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President's Desk

From the President
Welcome to 2019, which promises to be another great year for AIIA in Tasmania, with a range of events and discussions ranging from India to Antarctic, and from Brexit to new relations with Europe.

We have already held one fascinating event with Prof Oriana Skylar Maestro, assistant professor of security studies at Georgetown University (Washington DC) and internationally regarded as a key informant on security and conflict, particularly in relation to China and its relationship with the US. We were lucky that Oriana generously shared part of her holiday in Tasmania in early January to meet with us and discuss, in a unique way, China’s approach to security issues.

A group of more than 20 gave up usual holiday time to listen to Oriana, and come to grips with her interpretation of issues and events shaping China’s security policies. Thanks also to our local DFAT office for hosting the talk and providing morning tea!

We rounded off 2018 with a talk from The Australian Ambassador to Denmark and Norway, who provided insights into our relationship with the Nordics beyond royal romance!

The first major public event for AIIA for the year will move to a quite different part of the world, India. Senator the Hon Lisa Singh will discuss Pivot to India: Why Australia’s Relationship with the Subcontinent need to step up. Lisa’s discussion follows the release of the India Economic Strategy Report by Peter Vargese AO, one of the first major documents flowing from the 2017 Foreign Affairs white paper. The event will be in Law Lecture Theatre 2 at the University of Tasmania on Tuesday February 26. A formal notice for this will be sent out shortly.

In her period as Senator for Tasmania since 2010, Lisa has been active in pursuing enhanced relationships between Australia and India, and the Vargese Report gives added strength and further options into why and how we need to improve Australia-India relations.

Other topics on the agenda for 2019 include two events on Antarctica, exploration by panel of the UN Human Rights actions and legacy, Australia’s soft power review and the role of Australian media in Asia and the Pacific and Brexit. We aim to attract high profile speakers for the 2019 Plimsoll Lecture and for the Government House lecture, which the Governor, the Hon Prof Kate Warner, has enthusiastically agreed to host again.

We also seek ‘opportune’ events when well-known speakers are visiting Tasmania and willingly give their time to speak with us. Look out for future newsletters and event notices for updates and specific dates and venues for events.

On the national AIIA front our long-serving Executive Director, Melissa Conley Tyler, has resigned to explore fresh fields and the search is underway for a new Executive Director. The full advertisement is on the national AIIA website, and we are looking for someone with a wide range of communication and networking skills, and a deep interest and understanding on Australia’s international relations policy and practice. Applications close on February 11 and national president, Allan Gyngell, is happy to talk with prospective applicants. Tel : 0409 829 631.

We appreciate your membership of AIIA and encourage you to continue it, and persuade interested friends and colleagues to join up so we can continue to go beyond the traditional media to provide a range of expertise, views and analysis of international policies and events which shape our changing world!

Kim Boyer

Kim Boyer