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President's Desk

From the President
It has been another busy month of planning and consolidating our calendar of events for AIIA in Tasmania over 2019.

For those who enjoyed Senator Lisa Singh’s address on the Australia-India relationship, and for those who were present, it is available through the University of Tasmania’s  ‘Livestream’ at https://livestream.com/UniversityofTasmania/events/8587550.

A final reminder our next event will be tomorrow night Tuesday March 26 at Law Lecture Theatre 1, with our expert panel discussing China, the Indo Pacific and International Broadcasting: honing the sharp edge of Australia’s soft power. Panellists are Michael Shoebridge, Director of Defence and Strategy, Australian Strategic Policy Unit ASPI), Prof James Chin, director of the Asia Institute and Geoff Heriot, one of the authors of the ASPI report Hard News and free media as the sharp edge of Australia’s soft power. Panel Chair will be Dr Matt Killingsworth from the University’s School of Politics and International Relations.

The evening will start at 5.30 pm for refreshments, with the commencement of the panel discussion at 6.00pm.  If you haven’t done so, please register at https://aiiatas.tidyhq.com/public/schedule/events/23926-china-the-indo-pacific-and-international-broadcasting-honing-the-sharp-edge-of-australia-s-soft-power . It promises to be an excellent event.

Christchurch horror: I recognise that AIIA members share the deep concern at the recent events in Christchurch and the evil which underpinned them. On behalf of AIIA Tasmania I wrote to the formed High Commissioner for New Zealand, Chris Seed, who gave such an eloquent Plimsoll address last year, expressing our sympathy and support. Chris is now head of Foreign Affairs in New Zealand and I am sure he will pass our message on. I also signed the Lord Mayor’s condolence book on AIIA’s behalf.

New National Executive Director : As we advised by email, Dr Bryce Wakefield has been appointed to this important role, taking over from his long-serving predecessor Melissa Conley Tyler. I was part of the selection process and can advise Bryce was successful ahead of a group of able and well-qualified applicants. Hopefully he will be in Tasmania sometime this year, so members can meet him. I have also thanked Melissa on behalf of the branch for her strong support during her time in the national leadership role.

Dates for your diary
Monday April 8 12.30-1.30 Katrina Cooper, Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Washington, will talk at the University of Tasmania. Katrina is a former Tasmanian whose perspective of current events in the U.S. will be fascinating. A registration notice of this event, confirming the title of Katrina’s talk and the venue at UTas, will be sent out shortly. Thanks go to our colleagues Harriet and Charles in the State Office of DFAT for organising this event.

Thursday April 16   5.30 to 7.30 Centenary Lecture Theatre UTAS.  The UK, EU and Australia After Brexit: What’s Next? This is a public event hosted by Politics and International Relations,  UTas,  and AIIA. There will be four speakers—Dr Zoe Jay UTas), Dr Ben Wellings (Monash University), Harriet Baillie (DFAT) and Prof Jan Pakulski UTas). The moderator will be Dr Matt Killingsworth (UTas). The panellists will discuss the background to Brexit, and the ramifications of Brexit for Britain, the EU and Australia.

Wednesday May 8 5.30 to 7.30 at Law Lecture Theatre 1, University of Tasmania. This will be the first of our two sessions for the year on Antarctica, celebrating 60 years of the Antarctic Treaty and discussing its achievements, challenges and future. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Rufus Black, will chair our distinguished panel of Antarctic researchers and leaders, Dr Julia Jabour and Dr Andrew Jackson from IMAS and Kim Ellis, Director of the Australian Antarctic Division. Again, a registration notice will be sent out closer to the date.

2019 Plimsoll Lecture Tuesday May 21 6pm at the Stanley Burbury Theatre. We have been fortunate to have HE Dr Michael Pulch, European Union Ambassador to Australia, to deliver the Plimsoll Lecture this year.

Monday November 4 6pm annual Government House Lecture. An exciting lecturer has been lined up for this event!

More on future events in coming newsletters!

Membership renewals and new members
We have had a number of concerns raised by members and would-be members about the on-line payment process, which is directed through Paypal as part of our national IT membership base. We are working through this with our national office. If, however, members (and new members) prefer to pay through direct deposit /bank transfer into the Tasmanian AIIA bank account that is perfectly acceptable.

The account details are as follows:-

The Australian Institute of International Affairs Tasmanian Branch Inc.

BSB 067101     Account Number 0090 2267

Having done this advise our secretary Barry Holmes via email tas.secretary@internationalaffairs.org.au that you have done so. When the funds appear in our account he will then renew your membership manually.

A reminder for existing members, when your membership falls due over the 12 months following  April 1 your fees will remain at $50 if you do not wish to receive the print version of the Australian Journal of International Affairs. If you do wish to receive it you can so by paying $60 for the new Premium Member level of membership.(No, this isn’t an ‘April Fool’).

New members also need to complete the membership form available at https://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/tasmania/membership/ . This will be updated on Sunday March 31 in readiness for the introduction of the new  Individual membership options on April 1.

Kim Boyer