This year, 2017, marks important anniversaries pertaining to the issue of Palestine. It is the 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, 100 years of Australian involvement in Palestine, and 50 years of Israeli Occupation. The 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement set the scene by carving up the region into the modern Middle East, and the 1956 Suez Crisis highlighted the geo-political importance of the region. Collectively these significant events have influenced the destiny of the Palestinians and the inhabitants of the region, shaped international and Australian involvement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

This three-day symposium seeks to examine Palestine and the West: History, Contemporary Realities and Challenges Ahead.

The focus of this academic symposium will be Palestine in the context of the West, and not the West in the context of Palestine. The central theme will be Palestine, its past, present, and its future.

Historical interventions and their impact on Palestinians will set the scene of the theme of this symposium. Experts in the field will examine the impact of these interventions on contemporary realities within the Palestinian territories and among Palestinians wherever they are found. The symposium will examine Palestine in context of the MENA region from both micro and macro levels. It will cover international and regional developments and their impact on Palestinians within the Palestinian territories, within Israel, those exiled or living in neighbouring countries, or the Diaspora. The impact of 50 years of Israeli occupation, or almost 70 years of Palestinian displacement since 1948 will also be addressed.

The challenges ahead for Palestinians and the prospects of a just and peaceful resolution will be discussed, as will possible solutions to resolving this core international conflict. 


Symposium Speakers

The Symposium will be inviting a number of Australian and international guests, each scholars or experts in their fields, including:


Symposium venue: Napier Building, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide.

FRI 24 NOV: Palestine and the West: History & Broken Promises

Postgraduate (PG) & Early Career Research (ECR) Symposium Forum & Presentations

Public lecture & Panel discussion:

  • Different perspectives on the contemporary history of Palestine

SAT 25 NOV: Palestine and the West: Contemporary Realities

Two sessions of panel discussion:

  • Palestine in the context of the Middle East
  • The elusive two-state solution

Keynote event: Edward Said Memorial Lecture
VENUE: Elder Hall, University of Adelaide

Symposium Dinner

SUN 26 NOV: Palestine and the West: Challenges Ahead

Three sessions of panel discussion:

  • Palestinian leadership, Palestinian diaspora and the role of aid
  • Pathways to a peaceful resolution
  • Future possibilities for justice and equality



Target Audience

  • Academics & students
  • Public servants within government departments such as foreign affairs, immigration, & Austrade
  • NGO practitioners
  • Higher Degree Research (HDR) students
  • General public

Symposium Convenors

Professor Bassam Dally, University of Adelaide

Dr Minerva Nasser-Eddine, University of Adelaide

For Symposium information, please email: esmsymposium@adelaide.edu.au or contact the Palestine Center For Peace at events@palestinecenterforpeace.com.au or Tel. (+61) 08 8232 5273.


Symposium Sponsors


The Australian Friends of Palestine Association is a not-for-profit community organisation based in South Australia working to promote a just peace for the Palestinian people based on international law and UN resolutions.


An initiative of AFOPA combining a retail shop-front promoting products sourced from Palestine and a Resource Centre to promote awareness and education about Palestine and the Palestinian people.  

APAN Logo.jpg

A national coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to influence Australia’s public policy in regard to Palestine and Israel.


A leading Australian research and teaching group based at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University, focussed on the Middle East and Central Asia.

Symposium Host

Department of Politics & International Studies (POLIS), School of Social Sciences, The University of Adelaide, www.adelaide.edu.au