A group of scholars, researchers and other interested persons from around the world concerned with small islands first organised an international conference in Victoria in 1986 to discuss their common interests. The first "Islands of the World" conference was followed by further meetings in Tasmania (1988) and the Bahamas (1992). At the "Islands of the World III" Bahamas meetings, it was decided to form a continuing organisation and that this body would hold its first meeting at the "Islands of the World IV" Conference in Okinawa from 22 to 26 June 1994. Subsequent conferences have been held in Mauritius (1998), Isle of Skye (2000), Prince Edward Island (2002), Kinmen, Taiwan (2004), Maui, Hawai'i (2006), and Jeju, South Korea (2008) At the 11th 'Islands of the World' Conference held in 2010 in Bornholm, Denmark, it was agreed to limit the size of the Executive Committee, and introduce an Advisory Council.

Download a copy of the ISISA charter

Article I. Name

The name shall be the International Small Islands Studies Association (hereinafter known simply by its acronym in English, ISISA).

Article II. Objectives of ISISA

  1. To advance the study of islands;
  2. To encourage free discussion on small island related matters such as islandness, smallness, insularity, resource management, the environment and the culture and nature of island life;
  3. To promote the active participation in the Association's affairs of members from small islands.

Article III. Activities

  1. ISISA shall aim to link people interested in small island matters through international communication, such as newsletters, journals and periodic conferences.
  2. ISISA shall be independent, non-for-profit and educational.

Article IV. Membership

  1. The ISISA Membership shall be the governing body of the Association. It is composed of all members in good standing.
  2. Membership is open to individuals, entities, organisations and institutions having an interest in small island studies, who accept the Charter and its underlying principles. Each member has one vote.
  3. Dues shall be set by the Executive Committee and are US$20 payable at every ISISA conference, providing membership until the immediately following ISISA Conference, typically in about two years’ time.
  4. Life Membership in ISISA is available to current or prospective members for a once-only-fee of US$200 payable at any time, and following the approval of the application by the ISISA Executive Committee.
  5. Members and other interested individuals and entities may make donations to support the work of ISISA, and shall be appropriately recognised in the Association’s publications and meetings.
  6. The Rights of members in good standing shall be to attend the meetings of the Association, to vote, to hold office, to receive such publications and enjoy such privileges as shall be determined.
  7. A General Meeting of ISISA should be held during its periodic conferences for the election of officers, to present and discuss the budget, and to conduct of the Association’s business.
  8. Termination of membership takes place when a member is more than 12 months in arrears in dues payment.

Article V. Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the daily operation of ISISA, may co-opt other members, and is subordinate to the Membership at the General Meeting.
  2. The President and Executive Committee members shall be elected at the ISISA General Meeting and shall serve for four years.
  3. The President (or, in his absence, the Vice President or nominee, in that order) shall preside at all meetings of the Association.
  4. The Executive Committee shall consist of not less than six and not more than nine members. These include the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Communications Officer, along with up to four, other, elected ordinary members.
  5. Each Executive Committee will also include at least two supernumerary (or co-opted) members: one representing the immediately preceding 'Islands of the World' Conference; and one representing the immediately following 'Islands of the World' Conference.

Article VI. Advisory Council

  1. The Advisory Council shall consist of not less than ten members.
  2. The Advisory Council shall be consulted by the Executive Committee in all significant ISISA policy matters, as determined by the Executive Committee, and which will include any amendment to the ISISA Charter. Subject to a simple majority of its members, the Advisory Council shall also oblige the Executive Committee to consider, discuss and respond, within three (3) weeks, to any matter thus brought to the Executive Committee's attention.
  3. The Advisory Council shall be elected at the ISISA General Meeting where no elections for president and executive committee are scheduled to occur, and shall serve for four years. (As a 'once only' arrangement, the members of the Advisory Council elected in Bornholm in 2010 shall serve for six years.)

Article VII. Conferences and Meetings

  1. Conferences shall be held periodically at times and places to be determined by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Membership.
  2. A General Meeting shall be held as part of each ISISA Conference.
  3. The Executive Committee shall confer at least twice each year, at such time and in such manner as they shall determine.

Article VIII. Duration

The duration of ISISA is Perpetual.

Article IX. Amendments

  1. This Charter may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of all ISISA members in good standing present at the General Meeting.
  2. Amendments may be proposed by the President, Executive Committee, the Advisory Council, or through the petition of 20% or more of the members in good standing. ISISA will vote upon all such proposed amendments at its next regularly scheduled General Meeting.

As amended at, and subsequent to, the 'Islands of the World XI' General Meeting on 26-27 August 2010.

