This may, or may not be of use to you. I use Apple QT Pro to convert many Mac files to DV-AVI, however, and this is probably important, I am on a PC, so the MS DV-AVI is a native file format. Maybe a Mac-user will comment on whether QT Pro (US $29 upgrade/unlock) will have the same capabilities on the Mac.
Wish that I could be of more help, but being a PC-only guy limits my knowledge, when talking of the Mac platform.
Good luck, and wait for others to reply, before upgrading to QT Pro, as it might be lacking the necessary CODEC to do the job for you.
What sort of "AVI" are you talking about? An AVI is just a container/box/dufflebag for all sorts of stuff; Macs and QuickTime will handle a number of codecs stored in an AVI container, but not everything. So ultimately, a Mac converter might not do you any good if there isn't a decoder available for the Mac. For example, Lagarith and Ut are two popular lossless codecs that write to AVIs, but there are no decoders for Mac, so the AVIs are unusable there.
Another thing to consider is that, in all likelihood, if a converter can open up the AVI on the Mac, then Premiere will be able to import it without any other necessary changes. Get MediaInfo to analyze the file and discover what is inside of it. Once you know that, we can make better recommendations about how to treat the file.