Recent activity

Australia Myanmar Institute’s June Seminar

Myanmar Snakebite project

Date: Monday 26th June 2017

Time: 5:30 for 6pm (refreshments 7-7:30pm)

Venue : St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Seminar room, Level 3, Healy Wing (Building C), 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, VIC 3065.

Directions : Parliament Station (by train), Free City Circle Brown Tram, Tram 86, 96 Corner of Nicholson & Vic Parade (St. Vincent’s Hospital stop) , Tram 11, 12 & 109 (St. Vincent’s Plaza, Stop 12) Please see the Map

Dr Chen Au Peh – MBBS FRACP PhD   Consultant Renal Physician & Clinical Associate, Professor of Medicine

Chen Au is a renal physician based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He graduated in Medicine from the University of Adelaide in 1987, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. His interest in today’s topic originated from his visits to Myanmar where he saw many snakebite patients with severe kidney failure. He is project leader of the DFAT-funded Myanmar Snakebite Project that aims to improve the health outcomes of snakebite patients in Myanmar.

Dr Afzal Mahmood – MBBS   Senior Lecturer at the School of Population Health, University of Adelaide

Afzal is an expert in health services development and research and community development, particularly in developing countries. His areas of specialisation are primary health care, health management information system, integrated and comprehensive care, health promotion, safe motherhood services and community development. Over the last 25 years Afzal has worked with a large number of government health departments, national and international NGOs and community organisations across countries including Indonesia, East Timor, Pakistan, Kenya, China, Bangladesh and Australia.

Associate Professor Julian White – Clinical Toxinologist, Women’s & Children’s Hospital & University of Adelaide

Julian White, a graduate of the University of Adelaide Medical School, has been involved in treating cases of envenoming for nearly 40 years, and since 1990 has been Head of Toxinology at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Adelaide. Julian was the 2015 recipient of the AMA (SA) award for “Outstanding contribution to medicine” and in the 2016 Australia Day honours was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). He is the author of around 200 publications in toxinology, including both basic venom research and clinical toxinology.

A question and answer session will be conducted after the talk.

For more information about AMI, please visit:

Australia Myanmar Institute’s May Seminar

Extractive Industries and Social Responsibility

Date: Monday 29th May 2017

Time: 5:30 for 6pm (refreshments 7-7:30pm)

Venue: The Spot, Level 1 Theatre, building 110, corner of Pelham Street and Berkeley Street, The University of Melbourne.

Directions: From Royal Parade by trams 19 or 59, Haymarket stop or from Swanston Street, any tram, at Lincoln Square stop.

Bruce Harvey, Director – Resolution 88, Bruce’s career has spanned 40 years of worldwide field experience in the mining industry. In his first career as a geologist Bruce developed an affinity for working with land-connected peoples and local level agreement-making in economic frontiers. For the last 18 years Bruce has been at the forefront of developing Social Performance as a new professional discipline in the extractive sector. For seven years he was Global Practice Leader – Communities and Social Performance at global mining company Rio Tinto, developing leading-edge Social Performance practice across 150 globally dispersed locations. Bruce is currently the Principal of a boutique consultancy, resolution88, specialising in ‘Social Licence’ solutions for the extractive sector, an Adjunct Professor at the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, and a guest lecturer at the Otago Business School in New Zealand.

Prof Khin Zaw, University of Tasmania, is Professor of Economic Geology at CODES ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits, University of Tasmania, Australia. He received BSc from Yangon University in 1968, FGA Diploma (Fellowships of Gemmological Association of Great Britain) in 1969, MSc from Queen’s University, CANADA in 1976 and PhD from University of Tasmania in 1990. He is Fellows of AusIMM and Society of Economic Geologists. He has well over 40 years’ experience working on genetic aspects and exploration potential of mineral deposits in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and SE Asian countries. He is currently working as Leader of “Ore Deposits of SE Asia” Project at CODES, University of Tasmania focusing on metallogenic relations and exploration implications. He is also an Associate Editor of Ore Geology Review journal.

Aung Kyaw Soe, Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB)via Skype. Aung Kyaw Soe is Extractives Programme Manager at Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB). He joined MCRB in September 2013 from a civil society background and led the field research for the Centre’s first Sector-Wide Impact Assessment in Oil and Gas Sector.  He is currently overseeing follow-up on oil and gas, as well as running the Mining SWIA. Aung Kyaw Soe attended the DFAT-funded (Australia Awards) Diplomacy Training Programme at University of New South Wales and also studied Research Methods Master Class at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. He is a member of Australia Global Alumni and he has also undertaken a short-term contract with ERM on an Initial Environmental examination for BG’s offshore exploration in Rakhine State. He also studied “Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment Review” at Asian Institute of Technology in Vietnam.

