2017 congress: photos & comments

Australia-New Zealand Congress/Summer school – Brisbane (06 – 15 January 2017)

The 2017 Congress and Summer school was held at International House, 1/5 Rock St, St Lucia QLD 4067.

Our special guest was JoMo, a singer from Occitania, France, well known in the Esperanto community for his energetic and toe-tapping songs.

The program included:

• Esperanto classes in two levels
• Famous Australian author Trevor Steele, on the history & culture of Esperanto
• Evening of theatre and music
• Banquet
• Excursions
• Lectures about Esperanto and other topics
• Annual General Meeting

Download full program (285 KB PDF)

Esther Parris (Photo: Peter Johns)

Group photo (Photo: Peter Johns)

JoMo performing at Queen Street Mall

Heather Heldzingen blows bubbles

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Comments (translated from Esperanto):

General comments

  • I have to thank you for a very good conference. I can’t find anything to complain about.
  • The Brisbane congress was very good and pleasant, and I have made some new friends.
  • The conference was well organised, it had a relaxed atmosphere, and I was happy to sit and listen and soak up the language.
  • Many thanks for the summer school! It was my first congress, and I enjoyed it very much.
  • Thank you for the “familial” atmosphere and for the indulgence of the participants. They were very attentive to me – I spoke with almost everyone. I have participated in other national conferences, I have never found this atmosphere – keep it up.
  • Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and effort to entertain us, thank you!
  • I very much enjoyed participating in this congress; truly everything (food, accommodation, lectures…) pleased me.
  • The organisational abilities of the current re-elected board are outstanding, showing the value of friendly cooperative relations, especially, I think, through Skype.
  • I like to have foreigners at our congress.
  • Overall the atmosphere was excellent, and I, as an old person, enjoyed the presence of young people.
  • The AEA congress/summer school in Brisbane was indeed an excellent program.
  • Good organisation. There was no lack of chaos (but this was rare), but it was a lot of work for only a few people.
  • It was my first congress and I enjoyed it a lot!
  • It was good to meet new friends.
  • The weather was hot and humid but the ambience was very pleasant.


  • I am satisfied.
  • Very beautiful, suitable location… despite the weather.
  • Accommodation is good. I am glad the location was in nature (many trees, some birds and animals, and even mosquitoes).
  • Accommodation was very good.
  • Perfect, I like to be alone in the room with a partner close by.
  • Good location – I like International House.


  • I got a little fat in this congress. The food is very, very good!
  • Good food. (This is important.)
  • Totally good.
  • I was able to eat very good food; they paid attention to my allergy.
  • I did not complain about the provision of food. Why? Because I liked it all.
  • Food was good and cheap.
  • Very tasty and there was enough of it.
  • The food was delicious.
  • I liked the food because it was varied and one could always eat vegetarian and even vegan, if desired.
  • For the price – good.
  • Food was better and not as boring as I expected.


  • I would prefer to have a class between beginners and intermediate.
  • Hazel, the woman who taught us, is an excellent teacher – clear instructions and a good sense of humour.
  • I am very grateful for the opportunity to study with a great teacher, Franciska.
  • I had a good time learning in Hazel Green’s class. She is very kind and friendly, and we learned about many things. I am very pleased with what I’ve learned during a week and am very excited to continue to learn Esperanto.
  • During courses and lectures it would be useful for me to see and hear a few words (to help my understanding).
  • I very much liked to see the animated teaching method of Franciska through the window.

Historical presentations of Trevor Steele

  • A very good idea that we prepared lectures about the history of Esperanto, ourselves. I understand the beginning of the Movement better.
  • I participated in Trevor Steele’s course and it was very interesting, not only for foreigners but also for Australians.
  • It was good to hear personal experience about Esperanto history.
  • We all learned and enjoyed Trevor’s daily lectures.
  • Trevor talks about history beautifully, easily understood.
  • Trevor’s course is particularly suitable for contributing participants. Trevor himself, because of his extensive knowledge, could share with us in detail some very important events in the world.
  • Trevor’s course and his students were both enjoyable and informative.
  • Trevor’s wisdom was excellent for me.


  • Good choices for excursions, even for Queenslanders, because I don’t often have an opportunity to visit the botanic garden.
  • Very enjoyable outing with beautiful and interesting sights.
  • I think Lone Pine was very good for the foreigners but not for Australians. I highly enjoyed the botanical garden.
  • One day more would have been better, because I want to discover Australia, but I saw kangaroos, koalas, etc.

Concerts with JoMo

  • Dances with JoMo entertained me.
  • JoMo was excellent. The location was excellent (on the Mall).
  • It was a brilliant idea to bring JoMo.
  • The singing/concert made me happy.
  • Of course I very much enjoyed JoMo when he presented his concert.
  • I very much enjoyed the music of JoMo – full of life!
  • JoMo was spectacular! Excellent singer, who really energetically encouraged us.
  • The wonderful, friendly participation of JoMo, which hopefully will help to attract new students of Esperanto, was very valuable.
  • A high point of the congress was of course the concerts of JoMo.
  • JoMo made good entertainment and did energetic work – congratulations to him for his contribution.

Lectures and other items

  • Lectures were awesome; I learned quite a bit and particularly liked the lecture “Isms in art”.
  • I enjoyed the games evening of course.
  • I found the presentations informative and interesting because of the topics and the performances.
  • It was good to have very different lectures.
  • The lectures consisted of a mix of subjects, but also of course with a mixture of speaking abilities.
  • I really enjoyed the lectures, especially those of Jonathan, Andrew, Terry and Erlangga.
  • Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and effort to entertain us.
  • The diversity of the lectures really satisfied me.

Final comments and advice

  • Thanks to the board, which did serious work. The idea to invite JoMo was very good.
  • Thank you for the music and the songs, and for the organisation.
  • Have a congress in another part of Australia to visit!
  • I thank the board members for ten good days.
  • It would be helpful if we used a whiteboard for messages to all.
  • I heard about Esperanto a long time ago, but it was this congress which showed the way to Esperanto learning. I’m sure I’ll continue my passion for Esperanto. Thank you.
  • Maybe you could have some kind of email group like Yahoo Groups for answers to questions from participants.
  • Name badges should be in larger letters.
  • If you have a choir, they have to learn new popular songs, or not sing in public.
  • Come to the summer school in the future – be surprised!
  • I think the best suggestion that I can make is that for I and many others to attend the 2018 congress.
  • Keep using AEA funds to invite overseas experts to present, to enrich our country.
  • I will promote your congress.
  • I look forward to the upcoming congresses.
  • For 2018, I suggest bringing 20 dancers from the Paris Lido, with feathers. It would be a nice effect on the Mall.

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.

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.

[UPDATE: The 2018 congress actually happened in Bekasi, Indonesia.]

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.

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


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