Minutes of ISFLA Annual General Meeting

Date: 21st July. 2005

Place: University of Sydney


Attendance: Ernest Akerejola Mehrangiz Anvarhaghighi, Graeme Baker, Anthony Baldry, Leila Barbara, Diana ben-Aaron, Wendy L. Bowcher, David Butt, Cecilia Colombi, Michael Cummings, Beverly Derewianka, Fang Yan, Robin Fawcett, Folashade A. Frank, Carlos A.M. Gouveia, M.A.K. Halliday, Helen Jenkins, Shisheng Liu, Kristina Love, Annabelle Lukin, Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen, Bernard Mohan, Gillian Moss, Mick O’Donnell, Clare Painter, Uwe Helm Peterson, Louise Ravelli, Mary Schleppegrell, Mark Shum, Bradley Smith, Elke Teich, Paul Thibault, Tran Thi Hong Van, Kathryn Tuckwell, Peter R.R. White, Geoff Williams, Canzhong Wu, Lianrin Yang, Delu Zhang. 


Meeting declared open (Geoff Williams, ISFLA Chair) – 5:40pm

1. Apologies: F. Christie, R. Fahey, Guowen Huang, M. Tatsuki, H. Tebble, G. Tucker.


2. Minutes of the AGM, Kyoto, 2004.



3. Chair’s Report

Geoff Williams, the outgoing ISFLA Chair thanked everyone for their support over the past three years.  He emphasized that the committee had collaborated well.

An issue that he felt needed addressing by the new committee was that of the 10% of conference fees to be used for funding participants from developing countries.  In 2005, 13,000 AUD was used for this purpose.  Contributions from ASFLA and AMES helped to boost the overall money received.


Issues specifically related to the 10% fund are

·  the difficulty of pre-calculating how much is available

·  the difficulty of pre-calculating how much is available also presents a problem with regard to how much time participants from developing countries have for applying for visas. 

·  the possibility of using 10% from the previous year’s congress.  This would take the strain off planning committees as they would know from the start how much is available.

Geoff suggested that the 10% fund be an active topic of discussion for the new committee.

Geoff briefly mentioned that this year was the first year that funds from the Marilyn Mohan scholarship were used to fund a participant from a developing country.  This year’s participant was Sukdev Singh from India.  Geoff acknowledged the generous contribution by Bernard Mohan to create the Marilyn Mohan scholarship fund to make this possible.


4. Constitutional Amendments

1. a. delete ‘Immediate Past Chair’

b. insert ‘Immediate Past ISFLA Chair, the Immediate Past Congress Chair’


2. a. delete:

“…In addition, the Executive will maintain contact during the year dealing with any issues and/or emergencies that arise”

   b. insert:

“…In addition, the Committee will maintain contact during the year dealing with any issues and/or emergencies that arise”



5. Election of the Executive and Committee, 2005-2008

Bernard Mohan asked if there were any more nominations from the floor. 

Gillian Moss suggested that we have a representative from South America.  Geoff Williams suggested that this may not be presently constitutional, and therefore, may be best left for review by the new committee.

Mick O’Donnell suggested that the number of members of the committee was not necessarily fixed.  Mary Schleppegrell suggested that we add an ex-officio member from South America in view of the fact that the next conference will take place in Brazil. Robin Fawcett said that the up-coming congress chair was already on the committee, and that the new committee should consider a more permanent place for a representative from South America. Leila Barbara suggested that by the next AGM we could nominate a representative. Christian Matthiessen suggested that there were other regions that should also be considered, such as India and Nigeria.  It was generally agreed that the new committee should look into the matter.

Bernard Mohan again asked if there were any more nominations. No further nominations were offered.  Therefore, the following nominations were put forward:



Chair: Cecilia Colombi

Deputy Chair: Fang Yan

Membership Secretary: Mick O’Donnell

Recording Secretary: Wendy Bowcher

Treasurers:        Robin Fawcett (UK)

Mary Schleppegrell (nth America)

Bradley Smith (Australia)



Australia: Beverly Derewianka

North America: Michael Cummings

Germany: Elke Teich

Japan: Masa-aki Tatsuki

UK: Gordon Tucker

China: Guowen Huang


Leila Barbara moved that the nominations be accepted.

Michael Halliday seconded.


Motion Carried.


6. Report on the Current Congress

Geoff Williams reported on Jim Martin’s behalf.  The conference attracted over 200 participants with about 280 participants on Wednesday at the Language in Education day.  As for the conference funds, it appears there will be a surplus, particularly as one of the scholarship recipients (Andrea Va'zquez) had to withdraw.  Geoff suggested that the leftover funds could be used to invite additional scholars to the Brazil conference.


