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IAI Library
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Grollo Ruzzene Fndtn

at La Trobe University

The Italian Australian Institute (IAI) is a research centre responsible for collecting and making available cultural material which bears witness to the Italian presence in Australia, so that it will be preserved for subsequent generations and made accessible for scholars, researchers, historians and the wider public.

The IAI is a non profit organisation.  Its aims are to encourage and support the study and research into all areas, historical, cultural, social and political, of the Italian presence in Australia.

The premises of the IAI are on the campus of La Trobe University, which has been involved with Italian studies for a long time and boasts a long tradition of teaching Italian language and culture and of research into many aspects of the two hundred years of the Italian presence in Australia.  The Italian Australian Institute is also interested in today's relations between Italy and Australia, especially those regarding the new generations.

In fact one of the fundamental aims of the Institute is to motivate, to encourage and to give greater and greater support to the younger generation in all their research into the field of Italian studies in Australia.  This will be done by awarding scholarships to young research students specialising in the above mentioned fields of study, by organising conferences and seminars, and by the publication and distribution of pertinent material from present and past research.

The IAI will house a large library.  This is so as to be able to gather, besides the thousands of volumes and documents which it has already acquired, the books and papers which the Italian community and other organisations intend to donate and which would otherwise be lost or destroyed, as is happening all too often at the present time.

The IAI intends to be responsible for keeping and and looking after any material which bears witness to Italian culture in Australia, so that it will be accessible for the new generations and for all those who may need it for research purposes.

In the State of Victoria alone there are more than three hundred regional social clubs, professional associations, returned soldiers' associations etc., only about ten of which have their own premises.  Another aim of the IAI is to be a magnet for these Organisations, to give them a place where their committees could meet and where they could store, if necessary, the documents pertaining to their activities, for which at the present time, for various reasons, it is difficult to find a place in the already existing Organisations.

The main office of the Institute is within a vast area of buildings and gardens protected by the National Trust.  The wide open spaces and a large theatre will host both social and recreational activities.  Serviced by suburban public transport and furnished with the large parking areas, this venue is highly suitable for community gatherings and social activities.