A great help was the fact that the local Bandung Esperanto group had strong links with the local Asian-African Conference Museum in the city. The opening ceremony took place there, and we also enjoyed the “Night at the Museum” on a rainy Saturday night.

South-East Asia does not abound with esperantists and this tri-nation congress could serve as a model for future events in this and other regions.

We were also very fortunate to have had two UEA committee members with us. Stefan MacGill led the 21st AMO seminar and Ŝlosilo (Lee Jungkee) constantly reminded us of the situation in Asia and especially in Southeast Asia and the importance of this congress.

We decided to hold the second tri-nation Esperanto congress in 2018. We hope to see you (again) in Bandung between the 28th March and 2nd April 2018.

Annual General Meeting (by Skype): 12 Dec 2015

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of AEA will be held on 12 December 2015 at 4:30 pm (Eastern summertime) by Skype. If you wish to take part in the meeting, please send your Skype name to the president, Sandor Horvath at sandorhorvath07 [at] gmail.com, by 11 December.

We have arranged it this way because our AGMs normally occur during congresses, but the next one will be in March 2016, in Indonesia.

Posted in AGM |

New forum for AEA

We are experimenting with a new system for online discussion, to replace the forum associated with the old website. Because that forum had very little activity at the end, we are starting with a very simple, free system (‘Muut’). If you are interested, sign up, have a look around and leave some comments, or even start some new topics.

There are currently 3 ‘channels’: Ĝenerala (for general discussion), Asocia (for discussion about AEA) and Lingva (for discussion about Esperanto itself).

Visit esperanto-aus on Muut now

Don’t forget, we already have a public Facebook group, plus there are numerous other Esperanto-related pages and groups on Facebook.

2015 congress: report and feedback

Australia-New Zealand Congress/Summer school – Melbourne (02 – 11 January 2015)

Ilia Dewi (Indonesia) & Teofilo Jesu Maria de Jesus (East Timor), during the excursion to St Kilda

Fifty people from seven countries participated in the joint Australian and New Zealand congress and summer school at International House, Melbourne University.

Because we really want to improve our relations with our neighbouring countries, we invited Ilia Dewi from Indonesia and Teofilo de Jesus from East Timor. Both represented their countries well.

“The congress was held in a pleasant atmosphere and our acute internal problems of the past few years certainly nearly disappeared into the darkness of history,” said Sandor Horvath, the current AEA president.

Our own Trevor Steele taught the experts about the Crusades, Richard Newsum led the intermediate level, and Ilia, our guest from Indonesia, taught the beginners.

Some of the outstanding presentations were the staging of the film 54 Days with subtitle in Esperanto, the Indonesian evening, and our first remote presentation, by Richard Delamore about Esperanto-TV.

We hope that our next congress will be a common, three-country (Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand) one during Easter 2016 in Bandung, Indonesia. Of course we will welcome visitors from all countries.

Chris Krageloh speaking about interlinguistics

More photos available

Feedback from the participants

Overall, the congress and summer school received positive comments from a number of people (“good”, “enjoyable”, “I learnt a lot”). The organisation of the event, including information on how to get there, was also praised. However, one respondent pointed out the need to attract more young people.

The venue also received positive comments, for its convenience (“everything in the one place”), accommodation, dining room, main program room, food and the friendly workers. One person appreciated the vegetarian options. However, one aspect of the venue that received most negative comments was the Wi-Fi: very difficult to connect (only four devices could be connected at once) and often very unreliable and slow.

The lessons were generally well received, and all three teachers praised. However four respondents in the intermediate class stated that they would have preferred a level between beginners and intermediate, with one expressing difficulty with the direct method. One respondent in the advanced class complained that bad pronunciation by some participants (which made it hard to understand the text) was not corrected.

A number of respondents praised the program (“a good mix of lectures”, “well organised”, “a good balance between excursions, lessons and individual presentations”). The excursions were described as “enjoyable” by three respondents, but two complained about the confusion with time-coordination between the “Ecological Melbourne” and “NGV” excursions. Two respondents suggested that there could be a better balance between Esperanto and English, and one suggested afternoon sessions for beginners or less experienced Esperantists. Other suggestions were:
• to place electives after dinner
• to have talks about Melbourne or Victoria, for those visiting the city
• to have an event for beginners at the same time as the AGM
• to organise a Google Hangout, so those not attending the congress could watch the lectures live from anywhere in the world, and so that we could have more lectures from non-attenders, such as Richard Delamore’s presentation.

One miscellaneous comment was a complaint about the disruption caused by photography within lessons, particularly when a flash was used.

The congress choir performing

Obituary: Keppel Earl Enderby (1926–2015)

Kep EnderbyOur esteemed and beloved Kep, former president of the UEA and AEA, died on 8 January. Due to his activity in the Esperanto movement, people all around the world are mourning.

Kep was born on 25 June 1926 in Dubbo NSW and attended the primary and high schools there. In 1944 the 18-year-old joined the Australian Air Force as trainee pilot (1944-45), and then also flew helicopters until his 60s. After World War II he studied law at the University of Sydney, and during 1950-54 at the University of London, where he later worked as a lawyer and a lecturer.