Fang Yan asked whether Jim or anyone else who had previously planned a conference could provide a list of problems and needs for those planning future conferences.  Geoff said that there will be a statement of income and expenditure that would be passed on to future conference organizers.  He said that there is a set of notes from Nan Fries and Mick’s notes which give some indication of a timeline for getting things done.


Kristina Love asked whether there was any way in which the Language in Education day could be evaluated in terms of its effectiveness for teachers.

Geoff said that he would raise this point with the committee.


Gillian Moss asked about the procedure for inviting scholarship recipients. Geoff said that a sub-committee of the congress organising committee had taken care of that.  Key people in certain regions were asked for nominations.  Also, the Marilyn Mohan Scholarship fund specifies regions, so this was also helpful in deciding regions. There were people from some regions who had expressed an interest in the fund.  Furthermore, some strategic actions, consultations, and expressions by local committee members about who could be invited were considered.

Robin said that at the conference he organized they made a general invitation so that anyone could apply and the committee assessed the applications. Geoff said that last year only men were invited, so the committee was conscious this year of ensuring a gender balance.


7. Treasurers’ Reports

Three accounts are maintained by ISFLA.  These accounts have no connection with any local association accounts.

a. Australia – see attached report

b. Europe – see attached report

c. North America – approximately 2,000CD is in the account and is available for the committee to use.


8. Future Congresses

a. 2006, Sao Paulo

Leila Barbara gave the conference dates as: 10th July – 17th July, with an institute 3 days before and 3 days after the conference.

She welcomed all international guests to attend the conference.  She also reported that scholars in Brazil hope to launch a translation of IFG at the conference.


b. 2007, Odense

Uwe Helm Peterson reported on the progress of the conference to be held in Odense.  Planned dates are: July 16th to July 20th.

There will be a summer school before the conference.  The working Theme of the conference is SFL in Use.


c. 2008 Beijing

Fang Yan reported on the progress of the conference to be held in China at Tsinghua University, Beijing. Tentative dates are: 14th - 18th July – before the Olympic Games.  There will be a pre-conference institute.  The theme of the conference is yet to be decided.  These matters will be discussed at the Chinese National Functional Linguistics Conference in Kaifeng on 8th – 10th October this year (2005).  An international committee will be set up and a homepage for the conference will be set up at the end of 2005.


d. 2009, Sydney (Macquarie University)

Dates yet to be decided, but probably around the middle of July.


e. 2010, (North America)

May be at University of British Columbia.

Michael Cummings moved that the 2010 conference be in Vancouver.  This was seconded by Bernard Mohan and carried.


9. The Marilyn Mohan Scholarship Fund (Kathryn Tuckwell, Geoff Williams)

Kathryn Tuckwell reported that the first disbursement of 1,000AUD from this fund had been made and that as of June 23rd 2005 the balance is 9,712.03AUD.


10. The Nottingham Series (Geoff Thompson/Geoff Williams)

Geoff Williams reported on behalf of Geoff Thompson.

The Nottingham monographs and Occasional Papers and other materials are now housed at the University of Liverpool.  Geoff Thompson is organizing staff to help out with sorting out the materials and is hoping to digitalise some materials as well as to provide credit card facilities for purchases.

Geoff thanked Mick O’Donnell for bringing the pre-ordered stock to the conference for conference participants to pick up.

Order forms for the Nottingham series are at the front desk and that these should be forwarded to Geoff Thompson at Liverpool.


11. Reports from regional and National Associations and Conference

Time was running short so the AGM only heard from two regional representatives.  Mehrangiz Anvarhaghighi was formally thanked for her role in the formation of an Iranian SFL association.


Gillian Moss agreed to write a report on the Latin American association and distribute it via email.


12. Conference Publications (Christian Matthiessen)

Christian Matthiessen reported that proceedings from the Computational Systemic Functional Grammar Conference would be published on-line.

Some suggestions regarding the mechanisms for publications arising from the conference need to be considered by the new committee as there is a recent trend for some institutions to only allow scholars to participate if there is a possibility of a publication.


13. Miscellanea

Geoff thanked Mick O’Donnell for his work in keeping the ISFLA website up to date.

Geoff extended best wishes to the new committee.


Meeting closed at 6:40pm.


These minutes respectfully submitted by Wendy L. Bowcher. (August, 2005)

APPENDIX:  Report on SFL Development in
China (Fang Yan)