5th SAAA Annual Conference Online / Adelaide 2021, 19 November

Invitation to attend ONLINE / IN-PERSON in Adelaide

Target audience: Networking conference connecting individuals and organisations interested in knowledge exchange between Slovenia and Australia.

Theme: Diversity and Innovation: Celebrating Slovenia’s 30th Anniversary

Date: Friday, 19 November 2021, 09.30am-5.00pm (Conference starts at 12.00pm), ACDT UTC +10:30

Virtual venue: Zoom platform with the recordings available on Facebook and YouTube in collaboration with VTIS

In-person venue: Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Bradley Forum, Hawke Building, 55 North Terrace, University of South Australia City West Campus, Adelaide (Map)

Conference Dinner: Friday, 19 November, 6.30pm, National Wine Centre of Australia, Corner of Hackney Rd &, Botanic St, Adelaide (Map)

Study Tour: Saturday, 20 November, time TBA, A day in Hahndorf (more info soon). Organised by the Slovenian Australian Cook Hub.



We welcome everyone to the 5th SAAA Annual Conference on the 19th of November 2021 in Adelaide. What a perfect time for Slovenians and friends to participate in:

  • the sharing of knowledge across generations, academia and industries.
  • the celebration of achievements in our young people.
  • the 30th anniversary of Slovenia’s Statehood and its ongoing achievements in the field of Environmental Awareness and Gastronomy.
  • the acknowledgement of Slovenia’s vital role in the Presidency of the Council of the EU, occurring in the second half of 2021. We are looking forward to acknowledging the importance of networks between EU and the Australasian region.

Over the past 18 months, Slovenians have found a deeper connection with each other spanning the globe and we would love to harness this connection and energy in our next Conference in November 2021. Our Slovenian community in Adelaide, is active, thriving and we would love to introduce you all to our members and share the hospitality with you. We love our beaches, green hills, extraordinary wineries, delicious seafood and very warm people. We look forward to showing off our beautiful city with you all.


Organising Committee


Opening addresses:

  • H. E. Dr Helena Jaklitsch, Minister for Slovenians Abroad, Government Office for Slovenians Abroad*
  • H. E. Mr Jurij Rifelj, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia in Australia
  • Mr Adrian Vatovec, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia in Adelaide
  • Prof Anthony Elliott, Executive Director, Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and Network; Dean, External Engagement, University of South Australia
  • Dr Kaja Antlej, President, Slovenian Australian Academic Association (SAAA)
  • Mrs Carmen Kalc-Jenko, Representative of the Slovenian Community in South Australia


  • Mr Ivo Boscarol, the CEO and co-owner of Pipistrel* on “Thirty years of revolutionizing aviation
  • A/Prof Alice Gorman, Flinders University, on “Islands in space: the visionary science of Hermann Noordung”
  • A/Prof Laura Grenfell, The University of Adelaide, on “Protecting the Vulnerable during COVID 19″

For the full list of speakers see PROGRAM.

* Via video conference.

Academic Committee: Dr Kaja Antlej, Prof Aaron Hermann, Prof John Hajek, Dr Matevž (Matt) Rašković, Anna Tait, Vid Čibej (VTIS), Mateya Slobodnik (SACC)
Organising Committee: Carmen Kalc-Jenko, Mark Gobec, Nina Becejac

Organiser: Slovenian Australian Academic Association Incorporated (SAAA) 

  • SAAA was established in 2015 and today it has almost 70 members affiliated across 19 universities. SAAA has 11 regional sections in Australia, Slovenia, New Zealand, and South-East Asia
  • SAAA connects academics, researchers, students, young entrepreneurs interested in knowledge exchange opportunities between Slovenia, Australia as well as their respective regions.
  • SAAA supports younger generations through its Travel Grant to Slovenia and has been awarded an EU-funded ERASMUS+ project.
  • Since its foundation, SAAA has held four annual conferences: Melbourne 2017Brisbane 2018, Sydney 2019, Wellington (online) 2020.

Co-organisers: Slovenian Australian Chamber of Commerce (SACC), Association of Slovenes Educated Abroad (VTIS)Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of South Australia
Supported by: Slovenian Embassy in Canberra
Sponsor: Government Office for Slovenians Abroad

Contact: Carmen Kalc-Jenko and Mark Gobec, conference@saaa.si

The delivery of this event is subject to COVID19 restrictions. This event will be video recorded for archival and dissemination purposes. The recordings will be publicly available on VTIS’s Facebook and YouTube channels. The schedule may be subject to change.