About Us

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About Us

Know. Understand. Engage.

Founded from 1924 as state-based branches of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, or Chatham House, and then federalised as the Australian Institute of International Affairs in 1933, the 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. Most of these are now accessible online, both live and as recordings. These events range from intimate discussions and workshops, to large lectures, conferences, and seminars which provides forums for debate. 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.

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.