In 1951, as an amateur golfer, Kep participated in the British Open, and showed so much talent that he beat champions such as Kel Nagle and Norman Von Nida, played with such eminent people as Peter Thompson, and even for a time wondered whether to become a lawyer or professional golfer.

In 1955 he returned to Australia and practised law in Sydney. He moved to Canberra in the ’60s, from 1962 becoming a lecturer at the Australian National University (ANU). During the ’50s and ’60s, he was an active lawyer for civil rights; he helped establish the NSW Council for Civil Liberties – always a great passion of his. In 1970, in a by-election, he was elected Labor MP for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). In 1972 Prime Minister Gough Whitlam made him the first Minister for the ACT (later renamed Canberra) and the Northern Territory.

Kep quickly showed his ability, holding several ministries. He was responsible for Australian industry and later for justice. In February 1975 he was made Attorney General. He achieved much, including laws to decriminalise both abortion and homosexuality in the ACT, and laws to create no-fault divorce in Australia. According to colleagues, his parliamentary service was filled with distinction. He was widely respected in various political and jurist circles.

In 1975 the Labor Party lost the election and Kep returned to law. From 1982 until his retirement in 1992 he was a judge in the Supreme Court of NSW. Until 2000 he headed the Serious Offenders Review Council. He always strongly advocated for prisoners’ wellbeing, believing that up to 80% of the Australian prison population should be released; according to him, incarceration of most criminals was counterproductive. However, he not only applied the law correctly and justly, but also according to his conscience. He presided over the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NSW for 6 years. He and Dorothy ardently defended the right for someone to end their own life when it is no longer tolerable.

They moved from Canberra to Balmain, enjoying sailing, flights in light aircraft, reading and… an introduction to Esperanto. Kep’s uncle was a UEA delegate; here was the seed of the interest. Kep learnt Esperanto in 1987 with the help of an Australian diplomat and a staunch Esperantist, Ralph Harry. Of course, as a lifelong champion of human rights, civil liberties and the oppressed, Kep firmly believed that the international language, if spoken all over the world, would reduce conflict between people. No doubt many would consider this as romantic and quixotic. But the heart of Kep, as of Zamenhof, sought international harmony this way. Kep was also an avid reader of the works of the anarchist Prince Pyotr Kropotkin and fervently supported the Global Non-nationalist Association (Sennaciecan Asocion Tutmondan, or SAT).

Kep was president of AEA from 1992 to 1997, in which year he led the organisation of the 82nd World Esperanto Congress in Adelaide. The following year, 1998, he was elected president of UEA. He was a member of the Committee of UEA for four periods 1992-2004, as well as president of the English Legal Association 1996-2002. La Ondo de Esperanto (The Wave of Esperanto) made him Esperantist of the Year 1999. In 2004 he was elected a member of the Honorary Patrons’ Committee of UEA. Not surprisingly, having been a member of parliament, a lawyer and an ardent reader, Kep excelled in his speeches and articles.

Overall, a remarkable man. Farewell, Kep, a good-humoured, dedicated man, with an impertinent sense of humour and an unforgettable smile. Our deepest and sincere condolences to Dorothy and the Enderby family.

Vera Payne

Kep & Dorothy Enderby

Kep & Dorothy Enderby

Kep Enderby (left), 1996, Adelaide. Photo: Katalin Kovats

Kep Enderby (top-left) at the 90th birthday celebration of ex-PM Gough Whitlam

Condolences

Kep was an important leader of the Esperanto movement in Australia and the world, and a very good friend to many of us Esperantists. When I first met him in Toowoomba (he travelled often to support Esperanto in many states) I hardly spoke Esperanto and I was amazed that it was so easy to be friends with the president of AEA. I was proud also about his activity outside of Esperanto, defending human rights.

It was a touching experience to participate in the second Asian congress of Esperanto in Hanoi with many Australians, together with Kep. In 1972 Kep was a minister in the Australian government, which stopped the war against Vietnam. In 1999, during the congress, Vietnamese honoured Kep, the then president of UEA.

Kep and Dorothy will remain in historical stories and in our hearts.
Hazel Green

My first awareness of Esperanto was when I heard a radio interview with Kep Enderby on the ABC on a plane. He inspired me and convinced me of the value and idealism of Esperanto. After I told him about his conversion of me, he always regarded me as his special disciple.
Steven Pitney

Although I met Kep only a few times, I remember him as a clear-thinking, energetic, positive Esperantist. And I also have much sympathy for many of his other views (e.g. concerning human rights and Australian Aborigines) and the fact that he really tried to improve relations between UEA and SAT.
Sandor Horvath

As a politician Kep was able to travel for free to many congresses to represent Australia. Owing to his knowledge and capability he successfully wrote a constitution for radio 3ZZZ and convinced the management to accept Esperanto among over 70 community languages. He was a very kind gentleman.
Jennifer Bishop

I have never met Kep but I have heard some of his wonderful speeches and wonderful reports by him. Everyone at the Esperanto League of WA will join me in expressing my condolences.
Trish O’Connor