Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted by dozens of supporters as she arrived at the Sydney airport Wednesday for her first ever trip to Australia.
The opposition lawmaker told reporters she hopes to use her five-day trip to explain what her party is doing to support democracy in Burma, which is shifting away from decades of harsh military rule.
"I'm getting a feel for what it's like because this is my first time south of the equator. It feels a little strange. And also to explain what we're doing in Burma at the moment," said Suu Kyi.
Many of the dozens who gathered at the airport said they were excited to finally meet the Nobel laureate.
"So happy to meet her. We've been so many years, we [have been] fighting for this journey and she came to here. So happy to see her," said one.
Aung San Suu Kyi later received honorary doctorates Wednesday from the University of Sydney and the University of Technology during a ceremony at the famed Sydney Opera House.
She will also give a series of speeches during visits to Canberra and Melbourne later this week.
Aung San Suu Kyi spent much of the last two decades in detention under Burma's military rulers. She was released in 2010 by Burma's reformist government. She has since become a member of parliament.
She is believed to be seeking to run for president, though the current constitution prohibits her from doing so. She told reporters Wednesday that she is "trying to get the constitution amended so that we can be firmly on the road to genuine democracy."