Prior to joining MCRB, Aung Kyaw Soe worked with NGOs and civil society organizations on human rights and development in Myanmar, focused on the extractives industry. He has studied Community Management and Human Rights and Business and also learned Advocacy, Mobilization, and Social Impact Assessment training in Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.

A question and answer session will be conducted after the talk.

For more information about AMI, please visit:

Australia Myanmar Institute’s April Seminar

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

Date: Monday 24th April 2017

Time: 5:30 for 6pm (refreshments 7-7:30pm)

Venue: Lectorial Room II, North Wing-556, Art West Building, Parkville, The University of Melbourne

Directions: The University can be accessed from Royal Parade by tram 19, Melbourne University stop or from Swanston Street, any tram, at Melbourne University stop. Map

RSVP please, for catering purposes. Email:

No charge, but GOLD COIN DONATIONS requested to cover costs.

By-elections were held in Myanmar for 19 seats in Federal and State/Division parliamentary seats on 1 April*.  These were the first electoral test of the government formed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy following its landslide victory at the 2015 general elections. 
This update will examine what happened and what the implications might be for years ahead, noting that the next general elections will be held in 2020.

  • Three seats in the Amyotha Hluttaw (federal upper house, one each Yangon, Bago and Chin)
  • Nine seats in the Pyithu Hluttaw (federal lower house, four Yangon, two Shan, one each Rakhine, Mon, Sagaing)
  • Seven seats in regional Hluttaws (six Shan State, one Kayah State)

The aggregate outcome saw NLD lose one seat in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Mon State) and one in Kayah State Hluttaw.

Five of the by-elections filled seats where the 2015 election had been cancelled because of violence.  Ten of the others were vacant following the resignation of elected members appointed to government offices.

Comment on the results will be provided by persons each of whom has a special insight to offer:

U Toe Zaw Latt, Bureau Chief, Democratic Voice of Burma, By Skype from Yangon.

Mr Ronan Lee, former member of the Queensland Parliament, PhD candidate, Deakin University.

U Teddy Buri, elected in 1990 to the national assembly which was never convened by the military government.

Moderator for the seminar will be Dr Jackie Watts, Councillor, Melbourne City Council.

A question and answer session will be conducted after the talk.

For more information about AMI, please visit:

“Away From Home” Art Exhiition

The distinguished photographer Tammy Law will be exhibiting her works “Away from Home”, the lived experiences of displacement from the perspectives of families from Burma, from 4 to 13 April at FortyFive Downstairs at 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne.  The opening will be from 5 to 7 pm on 4 April at the Gallery and all AMI members and friends will be welcome.

The exhibition will be launched by Mr Hong Lim MP, Victoria’s Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Asian Engagement.

Tammy is a Brisbane-based photographer currently in the final year of a PhD in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.  She has exhibited in Australia and internationally and has considerable experience in and with Myanmar and is a keen supporter of AMI. 

Away From Home is a series of photographs that explore the dualities that surround the idea of home: between presence & absence, permanence & impermanence and belonging & displacement.

Australia Myanmar Institute March Seminar

An update on the Rakhine conflict and ‘Rohingya’ issues

Date: Monday 27th March 2017

Time: 5:30 for 6pm (refreshments 7-7:30pm)

Venue: William Macmahon Ball Theatre, Ground Floor of Old Arts Building at Parkville, The University of Melbourne.

Direction : It can be accessed from Royal Parade by tram 19, Melbourne University stop or from Swanston Street, any tram at Stop 1, Melbourne University stop. Map

RSVP please, for catering catering purposes. Email:

No charge, but GOLD COIN DONATIONS requested to cover costs.

In the last few months, UN agencies, Nobel Peace Prize laureates and even the Pope have all condemned violence against the Rohingya. Accusations of state crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide have been common. Three Investigation Commissions have been convened by the government, military and policy respectively, and former UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan has been appointed to lead one. This update will examine what has happened, the current situation and try to begin to understand why is it happening … and consider where next, taking account of all perspectives.

Dr Anthony Ware, Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development from Deakin University will present “An update on the Rakhine conflict and Rohingya’ issues”

Also providing discussion will be:

Dr Costas Laoutides, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Deakin University, and co-author with Anthony of “Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ Conflict”

Mr Ronan Lee, PhD candidate (Deakin University),

Mr Habiburahman,(well known as Habib) Spokesperson and founder of Australian Burmese Rohingya Organization (ABRO), Habib is co-author of Nous, les Innommables – Un tabou birman.

