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
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
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.