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Study Tours

Study tours are conducted periodically by the AIIA VIC and AIIA NSW and present a rare opportunity for members to visit fascinating areas of the globe, and to meet local dignitaries and representatives along the way.

DatesAIIA VIC Destinations
9 – 22 July 2016Sri Lanka – a country of great beauty and abundant natural resources.  It now finds itself well placed geographically to benefit from India’s growth and the dynamism of the broader Asian region.  Despite Sri Lanka’s rich history and enduring promise, it was hit hard by the devastating 2004 tsunami and is only now emerging from decades of civil conflict.
Twenty delegates from the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) Victorian Branch undertook the Study Tour with tour leader Mr David Ritchie, a former Australian diplomat. David’s postings included High Commissioner to Sri Lanka from 1996-1999, High Commissioner to Western Samoa from 1991-1994, Deputy High Commissioner to London from 1999-2002, Ambassador to Paris from 2008-2012 and the Australian government’s Special Representative for Cyprus.
The purpose of the study tour was to gauge the extent to which Sri Lanka has been able to recover and rebuild after the civil conflict, and advance socially, politically and economically.  More broadly, delegates sought to understand the country’s extraordinary history and experience the rich culture and hospitality of the Sri Lankan people.  The group was given privileged access to leading figures in politics and civil society, and to institutions and sites throughout the country.  Thanks to the generous support received from the Sri Lankan government, the Australian High Commission and various prominent Non-Government Organisations, that exposure allowed delegates to explore the key issues facing the country.Study Tour Report:  AIIAV 2016 Study Tour to Sri Lanka ReportBrochure:  AIIAV 2016 Study Tour to Sri Lanka 2016 Brochure
09-22 September 2015Japan – postponed
24 Oct – 4 Nov 2014Timor Leste – The tour was lead by AIIAV Treasurer Peter McMullin who is also adviser to the Foreign Minister of Timor Leste.  Peter regularly visits Timor Leste and during these visits has mentored the establishment of Timor-Leste’s first Chamber of Commerce.  Peter is a Melbourne based lawyer and is a director of the Australasian Dispute Resolution Centre.  The Tour began in Dili, and travelled to Baucau, Tutuala/Jaco Island, Maubisse, Balibo, Atauro and completed the journey in Dili.  The study tour had been designed to engage participants in a comprehensive programme of activities ensuring first hand, in depth insights into Timor-Leste’s political history, culture and economy. Briefings included meetings with the nation’s leaders and representatives of many not-for-profit organisations that have contributed to the nation’s development.
Program Outline:  AIIAV 2014 Study Tour Timor-Leste Information and Itinerary
20 April – 4 May 2013Myanmar  The tour was led by Mr Chris Lamb with Ms Robyn Byrne as deputy.  Chris has had a long association with Myanmar having served in the Australian Embassy in Yangon (Rangoon) from 1972 – 74 and again as ambassador from 1986 – 1989.  Retiring from DFAT after a 30 year career, he worked at the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva.   He currently holds a number of advisory positions with the IFRC and the Australian Red Cross, is an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, and lectures online in Humanitarian Diplomacy through a Foundation associated with the University of Malta.  Robyn is a Council member of the Institute and has participated in many previous study tours. The itinerary had been designed to provide participants with an introduction to Myanmar’s cultural treasures as well as an overview of the remarkable changes that have occurred in the country since the opening up of the political system (and indeed of the whole economy and society) over the last few years. The briefing program included meetings with politicians from government and opposition parties, diplomats, economists and business people, journalists, representatives of human rights and humanitarian organisations and cultural figures.  It provided an opportunity to see how government is conducted at the local, regional and national levels.Return Study Tour Report: AIIAV-2013-Study-Tour-to-Myanmar-Report (1.4 MB)  Programme Outline: AIIAV-2013-Study-Tour-Burma-Program-Outline (256.18 kB)
05 -19 May 2012China The tour provided participants with a sense of Beijing and Shanghai (China’s two most populous cities) as well as a look at two very different parts of the country – Pingyao, an extremely well preserved traditional Han Chinese city dating back to the 14th century (which is inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list) and Nanjing, the capital of the Jiangsu Province.  It is situated in the Yangtse River Delta and was on a number of occasions under-capital city of China and is one of China’s most important cities.  The tour also included briefing programs in Beijing and Shanghai, providing contact with embassy and consular officials, business people, media, academics, economists and bankers, politicans and representatives of humanitarian organisations and NGOs. Program: AIIAV Study Tour China 2012 Program (159.09 kB)Tour Leader’s Overview: IIAV-2012-China-Study-Tour-Leader-Report (362.52 kB)
07 – 19 April 2011Vietnam  The tour included visits to Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekon River Delta, providing participants with an insight into some of the cultural and touristic highlights of Vietnam.  There also were diplomatic, political, commercial and academic briefings in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.AIIAV Study Tour 2011 Vietnam Report (273.58 kBAIIAV Study Tour 2011 Vietnam Programme (190.61 kB)
14 – 26 June 2010USA – cancelled
26 April – 7 May 2010East Timor A tour of East Timor including visits to Dili, Maubisse, Baucau, Los Palmos and Com.  AIIAV – Study Tour 2010 Timor Leste Report (295.9 kB)
23 May – 6 June 2009Indonesia A tour of Indonesia including visits to Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali.  AAIAV Study Tour to Indonesia 24 May – 6 June 2009 (109.28 kBTour Leader’s Report of the AIIAV Study Tour to Indonesia 24 May – 6 June 2009 (Zara Kimpton) (141.46 kB)
6 – 19 July 2008Russian Federation A tour of the Russian Federation including visits to Moscow, Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Sergiev Posad and St. Petersburg.Tour Leader’s Report of the AIIAV Study Tour to the Russian Federation 7-19 July 2008 (Leslie Rowe) (106.67 kB)
11 – 27 November 2007India  A tour of India including visits to Delhi, Agra, Bangelore, Mysore, Madumalai, Coimbatore, Cochin, Alleppey, Chennai and the Mahabalipuram.
7 – 22 May 2006Turkey  AIIAV Study Tour – Turkey, May 2006A tour of Turkey including visits to Ankara, Cappadocia, Egirdir, Kusadasi, Izmir, Istanbul and the Gallipoli Battlefields.
31 Jan – 14 Feb 2005Cambodia and Laos Locations visited included Phnom Penh, the Siem Reap, the ancient city of Angkor, Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
9 – 22 April 2003Sri Lanka Locations visited included Kandalama, Kandy, Wadduwa and Colombo.
3 – 16 April 2000South America Chile: 3-6 AprilArgentina: 7-9 AprilBrazil: 9-16 April
10 – 27 September 1998People’s Republic of China
14 – 28 November 1996South Africa Locations visited included Johannesburg, Sun City, Swellendam and Cape Town.
29 March – 9 April 1987People’s Republic of China Locations visited included Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.