Richard, a former career diplomat, writer and broadcaster, is now an adjunct professor in the School of Communications and Media at the University of Sydney. In his diplomatic career spanning 34 years, Richard was Australia’s ambassador to the post-war Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi, and subsequently headed Australia’s missions in South Korea and Mexico, the Central American Republic and Cuba. Earlier postings included Tehran, Tokyo, Rangoon and Manila.
Richard is a lawyer by training, and in a break during his diplomatic career he spent three years from 1990 as general manager of Radio Australia, based in Melbourne. He also took time out at Harvard University studying for a masters in public administration. He is a member of the Harvard Council.
Other new councilors elected at the annual meeting of the AIIA NSW were: Louisa graham, general manager of the Walkley Foundation, and a former executive officer of AIIA NSW; Phoebe Bai Alexander, a manager at Odyssey Travel, and an active member of the Chinese community and a number of arts institutions; Jim Terrie, a former Army officer and now a crisis management and risk consultant; and Nicholas Wright, a pollster and campaign strategist who over the past 15 years has managed political campaigns in over 20 countries.
Colin Chapman, re-elected for a third term as AIIA NSW president, said: “I’m delighted to welcome these new members to a reinvigorated council that I believe will make a difference to our development in what will be a very interesting year.
“Of course Richard Broinowski and Louisa Graham have long been associated with the AIIA, and so it’s good to welcome them back. Richard, with his long experience as our envoy in front line states, coupled with his role as an author and an academic, will also bring a new perspective to the Institute.
“Hopefully we shall soon see publication of the government’s white paper on Australia in the Asian Century, and if that lives up to the trailers then it will have a profound impact on a number of policies, including defence, immigration, energy production and exports, population growth, agricultural and food production, and, perhaps, at long last, a proper plan for the development of Australia’s north.
“One of our goals for the coming 12 months is to go beyond running interesting and topical weekly meetings, and to start making contributions, along with others, to the national policy debate.
“That, historically, has been the role of the AIIA in NSW, and it is time we got back to that. We have limited resources, but we also have a growing and active membership, and excellent networks. “
Colin told the annual meeting that AIIA NSW would also be expanding its communications network through the Glover Cottages portal, the use of video and audio, and participation in social networks.
“The AIIA has lagged behind in this area, and it is time to put it right. As newspaper coverage of foreign affairs diminishes, with their focus on Parliamentary brawls and personal spats rather than serious debate, we want to offer additional channels where important issues can be discussed. “
Colin also paid tribute to the work of departing councilors who did not seek re-election – Professor Jocelyn Chey, Robert Pritchard and Prashanth Shanmugan.
“Each, in their own way, have contributed a great deal to the AIIA over many years, and Bob Pritchard, as vice president, has provided great support over a difficult period. It’s good to know they all intend to continue as active members, but pressure of work or travel plans preclude them from continuing as councilors”, he said.