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President's Desk

 From the President
We have enjoyed two quality AIIA events during the past five weeks and there is still more to look forward to in the coming month and over the holiday period.

Outgoing NZ High Commissioner to Australia, HE Chris Seed, delivered a memorable Plimsoll Lecture on October 29th on small state diplomacy in challenging times.

This was followed by the  Government House Lecture on November 7th, delivered by AIIA National President Allan Gyngell, who gave an incisive presentation on the topic  ‘Without Precedent: Australia’s Changing World’.

Our national vice-president Zara Kimpton also attended the Government House Lecture and our national guests were most impressed with our relationship with our Governor,Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC,  Mr Warner and the Government House senior staff.

Another highlight at Government House was the presentation to Past President Prof. Peter Boyce of the prestigious AIIA Fellowship award. While the original glass award trophy was shattered in Allan’s luggage on his trip to Hobart, a second award has found its way to Peter! Congratulations to Peter for this very appropriate and deserved recognition.

Whilst we don’t usually host events during the December/January holiday season, we are fortunate to have two excellent speakers coming our way and we couldn’t afford to miss hearing from them, although we realise audiences will likely be smaller than usual.

The first is HE Ms MaryEllen Miller, the recently appointed  Australian Ambassador to Denmark, who will be speaking on Tasmania and the Nordics: we share more than royal romances. This event will be held in the Mick Townsley Room, Social Sciences Building, University of Tasmania on Friday 7th December between 12.30 and 1.30. The Chatham House rule will apply and the local office of DFAT has kindly offered to provide a light lunch.  The notice for registration for this event is at the bottom of this newsletter and closes on December 4th.

The second event will be an informal presentation from the visiting Assistant Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC, Oriana Skylar Maestro, who will be discussing US and China—Great Power Competition: How Did We get to This? The event with Oriana will be held at the DFAT local office conference room, 111 Macquarie St. (opposite Franklin Square), on Tuesday January 8th between 11am and 12.30. Morning tea will be provided. It is a unique opportunity to hear from one of the international experts in this field. Again, the invitation for registration is below.

Next year will see more engaging and interesting events, including two focusing on different aspects of the place of Antarctica in international relations; this is particularly relevant as 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. An event analysing the human rights role of the United Nations is scheduled for March.

Thank you to the Council members, our speakers, our partners and to you for making this such a fascinating and enjoyable year of digging a little deeper into some of the changing complexities of international relations in our changing world.

And, for a fascinating read over the holiday season, can I strongly recommend Ben Rhodes, The World as it is: Inside the Obama White House.  The day-to-day demands of foreign policy and security issues, and the methodology of one President to work through it, is a compelling read.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!                       

Kim Boyer