Resolution of Charter and Current Executive

At the General Meeting of ISISA in Okinawa on 24 June 1994, this Foundation Charter was adopted unanimously and the following were elected to the current Executive Committee:  

Theo Hills Canada President
Mark Hamilton UK Committee Member
Teruyuki Higa Japan Committee Member
Grant McCall Australia Committee Member
Peter Meincke Canada Committee Member
Vina Ram Fiji Committee Member

As amended at the Islands IX General Meeting on August 2006

Current ISISA Executive Committee (elected Maui August 2006)

Grant McCall
Mark Hampton
Beate Ratter
Graeme Robertson
Denbeigh Armstrong
Godfrey Baldacchino
Peter Billing
Lino Briguglio
Ray Burnett
Eric Clark
Cal Douglas
Chris McMurray
Shensuke Nagashima
Peter Meincke
Naren Prasad
Robert Read
Prem Saddul
Elaine Stratford
Huei-Min Tsai
Clyde Sakamoto
Ko Changhoon
Steen Schonemann

Committee Member & Website
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Organiser Islands IX
Organiser Islands X
Organiser Islands XI



Theo Hills (Perpetual Foundation President, In Memorium )


Previous ISISA Conference Websites

Website for Islands V (1998 - Mauritius):
Website for Islands VI (2000 - Skye):
Islands VII (2002 – Prince Edward Island):
Islands VIII (2004 – Kinmen Island): 
Islands IX (2006 – Maui Island):
Islands X (2008 – Jeju Island): To Be Advised

Appendix A: Past Organisers of "Islands of the World" Conferences and their addresses at that time (NB!)

Organiser Islands I — Victoria, British Columbia 
Dr James Boutilier
Royal Roads Military College (In 2006, a private address)
643 Harbiner Avenue,
Apt 2
Victoria VC V8V 4H9


8-10 May 1986

Organiser Islands II — Hobart, Tasmania 
Associate Professor Richard A. Herr
School of Government & Antarctic Research Centre
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 52
Hobart TAS 7001
Telephone: (61-3) 6226 2335 • FAX: (61-3) 6226 2895

16-20 May 1988

Organiser Islands III — Nassau 
Dr Gordon Titchener
Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management
Management Development Centre
Waiariki Polytechnic
Private Bag 3028 Rotorua
New Zealand
Phone: (64-7) 346 8656 Fax: (64-7) 346 8680


18-21 May 1992

Organiser Islands IV — Okinawa 
Professor Hiroshi Kakazu
Okinawa Development Finance Corporation
1-7-1 Kumoji
Naha City Okinawa 900
FAX: (82-98) 860-1014


22-26 June 1994

Organiser Islands V — Mauritius 
Associate Professor Prem Saddul
Social Science Department,
Institute of Education
M.I.E. Reduit
Telephone: (230) 454 1031 or (230) 454 1035 • FAX: (230) 454 1037


1-5 July 1998

Organiser Islands VI — Isle of Skye 
Graeme Robertson, Habitat Scotland
Heron Place
Isle of Skye IV51 9EU
Telephone: +44 (0)1478 612898 • Fax: +44 (0)1478 613254


16-20 Oct 2000

Organiser Islands VII – Prince Edward Island 
“New Horizons in Islands Studies”
Islands VII Conference Secretariat
Institute of Island Studies University of Prince Edward Island
550 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PEI
Canada C1A 4P3
Telephone: (1 902) 566 0611 • Fax: (1 902) 566 0756


26-30 June 2002

Organiser Islands VIII – Kinmen (Quemoy) Island
“Changing Islands – Changing Worlds”
Islands VIII Conference Secretariat
Biodiversity Research Center,
National Taiwan University,
Nº 1, Roosevelt Road
Sec. 4 Taipei 106
Telephone: (886 2) 2935 55232 *19• Fax: (886 2) 2932 5570


1-7 November 2004

Organiser Islands IX – Maui Island
“Sustainable Islands – Sustainable Strategies”
Islands IX Conference Secretariat
University of Hawai‘I – Maui College
310 West Ka‘ahumanu Avenue
Kahului HI 96732
Telephone: (1 808) 984 3670 • Fax: (1 808) 984 3660


31 July – 2 August 2006

Organiser Islands X – Jeju Island
Professor Ko Chang Hoon
“Globalising Islands: Sustainable Culture and Peace”
Islands X Conference Secretariat
Cheju National University
66 Jejudaehakno
Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Korea 690-756
Telephone: (82 64754 2114 • Fax: (82 64755 6130
Website (for Cheju National University):


25 – 31 August 2008

Organiser Islands XI - Bornholm Island
Dr Steen Schonemann
“Celebrating Island Connectivities”
Centre for Regional and Tourism Research
Stenbrudsvej 55
DK-3730 Nexø
Bornholm, Denmark


23 to 27 August 2010


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