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Parthenon, Greece

Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens

Facilitating the work of Australian academics and students
The institute is one of 18 foreign research facilities established in Athens that focus on Greek, and wider Mediterranean studies, with a heavy emphasis on archaeological fieldwork and research.

About us

The Institute’s mission is to promote Greek studies in Australia and to foster wider Australian involvement with Greek cultural output. While much of its focus has been on antiquity the Institute’s activities encompass all periods of Greek history. The Institute offers practical assistance to Australian students and scholars to further their research and to disseminate it both nationally and internationally. 

Australian universities that have classics, ancient history and Greek studies programs (12 in total) are institutional members and Ohio State University is a foreign institutional member. We are proud that five high schools have also chosen to become institutional members, thus underlining the importance they place on the humanities.

In addition to our fieldwork projects, we provide a number of services to our members and friends. These include various events throughout the year, including our Visiting Professorship program and a range of fellowships, scholarships and bursaries across Australia including a contemporary creative residency program open to Australian literary and visual artists. We also publish Mediterranean Archaeology, a journal for archaeology in the Mediterranean world and organise tours to Greece and the Mediterranean.

Furthermore, we also support a number of publications, including periodicals and e-newsletters and house an extensive archaeological library at our Sydney offices.

Our people


Dr Stavros Paspalas

Stavros received his BA (Hons) and MA (Hons) degrees from the University of Sydney and his doctorate from the University of Oxford. He was appointed as Deputy Director of the AAIA in 1996, and Acting Director in March 2016. His research interests include the Greek world’s links with Lydia and the Achaemenid Empire, the archaeology of the northern Aegean during the Archaic and Classical periods, and the Early Iron Age Aegean. He is involved in a number of field projects, notably in the Zagora Archaeological Project which he co-directs with Professor Margaret Miller and Associate Professor Lesley Beaumont, both of the University of Sydney. He worked for many years on the excavations at Torone and on the Australian Paliochora Kythera Archaeological Survey. He has published on the cultural exchanges between Greece, especially Macedonia, and its eastern neighbours, ceramic studies, and matters related to the iconography of the ancient world. In his current role of Acting Director of the AAIA he oversees the operations of the Institute, coordinating its various research and outreach programmes both in Greece and Australia, and working with staff, governance and supporters to ensure its continuing success and growth.

Emeritus Professor Alexander Cambitoglou, AO
Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, DUniv h.c.

From his arrival in Australia the late Professor Alexander Cambitoglou worked tirelessly to promote Australian research in Greece, beginning in 1967 with the establishment of the first Australian excavation in Greece at the Early Iron Age settlement of Zagora on the Aegean island of Andros. This pioneering endeavour was a collaboration between the Archaeological Society at Athens and the University of Sydney.

He was appointed the Arthur and Renee George Professor of Classical Archaeology in 1978 and retired from his chair in 1989. Perhaps the greatest legacy Professor Cambitoglou provided Australian students and scholars of Greek and related studies was the establishment of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens in 1980.

He continued as the Curator of the Nicholson Museum until December 2000 and retired from the position of the Institute’s Director in 2016.


We are not a government-funded organisation. Your support helps continue important archaeological and research work in Greece and to promote Australian involvement in Greek studies both in Greece and internationally.
To become a member, or to renew an existing membership, simply register online, or download and complete our postal membership form.

Please send completed postal forms to:

The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens
Madsen Building (F09)
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006

Donations to the AAIA are gratefully received, and will help to support our research endeavours. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be made online here.

Our Events

AAIA Oxi Day event 2022 audience and speakers

The Australian Archoaelogical Institute at Athens has a lively events calendar, exploring the archaeology and culture of Greece, and celebrating Australia's links with Greece, both past and present. 

Reg Saunders

Upcoming special event

Captain Reginald 'Reg' Saunders' Legacy to our Father and our Nation: An evening with Glenda Humes, Daughter of Reg Saunders

Glenda Humes will talk about the incredible story of her Father Reg Saunders, the first Aboriginal Australian to be commissioned as an officer in the Australian army.

After being part of the disastrous campaign in Greece Reg ended up in on the island of Crete and his battalion 2/7th was left behind. Saunders was one of the many Australian soldiers who refused to surrender and instead was hidden on Crete for 11 months by the Zagarachis family.

16 May 2023, from 6pm | Click here to register

Fellowships, scholarships and bursaries

We provide a range of fellowships, scholarships and bursaries across Australia. Many are offered through our Institutional members such as universities or high schools while others are offered through the Societies of Friends located in each state.

