Know. Understand. Engage.
Founded in 1933 by member organisations that trace their lineage to the 1920s, the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) is Australia’s longest-existing private research institute on politics and international relations. Its mission is to help Australians know, understand, and engage more in international affairs. It does this through an extremely active nationwide and international agenda, grounded in principles of political neutrality and open debate. While its staff may express opinions of their own, the institute itself is precluded by its constitution from maintaining a political position on international affairs.
The AIIA holds more than 150 events across the country each year, attracting more than 10,000 registrants. Most of these events are now accessible online, both live and as recordings. These events range from intimate discussions and workshops, to large lectures, conferences, and seminars. Most of the institute’s events are open to the public.
Throughout its history the AIIA has been involved in the key debates of international relations through its publications. The AIIA currently publishes the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Australia’s premier academic journal in the field, and Australia in World Affairs, a series published every five years to assess Australian foreign policy and international relations. It also publishes occasional papers and Australian Outlook, a popular online publication featuring short articles and a weekly summary of events in Australian foreign policy.
In addition, the AIIA organises programs of exchange between Australian scholars, practitioners, officials, members, and their counterparts overseas. These include track 1.5 and 2 dialogue roundtables both overseas and in Australia, as well as study tours and delegations to foreign countries. The institute also sends representatives to major international dialogues and dispenses scholarship funding for Australians conducting overseas research.
The AIIA’s membership is broad based, ranging from distinguished foreign policy practitioners and academics to interested intelligent individuals with no professional or formal scholarly background in the subject. The AIIA is also geographically broad. It is the only institute of its kind with branches in every state and territory in Australia. The AIIA works closely with but is independent from Australian government departments, particularly the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It receives most of its income from investments, membership fees, sponsorship, donations, royalties, project contracts, and rent.