AESA History

Problems amongst Eisteddfodau had been gathering momentum for some time.

On July 18th 1992 a conference initiated by the then President of Royal South Street Society, Mr Ron Harrington, resulted in a gathering representing some twelve Eisteddfod Societies for discussion.

Issues including Copyright, Adjudicators, Crits, Accompanist Fees and Volunteers were raised and the current position was presented by Dr Tony Cole of Ballarat including the legal position.

Many delegates felt they were being ‘left in the wilderness’ because of the scarcity of information on so many aspects of conducting an Eisteddfod.

It was at this juncture that Mr Bryant Lock (Mt Gambier) moved and Mr Ray Connell (Geelong) seconded that we form an Association of Eisteddfod Societies and a meeting was called for February 13th 1993.

At this meeting a need for a Constitution or Statement of Intent was discussed with several written proposals circulated. Strongly indicated by delegates that although informality was desirable, the Incorporation of the Association was vital, the exchange of ideas between Societies be encouraged but the Autonomy of each individual Eisteddfodau was imperative.

The name of the organisation was to be ‘The Association of Eisteddfod Societies of Australia Inc’

Aims of the Association will be to foster interaction between Societies and to keep them informed of their obligations under ever changing legal requirements. Societies in close proximity will be encouraged to liaise between each other to prevent clashes of competition dates, to promote an air of co-operation rather than competition between Societies and at twice yearly National meetings to create a forum for discussion amongst members.

Two meetings a year would be held at times that were outside of the competition times of the majority of members and these meeting to be hosted by Society members throughout the country.

Steps were then taken for the Secretary to look into Incorporation, Copyright, Insurance, O H & S and any other problems raised from time to time by member Societies.

To date progress has been made in the matters of Copyright, Insurance and Volunteers.

Membership has steadily increased. Each time a meeting held in February (AGM) and November at various locations brings together a different set of member Societies and over the past thirteen years many valuable contacts have been made and friendships formed. With Eisteddfod Committees ever changing the Association, for a small annual fee, brings up ‘up to speed’ the new people engaged in the Eisteddfodau, the nurseries of tomorrow’s professional entertainers.