If you are interested in such scholarships please contact your local Friends group or Institutional Member. The three scholarships offered via the Sydney headquarters of the Institute are listed below.

This Fellowship supports travel to Greece for research purposes by Australian postgraduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and academics from Australian universities. Scholars from the fields of Prehistoric and Classical Archaeology, History and Literature, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies who need to spend time for their research in Greece are eligible to apply. 

Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in Australia working/studying at an Australian university and must have a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours or equivalent qualifications. 

The value of the fellowship is A$15,000, plus a 20% discount on accommodation at the AAIA Hostel.

The next Fellowship will be offered in 2021/22. 

The Olwen Tudor Jones Scholarship for Archaeological Fieldwork in the Mediterranean was offered by the Society of Mediterranean Archaeology (SoMA) for the first time in 2001. 

In January 2002 the Council of SoMA voted to rename the scholarship in memory of Olwen Tudor Jones. Subsequently, after generous donations were received from Olwen's family and friends, a capital preserved trust was set up. It is this trust, subsequently augmented by funds raised from SoMA events that finances the annual scholarship.

The scholarship is offered to a University of Sydney student of archaeology, or associated field, of high academic achievement for the purpose of partially funding that student's travel costs to participate in fieldwork in the Mediterranean region. Preference is given to a student who will be working on a University of Sydney project, and to a student who has not previously participated in an archaeological project in the Mediterranean.

Current global conditions have unfortunately meant that the scholarship was not offered in 2020
In 2020, the ongoing global crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic has limited travel and restricted fieldwork across the globe. Consequently, SoMA has postponed their next scholarship round until travel bans have been lifted and dig directors can start planning for their next field seasons. Follow the AAIA social media accounts and University of Sydney e-community notices for the call for applications in the future.

You are welcome to apply for the scholarship if participating in any excavation in the Mediterranean, especially as in some years there may be no active University of Sydney projects in the region. Please contact the AAIA if you would like advice on suitable field schools etc in your area of interest.

Olwen Tudor Jones Scholarship Honor Roll

  • 2019 – Amir Zaribaf, Archaeological Water Histories of Oman (University of Sydney and John Hopkins University)
  •  2018 – Vickie Tran, El Toll and Teixoneres Cave Complex, Spain (University Rovira)
  • 2018 – Olivia Cashmere, Thorikos Field Project, Greece (Belgian School at Athens)
  • 2017 – Sarah Gyngell, Nahal Ein Gev, Israel (The Hebrew University)
  • 2016 – Ellen Campbell, Keros Field School, Greece (McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge)
  • 2015 – Sareeta Zaid, Pintia Necropolis Program, Spain (ArcheoSpain)
  • 2014 – Hannah Morris, Zagora Archaeological Project, Greece (Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and the University of Sydney)
  • 2013 – Kate McAllan, Zagora Archaeological Project, Greece (Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and the University of Sydney)
  • 2012 – Lauren Morris, Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project, Cyprus (University of Sydney)
  • 2011 –  Elaine Lin, Tunzha Regional Archaeological Project, Bulgaria (University of  NSW and University of Michigan)
  • 2010 – Philipa Mott, Menorca Spain (Ecomuseum of Cape of Cavalleria)
  • 2009 – Eleanor Clarie Pitt, Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project, Cyprus (University of Sydney)
  • 2008 – Miriyan Kidson, Borders of Arabia Project, Jordan (University of Sydney)
  • 2007 – Louisa di Bartolomeo, Pompei Archaeological Research Program: Porta Stabia, Italy (Stanford University – University of Michigan)
  • 2007 – Kristen Mann, Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project, Cyprus (University of Sydney) and Southern Euoboean Exploration Project, Greece (Canadian Institute in Greece)
  • 2005 – Lily Withercombe-Taperel, Pompei Archaeological Research Program: Porta Stabia, Italy (Stanford University – University of Michigan)
  • 2004 – Alexandra Vaughn, Geece (Greek Ministry of Culture)
  • 2003 – Nicholas Vlachos
  • 2002 – Keryn Paul, Italy (University of Geneva)
  • 2001 – Cathy Hammond, Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project, Cyprus (University of Sydney)

Applications for the 2021 Residency have now closed

This year, in light of the current Australian national departure restrictions, we specifically welcome applications from Australian creative practitioners currently residing outside of Australia. Creative practitioners of other nationalities who hold Australian Permanent Resident status who are currently residing outside of Australia are also welcome to apply.

