The Australian Institute for Macedonian Studies (AIMS) was formed in August 1986 by a group of academics, teachers and professionals, aiming to promote the cultural and historical identity of Macedonian Hellenism and to conduct research on various domains and disciplines including anthropological, socio-cultural, linguistic and historical pertinent to Hellenism; the scope of studies extends over the wider geographic region of Macedonia from the 11th century B.C. to the present day, covering the ancient, medieval and post-liberation period.
The founding members assembled at the premises of St. Basil’s Grammar School in Blyth Street, Brunswick, Melbourne and elected the Board of Management, electing P. Liveriadis Chairman of the Board, Professor Dr A. M. Tamis inaugural President of the AIMS, Dr D. Iakovidis and P. Iasonidis Secretaries, N. Halatzoukas treasurer and M. Kasapides, Th. Karabatsas, N. Katris, P. Gogides, M. Kasnaksis, C. Mantzios and K. Hatzistavros members of the Board of Directors.
During the years following it’s formation, AIMS has managed to widen its authority nationally and internationally, organizing lectures and seminars in state capitals, publishing several monographs and collective volumes, organising a number of international conferences, many seminars and numerous public lectures.
The Institute also produced a literary journal entitled Makedonikos Logos (Macedonian Logos) in 1986, a monthly Macedonian Bulletin distributed to its members and community organizations and a large number of cultural events including concerts in classical music, lectures, symposia and seminars. In 2014 it published the bi-annual Macedonian Studies Journal published in Greece by Tziola Technical Publications.
Over the years, the members of the AIMS
- published a number of articles in referred journals on historical, linguistic and socio-cultural issues pertaining to Macedonia;
- presented review studies on Macedonian Hellenism and the complex issues on Macedonia;
- advised Australian, Greek and Cypriot governments and its agencies, including diplomatic representatives;
- submitted studies on ancient Macedonian language, the Slavonic and Greek dialects spoken in the wider geographic region of Macedonia;
- compiled reports and offered erudite advice to government advisers on issues relevant to the Macedonian Question and its controversy amongst the involved ethnic groups;
- promoted the music, culture, folklore and national costumes of the wider Macedonia and the similarities and differences between the Greek Macedonian compared with the Macedoslavs;
- researched and compiled books on the migration and settlement experience of Macedonian Hellenes from the 16th Century to the present date.
In 1997, the AIMS was academically amalgamated within the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research at La Trobe University until the eradication of the Centre in December 2008.
Organisations that AIMS Collaborates with on research matters and publications include
- The Institute for Balkan Studies in Greece (2009)
- The Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria (2011)
- The Research Committee of the Society for Macedonian Studies (2011)
- The Academy of Institutions and Cultures of Greece (2012)
Today AIMS remains an independent research and scholarly institution concentrated mainly on research and publication activities. Highlights of AIMS achievements over recent years include:
2013 – Research projects included the study entitled Macedonian Communities in the Twentieth Century in collaboration with the Society of Macedonian Studies and the Bibliographical Atlas on Macedonian Studies
2014 – The study on Macedonian Hellenes in Oceania was published under the patronage of the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and the financial support of the Benevolent Society of Men of Thessaloniki (F.A.A.TH) and a team of Australian Greek businessmen.
2016 – The Australian Macedonian composer, Florinian Christos Ioannidis in collaboration with the renowned Australian conductor Douglas Heywood, OAM, produced a spectacular concert at Melbourne Recital Centre in front of 800 enthusiastic spectators. The concert titled Alexander the Great: Pioneering Multiculturalism brought on stage one hundred Australian musicians and chorus performers depicting and narrating the military and cultural campaign that changed the shape of world history.
By 2017, the publication of the Macedonian Studies Journal boasted a long line of academic contributors from Europe, America and Australia.