The AAIDD Delegation to Australia is a professional research and exchange study tour which combines workshops at Australian universities and sightseeing in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and trips to wild life reservations. The delegation will research the supports provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Australia.

This delegation will be led by Margaret Nygren, EdD, Executive Director & CEO of AAIDD together with Colibri Boston as the group’s registered tour guide.
  • Meet with leading disability professionals and academic researchers as well as families and self-advocates in Australia.
  • Participate in an international symposium hosted by a leading university.
  • Visit schools and service sites.
  • Guided tours of Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, and visits to a Koala sanctuary and the Yarra Valley wine country.


Delegates will participate in a series of professional meetings and cultural experiences in the following cities on the following dates:

  • August 7-9: Brisbane 
    Arrive in Brisbane the morning of August 7 (Sunday)
    The program in this city will include a kick-off symposium at a leading university and a visit to a koala sanctuary.
  • August 9-12: Sydney
    The program in this city will include a visit to schools and a service location, a seminar at a leading medical school, and sightseeing at Sydney’s top visitor sites.
  • August 12-14: Melbourne
    The program in this city will include a visit to two service locations, a meeting a a leading university, and a visit to Yarra Valley wine country.


Brisbane: Hotel Jen 159 Roma St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia  +61 7 3238 2222

Sydney: Four Seasons Hotel 199 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia  +61 2 9250 3100

Melbourne: Downtowner On Lyngon 66 Lyngon St, Melbourne VIC 3053 +61 3 9663 5555

Flights:  Brisbane to Sydney VA 820, Sydney to Melbourne VA 932

Sunday, August 7th

1.45 PM     Meeting in the lobby, bus to Koala Sanctuary

2 PM          Departure to Koala Sanctuary

6 PM          Welcome Dinner and Orientation

Monday, August 8th

7 – 10 AM   Breakfast

10 AM        Walking tour of Downtown Brisbane (1h 30 min)

11.30 AM    Lunch near QCIDD

12.30 PM    Walk to Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (10      min)

1-5 PM       Seminars

 Dinner on your own

Tuesday, August 9th

6.30-7.15 AM      Breakfast

7.15 AM              Departure to the airport

10.30 AM            Arrival in Sydney – straight from airport to site meeting UNSW Australia

12 PM                 Lunch

1 PM -4/5 PM     Seminars

6 PM                  Welcome dinner at Fred’s (0.1 mile from the Four Seasons)

Wednesday, August 10th

 7 AM-8.45AM     Breakfast

8.45 AM              Departure to Paramatta

9.30 AM              Seminar

10.45 AM            David Evans lecture at Jeenee

11.45AM             Tallowood School, visit with 30-40 min lunch

1.30 PM              Visit to Ponds school visit

3.30 PM              Departure to hotel (30 min ride)

       Dinner on your own 

Thursday, August 11th

7AM-10 PM       Breakfast

10 AM                 Walking tour of Sydney Harbour, Ferry to Manley Beach

12 PM                 Lunch

1 PM                   Free time at Manly Beach

 Dinner on your own

Friday, August 12th

6-6.45 AM      Breakfast

6.45 AM           Departure to the airport   

10.30 PM         Straight from airport travel to first seminar at Inclusion Melbourne

11 AM              Inclusion Melbourne

1 PM                Visit to Onemda

2.30 PM           Travel to hotel

3-3.45PM         Check-in at hotel

4 PM-6PM       Seminars at University of Queensland

6.30 PM           Group dinner

Saturday, August 13th

8-9AM       Breakfast

9 AM          Trip to Yarra Valley Vineries

5 PM          Return to hotel

Dinner on your own

Sunday, August 14th

8-10 AM            Breakfast      



Delegates interested in this event should register through the AAIDD website.



Fees and Deadlines

The program fee includes most meals (two dinners are “on your own”), lodging, admissions, guides, hotel transfers, tips, and the flights within Australia. Round-trip airfare to and from your home city is not included in the program fee; however, flights and airport/hotel transfers within Australia are included.

Program fees differ by lodging preference. For those who are interested in a double occupancy arrangement but aren’t traveling with a roommate, efforts will be made to match roommates; however, if no roommates are available, the single occupancy rate will be required to participate.

Double Occupancy:  $2,095
Single Occupancy:   $2,695

The application (and payment) deadline is July 1, 2016.  Early application is advised as enrollment is limited.