Western Australia

In this section

Our People

AIIA WA Committee

Mr Brendan Augustin

Vice Presidents
Professor Samina Yasmeen AM and Ms Gráinne O’Connell

Ms Claire Rendtorff

Ms Molly Rogers-Thomson

Committee Members
Mr John Goodlad (Immediate Past President), Dr Sue Boyd (Past President), Ms Nancye Miles-Tweedie, Mr Ash Jones, Ms Natalie Meyer, Mr Cameron Hee and Ms Robin McClellan.

For general enquiries please contact:  wa.branch@internationalaffairs.org.au  or (08) 6117 3882.


AIIA WA President, Mr Brendan Augustin


Brendan Augustin spent almost fifteen years in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). During this time he undertook diplomatic assignments in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and France. After leaving DFAT, he worked in senior roles in Oil and Gas and Mining, including international assignments in Mauritania and Timor Leste with Woodside Energy and in Cameroon with Sundance Resources. Brendan returned to Perth in 2013 to work with Woodside where he assumed several roles including General Manager, Government and International Relations. He left Woodside recently and is now the Managing Director of Bina Group, which is focused on supporting companies grow internationally. In July 2021 he was elected President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs of Western Australia.



AIIA WA Senior Vice President, Professor Samina Yasmeen AM

Samina pic

Samina is Director of the Centre for Muslim States and Societies, and lectures in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth.

She is a specialist in political and strategic developments in South Asia especially Pakistan, the role of Islam in world politics, and citizenship among Australian immigrant women. Her current research focuses on the role of Islamic militant groups in Pakistan’s foreign policy.

Professor Yasmeen was a member of the National Consultative Committee of International Security Issues (2005–2008); a member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council (AMAC) 2009-2011; member of the Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution (2009-2011), and the Australian Multicultural Council (AMC) from 2011-2014. She is currently a member of the National Australia Day Council (NADC), and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. She also serves as a member of the National Consultative Committee of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne, a Vice-President of the Australian Institute for International Affairs (WA Branch), and a member of the Red Cross WA International Humanitarian Law Committee. Samina Yasmeen is the recipient of the 2011 WA Citizenship Sir Ronald Wilson Leadership Award, and was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame on 8 March 2012. She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in November 2012 and received the Award of the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2014.


AIIA WA Vice President, Ms Gráinne O’Connell

Gráinne O’Connell studied Asian Studies (Japanese) at UWA and has been a member of AIIA WA since 2007.  She joined the committee in 2014 and was elected Vice President in 2020, after serving in various roles including WA Secretary and WA Program Director.

She works in the Leadership and Culture team for Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers and has a background in education and training in government and corporate roles.

A dual Irish-Australian citizen, she has a deep interest in world affairs, and is passionate about intercultural exchange and citizen diplomacy; developed through her international studies, travel and work.  Gráinne has assisted Australian national delegations to Japan in several large scale international karate tournaments and while living in Japan she competed in the All Japan Kyokushin Karate tournament.