Keith Horwood Memorial Lecture

With the support of the Horwood family, the National Assembly unanimously endorsed the introduction of the Keith Horwood Memorial Lecture as a fitting perpetual tribute to the memory of one of its earliest supporters. The lecture was inaugurated at the 2001 National Conference, held in Canberra.Keith Horwood

Speakers who have delivered the Keith Horwood Memorial lecture to date include:

In 2015 the Keith Horwood Memorial Lecture will be presented by Jane Orton.

The following history was provided by Mr Chris Horwood, Keith’s eldest son:

“In October 1974, the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations launched an appeal in memory of its foundation Organising Secretary, Keith Horwood, who had died in May of that year. In 1975, the Executive of the Federation announced that the Federation would award a biennial scholarship, the Keith Horwood Memorial Scholarship, from the interest earned on the funds donated as a result of the appeal, some $10,000. At the outset, the interest on the capital provided an adequate award and, during the 80?s, the increasing interest rates compensated for the loss of income due to inflation.

“In the early 90?s with falling interest rates and rising inflation, it was obvious that the amount provided from the income of the Scholarship fund was no longer adequate to fund a reasonable award. A proposal was put to the Executive by the Horwood family to undertake efforts to increase the capital base of the scholarship fund so that a reasonable scholarship could be offered from the interest earned.

“With the support of the Executive, the family undertook investigations into ways in which the Scholarship fund could be increased and the most appropriate manner in which the fund could be administered. It soon became obvious that the critical issue in raising additional capital for the fund was the tax deductibility of donations. After extensive legal research, it was clear that the existing tax law did not allow deductibility for donations to funds such as the E K Horwood Scholarship.

“This left two alternatives available to the Federation – to keep awarding a miniscule amount as a scholarship which could only be of value to someone with other sources of funding to travel overseas, or to award one/two scholarships of suitable value to be useful in their own right, thus exhausting the resources of the scholarship fund in the manner originally intended. The Scholarship fund would then be closed and the Federation would pursue other methods of honouring the memory of its foundation Organising Secretary.

“The members of the Horwood family acknowledge with gratitude the efforts that have been made over the years by the Federation and its Executive in maintaining the spirit of the award over the past 25 years. Although it is sad that the award must now come to an end, we feel that it is the most appropriate way to move forward in the present circumstances. We wish the Federation all the best for the future and its ongoing efforts to perpetuate Keith’s memory.*

Chris Horwood.”
*Please Note:

With the support of the Horwood family, the National Assembly unanimously endorsed the introduction of the Keith Horwood Memorial Lecture as a fitting perpetual tribute to Keith’s memory. The lecture was inaugurated at the 2001 National Conference, held in Canberra, the speaker being then President-Elect, Dr Tony Liddicoat.

The three final scholarships were presented with special awards at the 2003 National Conference, in Brisbane.

The following is a speech given by Chris Horwood to the AFMLTA National Conference 10th July 2003.

This is the conclusion of a twenty-nine year journey that began one evening in late May 1974, when I received the phone call that announced my father, Keith’s, sudden and unexpected death. It was that untimely happening that provided the impetus for the series of events that have their culmination in tonight’s presentation.

If ever a man could be said to have gone out on top, it was Keith at that time. Recently appointed as Sub-Dean of the Arts Faculty and enjoying the widespread admiration and respect of his colleagues, he was looking forward to resuming his vigorous academic life on his return from sabbatical leave.

Fate decided otherwise, and the family lost a loved father and the language community a hard working advocate for continuing language teaching. It was to recognise Keith’s activities in the field of language study and his contribution to the foundation of the Federation, that the memorial scholarship was established in 1975. One of Keith’s firmly held beliefs was that the academic world should actively support all levels of language teaching. The Executive felt that the scholarship helped to achieve at least part of that vision.

The Federation was born from the need to provide a national co-ordinating body to deal with the French Government in planning and running the first “Stage” in Noumea in the 1960’s. Many of the meetings that lead to the establishment of the Federation were held at our home, so it can truly be said that the entire family was present at the birth of this infant organisation, now such a robust body. (It should be noted that the conception and birth of the Federation was lubricated by South Australia’s finest red wines!)

Over the years, there have been many worthy recipients of the scholarship, and I am sure that they have made, and continue to make, a valuable contribution to the modern language teaching field. However, the scholarship has for some time only been able to supplement other grants, and have been unable to provide sufficient funds to justify continuing the award.

With the wholehearted support of the Federation and its Executive, the family made strenuous attempts to find some way to raise the necessary capital to increase the value of the scholarship. However the various hurdles placed in our way made this task almost impossible. It was thus reluctantly decided that the scholarship fund should be wound up by making three final awards using the whole of the available balance. It is to make these presentations that family members are gathered among you tonight.

I would like to offer the family’s congratulations to the winners of these final scholarships. I hope that the award will assist them to expand their teaching horizons and to re-invigorate their goals. In closing, I would like to thank the Federation for this opportunity to address the Congress and to award these certificates recognising the final E K Horwood Memorial scholarships. I would also express the family’s appreciation to the Federation for its support during the years when we strove to raise the scholarship to a higher level.

The Keith Horwood Memorial Lecture now provides a continuing and fitting tribute to my father’s passion for the teaching of modern languages; and the foundation and administration of the Federation. It now provides a forum for the development and discussion of new concepts in the field.

I can only wish the Federation well in its efforts to maintain and expand the importance of teaching & learning of languages other than English. We must ensure that the vibrant & vital cultures that now exist in non-English speaking areas of the world are not submerged by the seemingly inevitable march of linguistic dominance.

Pedagogies for a plurilingual Australia

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