Australian General Semantics Society Inc.


Saturday 14th August 2021
1pm Sydney time, by Zoom

Our Lovely Annual General Meeting

As below:

    * Minutes,
    * Secretary's Report,
    * President's Report.

Australian General Semantics Society Inc.
Promoting the educational-therapeutic discipline of General Semantics

1:00 pm 14th AUGUST, 2021, at various locations, via Zoom


1. Attendance: Jeanne, Pauline, David, Gavan, Robert and Jaison

2. Apologies: None

3. Minutes of the AGM from 2020 accepted as read from Pauline’s email as a true copy of the meeting.

4. Matters Arising from the Minutes - none.

5. Presentation of Reports:

a. President's Report – Robert went through the main points of his excellent President’s report which was accepted.

Robert brought up the topic of  Facebook and we discussed using it more as a marketing tool and increase our presence.  Pauline suggested we could join groups who might be interested in GS and post meeting notices and subject matter.  Robert talked about how many voluntary associations there are in Canberra and how we could use the lists of associations as a way of finding like-minded groups and sending them our meeting notices.

Robert showed some links to different GS online events we could attend, and said he will send us the emails.

b. Treasurer's Report – Gavan reported that we had $588.02 in the kitty, membership fees received were $100.00, IGS Fee was $141.46 and the incorporation fee was $47. 

c. Secretary's Report – Was accepted as read from Pauline’s email, with the Report attached - we currently have 101 members in the meetup group, which thankfully Tom now covers the cost for. Pauline realised she hadn’t been sending letters to new members and Robert said he would have a look,  and Pauline said as there are no physical meetings, the letters probably were not needed.

d. Public Officer's Report - David reported that he has submitted the necessary forms regarding last year’s AGM and would submit the one to the Fair Trading Office. He also looked after paying our IGS fees.  The Report was accepted and seconded.

6. Election of Office Bearers
a. President: Robert James
b. Vice-President: Jeanne James
c. Treasurer: Gavan Callaghan
d. Secretary: Pauline Callaghan
e. Public & Meeting Notification Officer: David Hewson

7. General Business

We decided to continue to hold meetings every month or two via zoom for the time being, with the next one scheduled for 18-09-2021. 

Jaison expressed interest in continuing with the group and in becoming a financial member.  Yay!

8. Next Annual General Meeting:  August 2022.

9. Meeting closed 1.35 pm.

Australian General Semantics Society Inc.
Promoting the educational-therapeutic discipline of General Semantics

Secretary’s Report

AGS has demonstrated the lateral thinking and adaptability of map/territory thinking during our second year of Covid, with the continuation of on-line zoom meetings which thankfully, enabled an expanded group of participants, which has added significantly to the interest and enjoyment of our meetings. We have been lucky enough to have Milton from Montreal, Jaison from Ohio, Tom and Gary from Melbourne, Robert and Jeanne from Canberra, David from Wollongong, some hobbits from Sydney and Dion from the Blue Mountains all attend our meetings in the past year.

As secretary, most of the written correspondence which used to be writing to new members of the AGS Meetup group, has thankfully been covered by Tom coming to our rescue and taking over ownership of the Meetup group. Perhaps I should keep an eye on new members, and write to them??

The AGS library is still available and full of excellent titles in the ante room at Bonnet Bay, so feel free to have a look at the list of titles on the AGS site, and we could post it to you if you were really keen to read it. Thanks also to Robert for keeping the site updated with meetings and events, and to David for so diligently keeping members updated with meeting information on the email list, Facebook and meetup, which makes my job as secretary, very, very easy.

Australian General Semantics Society Inc.
Promoting the educational-therapeutic discipline of General Semantics


President’s Report

Anything that I can say about the state of the world at this strange and dreadful time, sounds like a silly cliché from the news commentators.  Drought and dust, dreadful bushfires and smoke, hail and floods, global climate change, and now this rather tiresome pandemic!  So we must be diligent in our dating-and-indexing, when we form a concept of what is “a normal time”!  Who can say what the year ahead will bring?


Our “core membership” is steady, with traditional adherents loyally supporting the social network.  We’ve welcomed more people into our meetings since we’ve gone on-line. We could install a payment facility via TryBooking, for Membership and Events, if desired.

