About the AIIA Masterclass sessions 2019

On Sunday 13 October, prior to the National Conference, The AIIA is offering a select number of young professionals and tertiary students the chance to attend a series of Masterclass sessions with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These Masterclasses will enable aspiring students a chance to network and refine their knowledge on areas such as intelligence, foreign and defence policy, and public diplomacy.

How to apply

If you are a tertiary student or young professional between the age of 18 - 40 who has purchased a ticket to the National Conference event on Monday 14 October, you are eligible to apply for a spot in one of our Masterclass sessions on Sunday 13 October, held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Once you have purchased your ticket, please email masterclass@internationalaffairs.org.au with your CV and statement of claims to be considered by the selection committee. Consider in your application which Masterclass you wish to attend (you may select up to two preferences); what perspectives you may bring; and what you hope to gain from the session.

Applications to attend a Masterclass session will close Friday 20 September, and successful candidates will be notified the following week.

Please note there are a limited number of positions, and therefore not all candidates may be successful. Only those who are registered to attend the conference are eligible to be considered a place in the Masterclass sessions and only one session may be attended.

Some universities and employers have reserved places in the Masterclasses for their students and staff. Before you apply, you may wish to check with your university or employer to see if you might be eligible for one of these places.


Four masterclass sessions are available:

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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.

Professor Michael Wesley FAIIA

David Irvine AO FAIIA

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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.

Ric Smith AO PSM FAIIA

Professor Caitlin Byrne

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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

The Hon Penny Wensley AC FAIIA

Dr Claude Rakisits

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Public Diplomacy and the Media in International Affairs

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.

John McCarthy AO FAIIA

Tony Walker FAIIA