The Institute of Actuaries of Australia has a heritage which dates back to 1897.
In that year, the Actuarial Society of New South Wales was formed. The inaugural
meeting of seventeen members took place in Sydney on 19 October 1897. Prior to this
date, a handful of actuaries had been involved in helping establish and manage several
important financial institutions in the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria.
Initially, actuaries served the public interest by helping to ensure the soundness
of life insurance offices and friendly societies and acting as arbiters of equity
in life company bonus distributions. Actuarial fields of activity broadened following
World War II to include superannuation, investment and, from the 1970s, general
By 1919, actuaries resident in other States and New Zealand had joined the Actuarial
Society of New South Wales and the name was changed to the Actuarial Society of
The Society published its first bulletin in 1945 and the first of the now biennial
conventions was held in 1953.
Further name changes occurred up to 1963 when The Institute of Actuaries of Australia
and New Zealand was incorporated. When New Zealand actuaries formed their own society
in 1977, the name changed to The Institute of Actuaries of Australia.
The Institute was instrumental in the introduction of actuarial education at Macquarie
University in 1968 (prior to this, Australian actuaries had to pass UK final examinations
in order to qualify). The introduction of Australian Fellowship examinations in
1980 marked a new maturity for the profession in this country.
As part of the worldwide actuarial profession, the Institute maintains regular contact
with overseas actuarial associations.