Please bear in mind that the successful applicant must be able to produce appropriate documentation of full vaccination status for Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) before taking up the 2021 Contemporary Creative Residency in December 2021.

Please also be aware that while we do not anticipate changes to current Greek law regarding entry to Greece before December 2021, the impacts of the Covid-19 virus remain internationally a dynamic space and there may be need for changes or potentially cancellation of the award. Submissions received later than 5PM AEST Monday 20 September 2021 will not be considered. Announcement of the successful applicant will be made in the first week of October 2021.

Now in its 8th year, the AAIA Contemporary Creative Residency program was initiated in 2014. Applications are invited from professional Australian artists and writers who:

  • work in literary or visual media 
  • maintain a strong demonstrable interest in any aspect of contemporary, modern, Byzantine or ancient, Greek culture. 

The award offers the opportunity to spend the month of December working in Athens undertaking creative research toward new bodies of work, or furthering existing creative projects in any visual or literary form.

 The award includes

  • Exclusive accommodation, for the month of December, in the AAIA Hostel, a spacious 3-bedroom apartment located at the foot of the Acropolis. It should be noted that this is not a ‘studio residency’ rather a ‘residential award’ though the apartment also includes generous spaces suitable to table-top working practices. 
  • AAIA support and advocacy toward access to important library collections, museum collections, archive collections, contemporary galleries, foundations and archaeological sites throughout Greece that may not otherwise be accessible.

The AAIA Contemporary Creative Residency and more broadly the AAIA Contemporary Creative Program promotes Hellenic studies as per the core objective of the Institute. It is intended that by directly engaging with and supporting creative practitioners the aims of the AAIA can be innovatively interpreted for our members and the wider community, both within Australia and Greece, and reach broader audiences.

Previous AAIA CCR awardees:

  • 2020 Scott Miles (painter)
  • 2019 Dr Sary Zananiri (artist, cultural historian)
  • 2018 Brie Trennery and Keiran Boland (video, photography, performance)
  • 2017 Melissa Deerson (text, performance, drawing, video)
  • 2016 Dr Charles Anderson (multimedia)
  • 2016 Louis Porter (photography)
  • 2015 Jena Woodhouse (poetry)
  • 2014 Dr Andrew Hazewinkel (photography, sculpture) 

Reports from AAIA Contemporary Creative Residents are published annually in the AAIA Newsletter and Bulletin.

For further information and application guidelines:

Information and Guidelines for applicants



This scholarship, generously funded by Mr Nikolaos Galatis of Adelaide, is open to students enrolled full-time in a Masters by Research or PhD degree at any Australian university which is an institutional member of the Institute. The area of research extends to all fields of Greek Studies up to 1453 CE and the scholarship supports travel either to Greece or a neighbouring country where there is relevant material/archives to the applicant’s research.

Please visit the University of Sydney Scholarship page for further information about this opportunity.

Our friends

Since 1982, our Institute has relied upon support from an Australia-wide network of Friends groups. Our Friends make significant contributions to the Institute in terms of its finances and also promote archaeology and Hellenic studies through their diverse activities.

The University of Sydney Friends of the AAIA - SoMA is designed to promote the study of archaeology through lectures, seminars, other educational events and social functions. SoMA holds fund raising events to showcase the research undertaken at the AAIA and the University of Sydney, to support their excavations, and to help students in gaining practical archaeological experience in the Mediterranean. 

All funds generated by SoMA are dedicated to financial assistance for Australian archaeological projects overseas and for the Olwen Tudor Jones Scholarship (see above for details).


Candace Richards
Nicholson Museum A14
University of Sydney
+61 2 9351 7387


Mr Angelo Hatsatouris OAM
c/- PO Box 320
Maroubra Junction 
Sydney NSW 2035

Mr Brian Cleary
c/- AAIA Athens Office
Zacharitsa 17, Koukaki
Athens 11741 Greece
P +30 (210) 924 3256

Follow on Facebook here.


Prof. Elizabeth Minchin. FAHA

The Canberra (ANU) 
Friends of the AAIA
c./ Prof. Elizabeth Minchin, FAHA
School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics, 
College of Arts & the Social Sciences
AD Hope Building (14) 
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia


Mr Chris Griffiths
PO Box 5047
Mt Gravatt East 4122


Spiros Sarris
The SA Friends of the AAIA (Inc)
PO Box 701, Torrensville Plaza
+61 404 145 455

Acting Director

Dr Stavros Paspalas

Contact details

Sydney office

Athens office