About The Australian Institute of International Affairs


Our story

The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) is an independent, non-profit organisation seeking to promote interest in and understanding of international affairs in Australia.


Our story…

The AIIA was formed in 1924 as a branch of Chatham House. It was then established as a federal body in 1933 and is the only nation-wide organisation of its kind in Australia. The AIIA consists of a number of independent branches, which are located in seven Australian states and territories, and a National Office in Canberra.

The AIIA plays a unique role as an independent non-partisan forum for informed debate on Australia’s engagement in the world. With unique access to prominent Australian political figures, leading scholars on foreign affairs, youth networks and the diplomatic community, the AIIA holds more than 150 events across the country each year. These range from intimate discussions and workshops, to large lectures 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, the Australia in World Affairs series and occasional papers.

During its history the AIIA has been honoured by the involvement of many distinguished figures including: Former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, Former Chief Justices Sir Garfield Barwick, Sir John Latham and Sir Owen Dixon, Former Governor General Lord Casey, and distinguished Australians Sir Ian Clunies Ross, Sir Richard Boyer, Sir Russel Madigan and E.C. Dyason. His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), the Governor-General of Australia, is the AIIA’s Honorary Visitor.

What sets this Institute apart from the universities and think tanks we work with is the strong community base on which we rest.
— Allan Gyngell, AIIA National President

About the AIIA National Conference

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Australia’s leading event on Australian Foreign Policy

Learn more about Australia’s relationship with the world.

The AIIA’s National Conference is Australia’s leading event on Australian foreign policy. Running annually since 2013, the conference has hosted many distinguished guests who shape the nation’s policies including ministers, academics, top government officials and industry leaders. The day brings together some of Australia’s most prominent international affairs experts examining new developments in international affairs and the place of Australian foreign policy within them.

In recent years the conference has achieved record participation with more than 380 attendees. Last year’s attendees included 20 ambassadors, officials from 12 government departments and engagement by more than 20 of Australia’s most prestigious tertiary education institutions. Masterclasses attract highly-engaged young professionals and tertiary students from around Australia, allowing selected participants to engage in intimate discussions with experts in international affairs.

The AIIA national conference has been a part of [the national] conversation, providing an opportunity for a cross section of the foreign policy community to come together and to share perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that we have faced as a nation.
— Foreign Minister Marise Payne, 2018

About the AIIA Masterclass sessions 2019

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Intelligence and Technology

Intelligence operations are increasingly challenged by new technologies. In an era of technological revolution, intelligence agencies must strategise how they can strategically interact with and harness these emerging technologies.

This masterclass unpacks these key interactions between intelligence and new technologies, including the challenges of artificial intelligence, drones, and social media.


Australia in the Indo-Pacific

Indo-Pacific regional framing has become central to Australian foreign policy and defence discourse. Australia’s future in the Indo-Pacific holds many opportunities in regional trade, diplomacy, and strategic dimensions core to Australian interests.

Australia’s position in the Indo-Pacific, and future prospects for regional prosperity, are explored in depth in this masterclass session.


Diplomacy and Crisis

Understanding effective negotiation and crisis navigation skills are essential toolsets for any student and practitioner in the world of international affairs.

This masterclass provides effective skills and strategies in wielding effective diplomacy in times of crisis


Public Diplomacy and The Media

Following the rise of the 24 hours news cycle, the advent of social media and instant information dissemination, and the phenomenon of ‘fake news,’ reporting on international affairs has undergone rapid changes in the past decade.

This masterclass will provide participants with critical advice on effectively reporting international affairs in today’s world.