Anthony and Costas are co-authors of the soon-to-be released book Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ Conflict.

For more information about AMI, please visit:

Australia Myanmar Institute February Seminar

Economic and Social Growth and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Date: Monday 27th February 2017

Time: 5:30 for 6pm (refreshments 7-7:30pm)

Place: La Trobe University, Teaching Room 4, Level 20, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000.

RSVP essential for catering purposes. Email

No charge, but GOLD COIN DONATIONS requested to cover costs.

This Seminar will set the stage for the 2017 monthly events and begin the lead-up to the AMI Conference to be held at Yangon University from 28 November to 1 December. Other seminars will look at topics within the main themes of the Conference. These will be consistent with AMI’s own thematic approach and concentrate on Governance and Law, Business and the Economy, Health, Education, Gender and Equity and Heritage and the Environment.

This month, following a short address by Myanmar Ambassador to Australia U Tha Aung Nyun, Dr Peter Devereux, Curtin University, an expert on the universal Sustainable Development Goals that are to be implemented in Myanmar and Australia, will provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges they present. He will take part via Skype from Perth. Dr Rachael Diprose will provide a short commentary.

HE. U Tha Aung Nyun arrived in Canberra in June 2016. He is an accomplished career diplomat, having previously served in several postings, most recently as Ambassador to South Africa. He has already established strong and friendly relationships with the Myanmar communities in Australia and while in Melbourne will also be making formal introductory calls on the Governor of Victoria and Melbourne City Council.

Dr Peter Devereux is an adjunct research fellow at Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute. He volunteers locally with Oxfam, the One World Centre and as volunteer researcher for Volunteering Western Australia and internationally on the Research Working Group of the International Forum for Volunteering in Development. He is currently a research mentor for the preparation of the 2018 United Nations State of the World’s Volunteerism Report and coordinator of the WA Sustainable Development Goals Network. He expects to join his Occupational Therapist partner on an Assignment in Myanmar through Australian Volunteers International mid 2017.

Dr Rachael Diprose is a lecturer in development studies at the University of Melbourne and is the convenor of the University’s Conflict, and Justice Research Cluster. She has a long-standing interest in Myanmar.

A brief update on preparations for the November Conference will also be provided.

For more information about AMI, please visit:

Australia Myanmar Institute November Seminar

Civil Society in Myanmar: Under Pressure From Above

Date: Monday 28th November 2016

Time: 5:30 for 6pm (refreshments 7-7:30pm)

Place: La Trobe University, Level 20, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000.

RSVP essential for catering purposes. Email

No charge, but GOLD COIN DONATIONS requested to cover costs.

Dr Gillian Fletcher, La Trobe University – Dr Gillian Fletcher has been working as a consultant in Myanmar since 2002. In the years since, she has provided reflective and action learning technical assistance to a wide range of projects and programs. Her focus has always been on trying to ensure that Myanmar’s most excluded people have greater voice and choice. She began working with Paung Ku – considered by many to be Myanmar’s leading civil society networking and advocacy organisation – in 2011, and is currently their Gender and Diversity Technical Advisor. Paung Ku has more than 150 civil society partners across all of Myanmar’s States and Regions, and has been involved in issues including land rights, peace building, the inter-faith movement, and helping community voices to be heard in sites of major economic development (e.g., Myitisone Dam). Gillian also recently facilitated a Yangon workshop on Thinking and Working Politically, organised by UKAid, the British Council, Pyoe Pin, and The Asia Foundation.

For more information about AMI, please visit:

Note: The seminar will be followed at 7:45 pm by AMI’s Annual General Meeting.
All members and associate members are invited and welcome to attend.

Australia Myanmar Institute October Seminar

Australia Myanmar Institute Monthly Seminar
Heritage – Bagan and Yangon
Monday 31st October 2016
5:30 for 6 pm
Refreshments 7 – 7:30 pm

Building 80, Level 10, Room 17, RMIT University,
Between La Trobe and Franklin Streets, Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3001

Directions: Any tram up Swanston Street to Stop no.7 RMIT University

*Please make a GOLD COIN DONATION to help cover costs.
RSVP essential for catering purpose. Inform us of your attendance by emailing

Two speakers:

