After meetings in Cameroon, Brazil and South Africa during the second decade of ISfTE, a groundswell of support for the creation of a charitable trust fund grew among members. This goal was clearly voiced at Canterbury, England in 1999. A proposal was made to establish an ISfTE Trust to raise funds to help ISfTE members from developing countries to participate in future ISfTE Seminars. Over the years Convenors had obtained financial assistance from government and international agencies, philanthropic bodies and other sources that have helped many such members to participate. It was agreed that these efforts had been of great benefit for all members of the society and it was hoped that such efforts by individual convenors would continue. The 1999 proposal was to place this activity on a formal footing. After some discussion it was decided to investigate the idea of establishing an ISfTE Trust with proper safeguards that would seek funds from various sources and distribute them to ISfTE members from developing countries, according to well considered and monitored principles. Bob O'Brien was asked to prepare a draft of the proposal and to commence a process of consultation with members. Two years later an ISfTE newsletter was able to report that another important moment in the evolution of ISfTE had taken place during the gathering of members in Kuwait. The Steering Committee recommended that the LeOra Cordis Memorial Trust of the International Society for Teacher Education be instituted. The proposal was agreed to and Bob O'Brien returned home to begin a final revision of the deed of trust before circulation to the Settlor, the Secretary General, and the three trustees appointed by Warren Halloway. LeOra Cordis was a foundation member of ISfTE and had become a prominent advocate for Early Childhood education being within the range of interest of other members of the society. She also took up with characteristic enthusiasm the ambition of some members to find the means of having participants from more affluent economies subsidizing ISfTE seminar participation by members who make considerable financial sacrifices to register from time to time. Hence the decision to name the trust in her memory. Her death in 2000 was a cause of regret among her ISfTE colleagues from many parts of the world. The basic ideas of the trust, accepted by the Steering Committee, included the objectives of the trust which are:
- the advancement of the objectives of ISfTE;
- the maintenance and management of funds or real estate or other property transferred to the trust by the Settlor;
- application of the LeOra Cordis Memorial Trust funds for the benefit of beneficiaries and not for the private pecuniary benefit of any individual person.
- We will rank applications in terms of eligibility and completeness.
- We would offer full registration of AU$ 1,200 to the applicant at the top of the list.
- Should there be further funds available, the second (and subsequent) applicant(s) will be supported for the full registration fee.
- Residual funds would be returned to the Trust for rolling over for subsequent years.
- submit an abstract of a paper to be presented at the ISfTE Seminar
- provide a CV
- indicate the extent and duration of their involvement with ISfTE, and
- provide some information on the benefit support would provide to the applicant and their country.
- Accommodation, and
- The ISfTE annual membership fee.
Kezang Tshering (Chair of trustees)