AMI’s October 2018 seminar 

Federalism Questions in Myanmar

On Monday the 29th of October, AMI held their monthly seminar on Federalism in Myanmar at Deakin Downtown. The two presenters were Prof Baogang He (Deakin University) and Dr Michael Breen (Melbourne University) who presented their research on deliberative polling and federalism in Myanmar. They presented their theoretical approach, methodology and key findings from their research and also answered some tricky questions from enthusiastic audience members.

The presenters said they had organised four deliberative polling events on federalism in August 2018 with ethnic minorities and Bamar majority groups across Myanmar. Through engaging conversations between different ethnic groups, the presenters used the theoretical approach of deliberative polling and found that when people talk more about issues they become moderated. Interestingly, all participants in the deliberative polling who disagreed with federalism for Myanmar changed their mind to some extent (some changed from disagree to agree and some from disagree to neutral).

The presenters noted that the deliberative polling approach had been used in other countries, including China, and that the Myanmar results so far are comparable with those in other countries.

The audience were very interested in the approach and asked several questions about the methodology and findings of the research. This included questions about the power dynamic and trust between these groups, what the findings revealed about resource and corruption and how deliberation can make change. Some audience members were also surprised there was no mention of Aung San Suu Kyi and her efforts for federalism in Myanmar. The conversation also turned to the future of Myanmar and the scalability of the approach, including whether it could be tailored to different groups and issues.  Another question which will be addressed is the strength of the link between this deliberative polling and Myanmar’s 21st century Panglong 2 process constitutional process.

The seminar was a successful presentation and led to a good discussion of key governance issues in modern Myanmar.

Written by Kirsty Dempsey

Audio of the seminar,  some photos and powerpoint can be downloaded.

AMI’s September 2018 seminar 

Myanmar’s Remote Universities – experiences, progress and challenges

Australia Myanmar Institute (AMI) held the monthly seminar about Myanmar’s remote universities- experiences, progress and challenges on Monday 24th September 2018 at the Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne. We had Dr. David Kimber and Dr. Fran Siemensma, who recently volunteered as International Relations and Cross-Cultural Communication Mentors at a university in Myanmar, and Swe Zin Myint, who worked for 10 years in Myanmar’s Monastic Education Sector as our speakers of the night.

David and Fran discussed about the challenges faced by Myanmar’s remote universities based on the experiences they gained during their time in Myanmar. As someone who studied in both Myanmar and Australia, Swe Zin Myint shared her personal experiences, challenges and problems in Myanmar’s Education system. Overall, we discussed about areas that need attention and improvement, such as using student-centred learning approach, making good use of IT in the Universities, encouraging to think critically, inadequate staff members and the need to accommodate broader international connections. We discussed and reviewed some of the potential solutions for these issues.

The seminar was successfully ended after the insightful questions from enthusiastic audience and the discussion between the participants of the seminar.

You can listen by downloading the audio link and getting the powerpoint here. Here are some photos of the seminar.


AMI’s August 2018 seminar & book launch

Myanmar’s Rohingya Conflict: One Year On

Thanks a lot Deakin University for the venue, Dr. Anthony Ware and Dr.Costas Laoutides for their effort on book and  presentation. Also thank you to all the discussants: Dr Amy Nethery, Christopher Lamb and Michael Sainsbury.

AMI always appreciates the attendance at the August seminar and book launch. The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link and powerpoint slide of Rohingya Conflict can be downloaded. 


AMI’s July 2018 seminar

Madame Brussels Gathering


Thanks a lot all the audience who joined the Madame Brussels gathering. Also thank you Chris Piper for sharing his experience in Cox’s Bazar during the short and informal presentation at the Madame Brussels.

AMI always appreciates all the contribution of the attendance at the July gathering. Apologies for the quality of the recording due to the restaurant background noise. The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link


AMI’s June 2018 seminar

The Long Road to Peace in Kachin State

Thank you very much all the actively participated audience who joined the seminar at the University of Melbourne.

AMI always thanks all the supporters from the University of Melbourne and all the presenter: S Gun Mai, Hkawn Htoi and Dr. Laurens Visser to share their experience about peace process in Kachin State. 

Sincerely apologies for the lack of the beginning of  the recording and it is now available by clicking the link and powerpoint can be downloaded here.

AMI’s April 2018 seminar

Australian journalists’ experience working in or on Myanmar

The AMI April monthly seminar was held on 30 April at the La Trobe University City Campus. Many thanks to the presenters Michael Sainsbury and Mark Baker and to moderator Dr Ivo Burum. Michael and Mark shared their own experience throughout their career as journalists covering Myanmar and Myanmar issues. We had a big and keenly interested audience, reflecting the topical nature of the issue.  Many thanks too to the volunteers who contributed so much to the success of the event.

The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link



AMI’s March 2018 seminar

The “Rohingya” Crisis – Update on the conflict in Rakhine State and the situation in Bangladesh

The AMI March monthly seminar was held on 26 April at the Save the Children Australia HQ. Many thanks to Save for making the premises available for the big and interested audience who took part in discussion after presentations by Dr Anthony Ware from Deakin University and Nichola Krey from Save the Children Australia.

The presentations enabled the the audience to get a good understanding of the context in the Rakhine State as well as the situation in neighbouring Bangladesh, taking account of academic research and humanitarian work for the most vulnerable people.