Dr Jackie Watts, Councillor, City of Melbourne. Dr Watts is the Chair of the Knowledge City Portfolio, Melbourne City Council. She has a Doctorate in Education from RMIT. Her presentation at this seminar will examine the heritage considerations which have motivated a Melbourne based group to seek to restore the clock tower and bell in the High Court building in central Yangon, both for its heritage value and its place in the history of the rule of law in Myanmar. Her work in Yangon is being pursued in partnership with the Yangon Heritage Trust and has the co-sponsorship of AMI and the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies.
Ms Anne Laura Kraak, PhD candidate at Deakin University. Ms Kraak specialises in the links between human rights and cultural heritage. Her current PhD research examines the extent to which engagement with human rights can help reconcile the often diverging agendas of heritage conservation, development and popular religious practice in the context of Bagan’s World Heritage nomination. Anne will deliver a brief commentary at this AMI seminar on the impact on Bagan of the earthquake which struck the city on 24 August 2016. Ms Kraak delivered a paper at AMI’s major conference in July 2015 in Yangon, on “Rights, Ruins and Rituals in Bagan”.
For more information about AMI, please visit:

Film Screening – Fallout

Australia Myanmar Institute and the Carlton Residents Association presents a special screening of the film “Fallout” at 11.00am, Saturday November 5th at Cinema Nova, Carlton. All proceeds will be devoted to the restoration of the former Yangon High Court Clock & Tower in Myanmar. The event is proudly supported by Cinema Nova.

Cinema Nova
380 Lygon St
Carlton, Victoria 3053

To book, click here.


Australia Myanmar Institute September Seminar

Language Policy and Peace Building

Monday 26th September 2016

Speaker: Prof Joseph Lo Bianco – Dr Joseph Lo Bianco is Professor of Language and Literacy Education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.  He is Past President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and current secretary of the AMI.

His current academic research and policy activities include preparation of a Peace Building National Language Policy in Myanmar, through work for the UNICEF Language, Education and Social Cohesion Initiative  (Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand).  He is also Research adviser for LUCIDE, a European Community project on Languages in Urban Communities, and is Immediate Past and Inaugural President of the Tsinghua Asia Pacific Forum on Translation and Intercultural Studies and advisor to the National Language Center, Beijing Foreign Studies University. He has been a commissioned advisor on language policy in conflict situations and on language revitalization movements for indigenous populations in many countries.

He has 130 publications on language policy and planning, language education, literacy, culture and identity.  Under preparation are Peacebuilding and Language Policy (Springer, 2017),  Aldo and the Meridian Line, a novel in the Mountain of Su Dongpo series, (with T. Hay and Y. Wang) and a volume on Language and Identity in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia (with Fethi Hilal).

Chaired by: Dr. Jackie Watts, Councilor City of Melbourne

Australia Myanmar Institute August Seminar

HIV testing in Myanmar: enhancing capacity

Monday 29th August 2016

5:30 pm for the seminar 6-7 pm.

Seminar room, St Vincent’s Hospital

41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, 3065, Melbourne

Directions: Parliament Station (by train), Free City Circle Brown Tram, Tram 86, 96 Corner of Nicholson & Vic Parade (St Vincent’s Hospital stop)

Take tram 11,12 & 109 to St Vincent’s Plaza, Stop 12

See Maps:

Refreshments provided. Free for AMI members and guests, but please donate a Gold Coin to help cover costs.

Speaker: Sue Best, Director of the National Serology Reference Laboratory (NRL), Australia and of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Diagnostics and Laboratory Support for HIV/AIDS and Other Blood-borne Infections. She is a member of the expert reference committees for the National HIV and Hepatitis C Testing Policies and technical working groups. Sue has been engaged by WHO as a technical expert in proficiency testing and regulation of diagnostic medical devices to assist with development of WHO guidelines on these subjects. She has undertaken many consultancies in developing countries reviewing policies and practices relating to laboratory and Point-of Care testing for infectious diseases and quality management systems.

Register your attendance by emailing

Australia Myanmar Institute July Seminar

Topic: Addressing non communicable diseases through a community based approach in Myanmar

About the Speaker: Dr Kyi Minn is a physician with 25 years’ experience working in global health and humanitarian emergencies. Formerly worked at the Australian International Health Institute (AIHI), the University of Melbourne and with World Vision Australia. Now resident in Yangon, Myanmar, as Regional Health Advisor for World Vision and an Honorary Fellow at the Nossal Institute. Currently a member of Civil Society Consultative Group for Health Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group in Washington DC and an advisory board member to local NGOs and CBOs.

If you missed this event, you can download the lecture slides and listen to the audio here. 

Australia Myanmar Institute June Seminar Thursday 30 June

Dr Anthony Ware, Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development from Deakin University will present his Perspectives on the Rakhine-“Rohingya” Buddhist-Muslim Conflict and Issues in Myanmar.

