Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has arrived in Australia to encourage global interest in further democratic reform in Myanmar.
The country's opposition leader - described by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as one of the world's most inspiring figures in the past 100 years - will be in Australia for five days.
"Australia supports the political and economic reforms the Myanmar government has underway, including the April 2012 by-election when Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the National League for Democracy entered the parliament."
Ms Suu Kyi will visit Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney and is expected to make several speeches, .
Australian National University's Myanmar specialist Dr Nicholas Farrelly says Ms Suu Kyi is looking at a way forward for Myanmar.
"Aung San Suu Kyi will warn of the challenges ahead, while also endorsing some of the positive changes that have rolled out across Myanmar society in the past few years," he said.
"She will encourage Australia to maintain its support of the transition and work towards the implementation of a fully democratic system, where all citizens enjoy the opportunity to succeed.
"The wounds of a quarter century ago are still raw for many people in Myanmar.
"Back then, the hopes of the young and bright were trampled by the military. It's difficult to recover from such trauma.
"Aung San Suu Kyi is trying to show a way forward, but not everyone agrees that her approach is prudent."
Ms Suu Kyi will receive an honorary doctorate from The Australian National University on Friday.
The daughter of Burmese independence hero General Aung San, Ms Suu Kyi had made her life in Britain and returned to Burma to care for her ill mother.
She entered politics amid pro-democracy protests and the subsequent brutal military crackdown in 1988.
Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won elections in 1990 but was barred by the military junta from taking office.
Ms Suu Kyi was held for many years under house arrest and was released in 2010.
Myanmar has been recognised by the United Nations as one of the world's most repressive regimes.
The death toll from the 1988 protests will never be known, but around 1,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the crackdown and academic and security sources suggest the total death toll since independence through political conflict is as high as 750,000.
Today Myanmar is emerging from five decades of authoritarian rule. The country is opening up, sanctions are lifting and business is starting to flow.
Constitutional changes introduced by president U Thein Sein saw Ms Suu Kyi and NLD candidates stand in an historical by-election in April 2012.
Ms Suu Kyi's power however is limited, though parliament gives her a platform from which to engage in political activity that was banned for so long.
On a visit to London in 2012, she told the UK parliament about the fragile state of reform.
"If we don't get things right this time around it may be several decades more before a similar opportunity arises again," she said.
Myanmar faces many internal conflicts and tensions, and Dr Farrelly says this is a sensitive subject for the country.
"Unresolved conflicts are the big obstacle to Myanmar's further progress towards peace and prosperity," he said.
"But there's no silver bullet and Aung San Suu Kyi will be sure to sidestep the trickiest issues, such as the contested status of the Rohingya in western Myanmar."
Deadly violence against the Muslim minority Rohingya people in Rakhine State in 2012 spread into central Myanmar in 2013 and according to the latest report from the International Crisis Group (ICG), could derail the country's progress.
"Unless there is an effective government response and change in societal attitudes, violence could spread, impacting on Myanmar's transition as well as its standing in the region and beyond," the ICG says on its website.
Clashes killed 200 people in 2012 and 44 this year, including 20 students and several teachers massacred at an Islamic school in the central town of Meiktila.
Tensions have spread overseas with retaliatory killings of Myanmar Buddhists in Malaysia and elsewhere.
"There have been threats of jihad against Myanmar, and plots and attacks against Myanmar or Buddhist targets in the region. This could become a serious political issue," it said.
Separate from violence against the Rohingya people, Myanmar has suffered one of the world's longest running civil wars against minority Christians and other groups.
There are up to half a million people displaced from Myanmar living on the Thai-Myanmar border.
Australian aid to Myanmar is listed as $82.8 million this year and is scheduled to increase to $100 million by 2015/16, however the impact of current aid budget cuts is unclear.
The Australian aid budget is under review and the Government says specific decisions will be announced in due course.
At Mae Sot on the Thai side of the border, Dr Cynthia Maung runs the internationally renowned Mae Tao health clinic, which has recently had its Australian aid funding discontinued.
Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have disputed the claim that funding has been cut, telling Senate Estimates hearings last week the funding was for a period of three years and that agreement has come to an end.