Thai insights at Sydney University

17 April 2014

As Thailand remains locked in a political battle between red and yellow shirts, sometimes seen as a divide between Bangkok and the provinces, leading Thai and international researchers will meet in Australia to discuss the development and decay of Thailand's party politics and how politicians may be able to break through this impasse.

More than 300 experts, researchers and academics will attend a conference at theUniversity of Sydney over three days from 22 to 24 April to discuss Thai politics, culture, its economy and monarchy.

The International Conference on Thai Studies (ICTS) has been held every three years since 1981.

This year's conference at the University of Sydney marks the first time that the conference is being held outside Thailand in a city with a large Thai presence.

Chair of the ICTS Organising Committee, University of Sydney Professor, Philip Hirsch, said Sydney was the perfect place to host this year's conference.

"Sydney has one of two officially designated Thai Towns in the world and the largest Thai population in Australia. That's why we've decided to go with this year's theme, "Thailand in the World," Professor Hirsch said.

Political panel discussions:

  • Tuesday 22 April - Thailand's party politics today: development or decay
  • Wednesday 23 April - Reform What? What national reforms are needed given the current political impasse

The full conference program can be found on the ICTS website.

As part of the conference a public forum will be held to profile the Thai community in Australia.


  • A demographic profile of Thailand in Australia
    Professor Philip Hirsch, the University of Sydney
  • The boom in Thai cuisine in Australia: a restaurateur's challenges and experience
    Sujet Saenkham, Spice I Am
  • The migration experience behind the figures "Thai-ney", a short film
    by Pasut Lasuka, Australian National University and Charn Panurat, University of Sydney
  • Dealing with social challenges
    Nilwan Jiraratwatana, Thai Welfare Association
  • Thailand's economic presence in Australia
    Tamerlaine Beasley, Beasley Intercultural

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