Five of this semester's interns will give a presentation on a topic of their own choice:

Transnational Remembering: the Politics of Memory and Public Space

The global spread of the Black Lives Matter movement marked a turning point in public attitudes toward the memory and legacies of slavery and colonialism. At a time when civic space was heavily restricted by Covid-19 lockdowns, protestors organised public rallies, vigils and riots condemning the racial inequality and state-sponsored violence that persists in nations with histories of racial subjugation. Controversially, some turned on the statues of former slave owners and colonists, tagging, defacing or tearing them down in a deliberate affront to long-peddled narratives of imperial glory. Each demonstration—peaceful or otherwise—was linked by a clear and deliberate attempt to problematise a cultivated public memory that did not, in the eyes of protestors, do justice to the historical suffering of minority communities. Drawing on a close analysis of European experience, Imogen Biggins considers how the politics of history, memory and representation intertwine in public space to force a reckoning with difficult pasts.

Containment and Competition – The Sino-American relationship

While widely attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, the providence of the quote "let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world" is, in truth, largely unknown. In contrast, the unprecedented growth of China, and its newfound ability to world-shake, is widely accepted, with the actions of the existing hegemon, the United States, proving this beyond refute. Trump era policies of Chinese containment and competition have therefore become the norm. However, is this really the best approach to managing relations with China? Dominik Hruby assesses South-East Asia hierarchical power structures and impacts of globalisation to chart a more feasible course of great power balancing. In particular, the need for a post-colonial lens and re-framing of both China and America's role in the broader Asia-Pacific region.

Refugees and Conflict with the Aid of Western Nations

"Refugees and Conflict with the Aid of Western Nations" is a significant and multifaceted topic that delves into the complex relationship between the humanitarian crises brought about by conflicts and the role of Western nations in addressing them. Western countries often serve as major contributors to international aid and peacekeeping efforts, making their policies and actions pivotal in shaping the fate of displaced populations. Renuga Inpakumar will explore the ethical, political, and socio-economic dimensions of Western nations' involvement in refugee crises, emphasizing the potential for both positive impact and controversies in their approaches. Understanding how Western nations navigate their roles in times of conflict and displacement is crucial for comprehending the broader global dynamics that shape the fate of refugees and the prospects for lasting peace and stability.

The Russian Geopolitical Mindset

Winston Churchill once quipped that Russia is "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. But perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest." From Sovietology to Kremlinology generations of academics have sought to answer the simple question: what is the Russian national interest? Matthew Vasic seeks to untangle the Russian Gordian Knot of myths, half-truths, and truths in order to uncover what really dictates Moscow's national interests. Understanding these issues will be critical to forecasting the future of the Russo-Ukrainian war and Russia's long-term ambitions on the international stage.

The Future of American Democracy and the 2024 Presidential Election

With the 2024 Presidential Election looming near, and political polarisation being at an all-time high, American democracy looks to be increasingly under threat by both internal and external forces. The combination of rising geopolitical tensions between the US and China-Russia, an increasingly disaffected voting population, and a likely Biden-Trump rematch spells disaster for the future of American democracy. Daniel Yang will discuss the current state of American democracy and explore any future implications that this may have on democracy worldwide.

Imogen Biggins is a recent graduate of the University of Sydney, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies) with First Class Honours and the University Medal.

Dominik Hruby is a fourth-year student at the University of Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies, Marketing).

Renuga Inpakumar is in her third-year at Western Sydney University, studying Bachelor of Arts/Laws majoring in International Relations and Asian Studies and minoring in History and Political Thought.

Matthew Vasic is a fifth-year undergraduate student studying International Studies and Law at Western Sydney University. He was also an Australian representative at the 2022 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum.

Daniel Yang is a second-year student at the University of New South Wales studying a Bachelor of Social Science with a concentration in Politics and International Relations.

(For more information, go to the Internships page​)


We will have space for a limited number of participants in-person at the Glover Cottages, tickets to be pre-paid. Once the limit for in-person attendees is reached, tickets will no longer be sold on the website or at the door.

Refreshments will be served.

For further information please email:

Photo from left to right: Imogen, Dominik, Matthew, Daniel, Rachel and Renuga


Glover Cottages
Kent Street 124-134
Millers Point, New South Wales, Australia

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