The English Association [London] was founded in 1906 by a group of English teachers and scholars concerned that English, then struggling for recognition as a subject in its own right, should be given due recognition in secondary and tertiary curricula.  Its broad aim was to create opportunities of co-operation between teachers of English at all levels and to promote in the community the knowledge and appreciation of English language and literature by holding conferences and lectures and publishing journals, books and leaflets.

The Sydney Branch of the association was founded in 1923 and became an independent incorporated association in 1994. Since its foundation, the English Association Sydney has supported creative writing, the study of literatures in English, and English as a discipline. Its journal Southerly has fostered Australian creative and critical writing since 1939 and the Association has always been keen to encourage a closer relationship between tertiary and secondary teachers of English. Our teachers’ conferences, at which leading academics and teachers deliver papers related to their fields of expertise, are renowned for their combination of intellectual rigour and practical engagement with teaching issues.

The objectives of the association, as set out in its constitution, are:

  • To promote the due recognition of English as an essential element in the national education and to help in maintaining the effectiveness of the language in both its spoken and written use
  • To discuss methods of teaching English and the correlation of school and university work
  • To encourage and facilitate advanced study in English and its literatures
  • To unite all those occupied with English studies or interested in the Arts; to bring teachers into contact with one another and with writers and readers who do not teach; to induce those who are not themselves engaged in teaching to use their influence in the promotion of knowledge of English and of its literatures as a means of intellectual progress
  • To encourage and facilitate advanced study of Australian literature
  • To encourage and promote Australian creative writing and criticism through the publication of a periodical literary journal entitled Southerly

Over the  years the Association has produced  many publications on authors and texts connected with the HSC English syllabus and a full list of these publications, copies of many of which are still available for sale, will in time  be available  on this website.  For the last few years the Association has produced a volume, included as part of the cost of attending the annual conference, containing versions of all papers delivered on the day.  At the moment copies of the last three conference volumes, New Directions, Ways of Teaching, and Scoping the Syllabus, are available through the Professional Teachers’ Council.