At the end of December Professor Joseph Camilleri will
bring to an end forty years of distinguished service at La
Trobe University, the last nineteen years in his capacity
as Professor of International Relations.
In 2005 Professor Camilleri founded the La Trobe Centre for
Dialogue. Under his leadership, the Centre has established
an enviable national and international reputation for
research, training and policy development.
Both the Federal and Victorian governments have strongly
supported the Centre's work, which has focused on the
management of cultural and religious diversity within and
between countries, especially in the context of tension and
Professor of Anthropology Alberto Gomes has been appointed
new director of La Trobe University's Centre for
Dialogue from the start of next year.
The Hon Justice Michael Kirby, retired judge of the High
Court of Australia and Patron of the Centre for Dialogue,
described Professor Camilleri as 'an inspiring leader'.
'Recent events in Australia and the world have demonstrated
once again how vital it is to engage Australians of
different faiths and cultures in dialogue and mutual
respect,' Justice Kirby said.
'Joseph Camilleri has shown brilliance and empathy in
promoting dialogue and understanding. His contributions to
La Trobe University and the wider Victorian, Australian and
international communities have been magnificent,'
The Hon Steve Bracks, Former Premier of Victoria and Chair
of the Centre's Advisory Board for the last three
years, described Professor Camilleri as 'an
outstanding public policy contributor, both in Australia
'He has positioned La Trobe University's Centre for
Dialogue as the preeminent Centre for debate on culture and
mutual respect between people and nations,' Mr Bracks
'His life's work has added to the deep understanding
between many of these cultures in many communities.
Australia has been lucky to have experienced his policy
Professor Camilleri said the time has come for leadership
of the Centre for Dialogue to pass to new hands.
'I am delighted that the University has accepted my
recommendation that Professor Alberto Gomes be appointed as
the Centre's new director from the start of next year.
Professor Alberto Gomes has taught anthropology at La Trobe
since 1990. Widely recognised for excellence in teaching,
he has also taught in Malaysia, Finland and Spain. He was
the Development Studies Program Coordinator at La Trobe for
more than 10 years and Convener of the Sociology and
Anthropology Program between 2006 and 2009. His research on
the Orang Asli (Malaysian aborigines,) spanning more than
30 years has resulted in numerous articles and three books.
He is currently working on the anthropology of civility and
on the nexus between equality, sustainability and
During his period of long service at La Trobe Professor
Camilleri made La Trobe an important centre for
interdisciplinary teaching and research in International
Relations. He established the sought after Bachelor of
International Relations Degree, and the Master of
International Policy Studies (now Master of International
Relations). During this time he has mentored more than 20
international relations scholars who now hold senior
positions in the academic world and supervised more than 40
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar
said Professor Camilleri's contribution to La Trobe
University has been immense.
'Joseph's legacy in international relations at La Trobe,
and his contribution to dialogue and conflict resolution
through the unique work of the Centre will have important
and wide-ranging impacts for years to come. I wish him well
in his future endeavours and look forward to seeing him on
often campus,' Professor Dewar said.
While Professor Camilleri will continue to support La
Trobe in its important and distinctive academic mission, he
is planning over the next few years an extensive program of
writing and contributions to academic and public debate,
especially on key challenges facing Australia as it adjusts
to Asia's rise and a period of far-reaching transition in
Professor Camilleri also plans to develop a close
association with a number of leading universities in
Australia and internationally.