Supporting debate

    Open and democratic dialogue is fundamental to the Institute’s mission of contributing to positive social and environmental change.

    The Institute hosts a diversity of scholarly and public events focused on social change and major policy issues facing people in the tropics. Policy forums, research seminars, conferences, film screenings and exhibitions all play a role encouraging analysis and discussion of challenging social and political issues.

    Find out what's happening on our Events calendar

    In recent years, the Institute has hosted major disciplinary conferences on behalf of the Australian Association of Pacific Studies, the Australian Sociological Association, and the Chinese Economics Society Australia.

    Regular events include:

    AudioVisual Laboratory for Anthropological Research (ALTAR)
    Screenings of ethnographic and documentary films in The Cairns Institute lecture theatre D3.054. Open and FREE to the public.

    Designed in Cairns
    A collaboration between the Australian Institute of Architects FNQ Region and The Cairns Institute. Providing continuing professional development for architects and designers but open, and FREE, to anyone interested in design.

    Language & Culture Research Centre (LCRC) Seminars 
    Research seminars on linguistic theory and fieldwork hosted by the Language and Culture Research Centre.

    Technology, Entertainment, Design. Celebrating “ideas worth spreading” at TEDxJCUCairns.

    Courtenay Lectures
    An annual public lecture series established in 1996 through the generosity of the Cairns Trinity Junior Chamber. Courtenay Lectures bring prominent Australian and international speakers to Cairns to address cutting edge issues.


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