A question and answer session after the talk will be conducted, with representatives of the Rakhine and “Rohingya” communities being invited to participate in the discussion with the audience.

AMI Monthly Seminar

Panel discussion on Myanmar’s Transition to its new government

Prof Damien Kingsbury, Professor of International Politics, Deakin University. Board member, Australia Myanmar Institute
A/ Prof Christopher Lamb, President Australia Myanmar Institute, former ambassador to Burma, University of Melbourne. 
Mr Kyaw Soe Moe, Secretary, NLD (Australia)
Daw Chaw Po, Founder and Chairperson, Burmese Women’s Alliance
Moderator: Dr Anthony Ware, Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development, Deakin University

AMI Monthly Seminars will be held on the last Monday of the month. Our first monthly seminar will be a panel discussion on Myanmar’s new government.

This event is open to AMI members and friends. 

Event is free, but we ask for a gold coin donation at the door to help us continue our work. 

RSVP essential for catering purposes. 

RSVP your attendance to

AMI will also host special events in Melbourne and other cities in the future. Sign up to our newsletter to stay updated. 

Business Seminar – Why ASEAN and Why Now?

Organised by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Trade Commission.

11th September 2015, Melbourne Town Hall

Event – Myanmar’s Transition amid International Economic Sanctions

Presented by the Asia Foundation, University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts and the Australia Myanmar Institute.

15th September 2015, Harold Woodruff Theatre, The University of Melbourne

Myanmar and the Sustainable Development Goals

“Informed by the Past, Looking to the Future”

10- 12 July 2015, Yangon University

The Australia Myanmar Institute seeks to create and strengthen sustainable, multi-sectoral, collaborative applied research and capacity building partnerships between Australia and Myanmar.  AMI collaboration brings together academics, government officials, civil society, development workers and business people to strengthen the capacity of research, public policy and programme implementation in Myanmar.

We are convening a three-day major international conference at Yangon University with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to Myanmar.  Informed by the past, the conference will consider the Millennium Development Goals and the diversity of development in Myanmar which has led to this point of transition and possibility.  Looking to the future, the conference will include consideration of future directions required for effective, equitable and sustainable development outcomes.

We invite proposals for papers, panels  or projects relevant to the theme of Myanmar and the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on six priority thematic areas;

  • Governance and law- e.g. constitutional law reform; law and order policies; national, state/division and local governance; peace process; ethnic and religious relations; etc.
  • Education – e.g. minority language education; monastic education; education sector review; education policies; community education and empowerment; etc.
  • Health – e.g. preventative and rural health programs: communicable and non-communicable disease prevention or research; emergency medicine; national health funding; etc.
  • Business & economics – e.g. economic development; CSR & FDI; trade infrastructure; resource development and distribution; rural finance; land security and rights; etc.
  • Equity (gender and minorities) – e.g. Yangon urban heritage; Pyu cities; world heritage listing; natural environmental heritage; etc.

For a fully-detailed and up-to-date document on the Sustainable Development Goals, please see:

The conference will include plenary sessions with keynote speakers, panels with project- or policy- relevant academic quality presentations, and priority area working group project workshops to facilitate collaboration around specific applied research and/or capacity building projects, as proposed ahead of the conference.  Workshops will lead to establishment of working groups to pursue applied research and capacity building projects after the conference.

Papers: Proposals should include a title, priority theme and an abstract of not more than 200 words.

Panels: Proposals should include a title, priority theme and an abstract describing the panel in no more than 200 words, together with a minimum of three paper proposal abstracts

Projects: proposals should include a title, priority theme, an abstract describing the rationale and nature of the potential collaboration and partners in not more than 200 words.

Closing date for proposals: 30 April 2015

We encourage papers panels and workshops in English or Burmese.

All abstracts should be sent to the conference secretariat by the closing date:

Burmese language version of Call for Papers

Although the following Call for Papers is now past its expiry date it provides useful background to the conference.

Burmese Call for Papers

Conference – Myanmar and the Sustainable Development Goals

10-12 July 2015 Yangon University, Myanmar

Read more

Public Lecture – Is Ceasefire, Peace and Reconciliation Really Possible? – Cancelled

We regret to advise that due to unforeseen circumstances, the public lecture by Susu Thatun has been cancelled.

We thank everyone for their interest and apologise for any inconvenience.


 Counterpart Meeting

11 May 2013, Yangon, Myanmar

Download a summary of the Counterpart Meeting here.


Formation Conference

18 – 19 March 2013, Melbourne Town Hall

Formation Conference Report

Janelle Safin MP, speaking to the AMI Formation Conference 2013

Former Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr, speaking to the AMI Formation Conference 2013