AGS Website and “Meetup” Sites

The AGS website develops apace, with extensive records of our activities, resources, and links to “the GS world”.  Although not particularly effective in attracting new members, it fulfils an important time-binding role in denoting our presence and sharing resources.

Meetup group has 101 members who show an “intentional” interest, but reluctant to show-up at AGS meetings.  They are informed of all coming events, and can now engage on-line.  We’ll see how we go with this new format!  Thank you Tom, for taking-on support for this facility.

AGS FaceBook page contains a long history of our activities, and people show interest in it.  But we need to greatly expand our social media presence, with some skilful, creative content management!


In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic “lockdowns” etc, we have not yet resumed our Bonnet Bay meetings, but have exploited the very timely technology of on-line meetings (via Zoom), and have become a little more competent in facilitating this!

On-line meetings are of course lacking in social intercourse, as we’re not able to exploit Gav & Pauline’s exquisite lunchies and Bonnet Bay views, which we do miss.  However, the on-line format opens up the possibility of global engagement – we’ve had people from Montreal, Ohio, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Blue Mountains all together at the same time.  Time zones can be tricky, but we’ve worked through it OK.

I wonder if we’ll muster the confidence to invite the New York folk into our virtual midst?

So there are exciting possibilities in terms of sharing our “virtual gatherings”, even if/when this pesky pandemic allows “real-life meetings” again.

In the last 12 months or so, our activities have included:

“Effective Communication – a General Semantics Perspective”,
“Unconscious Bias / Implicit Association”,
“BYO Favourite GS Formulation, for Discussion”,
“Dealing with Stress – What if our Life is Not all Sunshine and Roses”,
“Reaching Agreement – with General Semantics”,
“Managing the Media – with General Semantics”,
“Alternative Hypotheses – How we Make-up Theories”,
“The Brave New World of Aldus Huxley – a Champion of General Semantics!”

We shall have more seminars this year (2021), exploring and sharing our experiences and reflections on own little lives, the affairs of state, and global challenges. Details of these (and many other) events are available on our website:


Corporate Matters and Roles:
Sadly, we’re not able to thank Gavan and Pauline for their generous hospitality in hosting our seminars at Bonnet Bay over this last year, but we have certainly appreciated their cheerful and constructive presence “on the glass” at our on-line meetings. 

And we can certainly say “Thank you” to Pauline as loyal Secretary and Moderator of Debating, to Jeanne as Vice President and Family Affairs Consultant, to David for his steadfast attention to his role as Events Coordinator, AGS Public Officer and Senior Lecturer, and to Gav for acting as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and to everyone else for their support and encouragement. 

The AGS Library
We occasionally add new titles in our “Headquarters” collection at Bonnet Bay and distributed among members.  These are indexed on our website.  Thank you to Gav and Pauline for hosting this valuable facility.  It is indeed an unexpected treasure to encounter on the way to the loo.

We’ve had a number of discussions regarding the value/cost of keeping books, and how paper records might outlast the .doc and .jpg file formats for archival storage.  But none of us quite has the courage to get rid of them!

International Affiliations

We continue to be an active member of the international community, exchanging correspondence and publications with the Institute and with our scattered friends.

The (almost) regular arrival of “ETC – a Review of General Semantics” in our letterbox from across the seas, is a welcome resource of scholarly material. 

We have enjoyed the new opportunities to “participate on-line” in GS events around the world.  These include, for example:
The 68th AKML and Symposium in October 2020, including addresses by our friends Jaison Tremain and MiltonDawes,
IGS Secretary Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer’s address in the Italian Senate, for the UN 2020 Philosophy Day, on “Science without a Soul”,
The New York Society’s extraordinary on-line interactive forum “General Semantics and All That Jazz” in December,
And of course, we look forward to the 2021 GS Symposium coming up in October, with Siva Vaidhyanathan’s Alfred Korzybski Memorial LectureMaking Meaning through Facebook: A Semantic and Visual-Culture Tour through Social Media”.  This should be of particular interest to those of us who are still retarded in the understanding and usage of social media.

Thank you, AGS friends in Australia and around the world, for your support and commitment during the year.

Robert James,
AGS President 2020-21