AMI also thanks the audience for the profound interest displayed in the topic, and thanks our wonderful volunteers for their contributions.

The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link. Also you can download the presenters’ powerpoints of Dr Anthony Ware  and Nichola Krey.

Photo credit – Aye Min Soe (Andrew) – The University of Melbourne

AMI’s February 2018 seminar

Situation of refugees and displaced person near the Thai-Myanmar border

The first AMI monthly seminar of 2018 was held at the RMIT University on 26th February. Thank you all the presenters: David Home, Bay Klay Chit, Marry Thomas from The Hope Project and Andrea Syrota_a consultant for Save the Children Thailand supporting refugee student transition. They shared their awareness, experience and expertise of the situation of refugee and displaced persons near the Thai-Myanmar border. It was a fascinating evening with the lively audience.

AMI also thanks to all those active audience who contributed their time and interesting discussion during the seminar. The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link and powerpoint slides of The Hope Project’s activities can be downloaded here.


AMI’s January 2018 Meeting

AMI Meeting at Madame Brussels

AMI meeting was held at Madame Brussels on 29th January to discuss about future events of 2018.

Thank you everyone who shares their time and useful knowledge at the meeting.







AMI’s December 2018 Gathering

Gathering at Madame Brussels on 18th December 

Thank you so much for all attendees who joined AMI post conference gathering at Madame Brussels on 18th December.

The conference’s marvellous success is built on everyone who contributes their time, knowledge and dedication.

The whole AMI team especially thank for the determination of Soren, Rupert, Lainey, Sophie and Reuben and all volunteer interns.

Merry Christmas and happy new year 2018.

Wishing you all the best.

Photo credit – Aye Min Soe (Andrew) – Swinburne University


AMI Annual General Meeting – October 2017

The 2017 Annual General Meeting was held in Deakin University’s Downtown rooms in Melbourne on 30 October commencing at 5:30PM.

The meeting started with a speech by H.E. U Tha Aung Nyun, Myanmar Ambassador to Australia, in which he outlined the Embassy’s appreciation of its relationship with AMI.  He also spoke of AMI’s unique relationship with the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) and the value his government attributes to AMI’s support for Myanmar’s achievement of its priorities within the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

He also spoke of the importance of AMI’s conference due to start in Yangon on 27 November.

The meeting then resumed for formal business receiving reports from the President and Acting Director, Treasurer and Secretary.

A returning officer was elected and the meeting appointed office bearers for the next year.  All current Board members were nominated and elected unopposed to their positions.  One, Guy Williams, has stepped down as he has relocated his business from Yangon to Sydney.  The meeting thanked Guy for his work with AMI and wished him well for the future.

The meeting also heard that two additional Special Advisers have been named.  They are Prof Sean Turnell (Macquarie University, and Economic Adviser to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) and Dr Thane Oke Kyaw Myint, one of Myanmar’s most distinguished professors of medicine, now resident in Canberra.

The meeting was formally closed at 7PM.

AMI’s September 2017 seminar

Sport for Social Change philosophy and practice in Myanmar

Thanks a lot for those who contributed their time and knowledge about “Sport for Social Change philosophy and practice in Myanmar” especially Dr. Anne Bunde-Birouste and Dr. Tun Aung Shwe from University of New South Wales, Sydney.  AMI always appreciates the attendance at the September seminar despite the heavy traffic of Sydney and special thanks to Dr Raymond Tint Way, Vice President of AMI and Mary Way for assisting in hosting the AMI seminar in Sydney. The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link and powerpoint slides of Anne and Tun can be downloaded.




AMI’s July 2017 seminar

Update on education reform in Myanmar

Thank you indeed Joe Lo Bianco for your time and knowledge about “Update on education reform in Myanmar” during the AMI July monthly seminar. AMI always appreciates the attendance at the seminar and special thanks to Prof: Mark Considine and the University of Melbourne for moderating the seminar and providing venue. The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link and powerpoint slide can be downloaded here.





AMI’s April 2017 seminar

An update on the Myanmar by-election held on 1 April

Thanks a lot for those who contributed their time and knowledge about by election especially U Toe Zaw Latt from Democratic Voice of Burma – DVB, Uncle Teddy Buri, Mr Ronan Lee and Dr Jackie Watts.  AMI always appreciates the attendance at the April seminar and special thanks to Prof: Mark Considine and the University of Melbourne for assisting in hosting the AMI seminar. The recording of the seminar is now available by clicking the link and powerpoint slide of Mr Ronan Lee can be downloaded here.




AMI’s March 2017 seminar

An update on the Rakhine conflict and ‘Rohingya’ issues

AMI appreciates the good attendance at last monthly seminar which was held on 27th March 2017. A special thanks to Prof Mark Considine from the University of Melbourne for assisting to make the seminar happen and all the speakers Dr Anthony Ware, Dr Costas Laoutides, Mr Ronan Lee and Mr Habiburahman for their interesting topic. The recording of the full seminar is now available on Soundcloud. Please click here to listen.





AMI’s February 2017 seminar

Economics, Social Growth and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Thanks a lot for those who actively participated Australia Myanmar Institute’s monthly seminar on 27th February 2017, especially HE U Tha Aung Nyun, Dr Peter Devereux and Dr Rachael Diprose for your interesting discussion about Economic and Social Growth and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  You can also listen to the seminar via link and Dr Peter Devereux’s powerpoint here.