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President's Desk

From the President

Looking back….May has seen two very successful events on the AIIA 2019 calendar. The first was our initial Antarctic Forum, held on May 8th, focusing on 60 years of the Antarctic Treaty, with entertaining and informative speakers Julia Jabour, Andrew Jackson and Tony Press. The event was chaired by UTAS Vice Chancellor Rufus Black, who tweeted after the event on its success in promoting science, the environment and peace; he received some thousands of twitter responses!

The second event was the annual flagship Plimsoll Lecture, given this year on May 21st by His Excellency Dr Michael Pulch, the Ambassador for the EU to Australia. Dr Pulch’s presentation was just days before last week’s EU elections and his canvassing of past and current issues facing the EU and its member countries was illuminating.

Both events were very well attended – in excess of 100 for both – and continued to display the close working relationship between AIIA in Tasmania and the University. It was pleasing to note that the Plimsoll Lecture was also attended by four Hobart-based honorary consuls of European countries.

Our AIIA National Executive Director, Bryce Wakefield, visited Tasmania to attend the Plimsoll Lecture, and joined a dinner hosted by the Vice Chancellor afterwards, as well as meeting AIIA Council members the next morning.

Looking forward….Coming up this month will be a trade-focused event on Tuesday June 18th by Mike Grainger, founder and Managing Director of Liferaft Systems Australia (LSA)   who will discuss opportunities and challenges facing innovative  companies in developing a successful trade profile. This event will be held in Law Lecture Theatre 1 at the University of Tasmania starting at 6pm, with drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm. A formal notice enabling registration, including a brief biography of Mike and the title of his topic, will come out shortly, but please note the date for your diaries!

On Wednesday July 10th  Dr Remy Davison, Monnet Chair in Politics and Economics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Monash University, will discuss Understanding Brexit: Implications for Australia-UK Relations. Given the Brexit debate changes almost daily and has led to the fall of a second British Prime Minister, this should be a fascinating presentation from one of the leading authorities on European political relationships. Again, an event notice for registration will be circulated closer to the date.

While there are negotiations for a number of other events this year looking at trade and security issues, those events which have been confirmed are the second Antarctic Forum (focusing on strategic and resource issues) on Wednesday September 18th , and the Government House Lecture by Prof Peter Greste on Monday November 4th.

All in all, it continues to be a very active year for us!

Kim Boyer