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The Australia-China Council (ACC) is a long-standing institution in the Australia-China bilateral relationship. ACC was established by the Australian Government in 1978 to promote mutual understanding and foster people-to-people relations between Australia and China. ACC combines the cross-sectoral bilateral expertise and advisory capacity of an independent Board appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs with the policy-making and management base in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Council makes recommendations to the Australian Government through the Minister for Foreign Affairs on strengthening the Australia-China relationship in ways that support Australia's foreign and trade policy interests. The Council's strategic objectives are:
- To strengthen the foundations of engagement - China literacy, business and cultural capabilities of Australian institutions and people
- To seek and foster new areas of engagement between Australia and China across business, knowledge and creative sectors
- To enhance understanding in China of Australian society, economy, politics and culture through the Australian Studies in China Program
- To showcase Australian creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation in China
- To generate, disseminate and make accessible high-quality, relevant and up-to-date information about Australia-China relations
- To facilitate dialogue, develop professional and institutional networks between Australia and China and harness the leadership of Australian communities in strengthening bilateral connectivity
ACC helps to kick-start a wide range of innovative, high-impact projects across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Australia that enhance Australia-China education, business and cultural connections. Our grant-making and program activities for 2014-2018 are centred on Education, Economic Diplomacy, Arts and Culture and underpinned by the three cross-cutting themes: Mobility, Capabilities and New Areas of Engagement.
- Education: Support practical and effective solutions to enhance China literacy, business and cultural capabilities of Australian institutions and people to effectively engage with China, and promote education, science and innovation connectivity between Australia and China
- Economic Diplomacy: Promote diversity, growth and innovation of Australia's trade and investment relationship with China
- Arts and Culture: Showcase Australian arts and creative industries to Chinese audiences and build closer and broader cultural and artistic partnerships
- Mobility: Encouraging greater and more diverse professional mobility between Australia and China, including through support of the New Colombo Plan
- Capabilities: Building capabilities of organisations and individuals to enter into partnerships and work effectively with their Chinese counterparts; and investing in resources (including new digital and mobile platforms) that inform Australian communities and relevant sectors about opportunities, practices and risks in engaging with China
- New Areas of Engagement: Identifying and seeking practical solutions to develop new niche areas of engagement between the two countries Australian Studies in China Program
Australian Studies in China Program
ACC has been supporting teaching and research on Australia in China for over two decades. ACC provides funding and information support to a network of over 30 Australian Studies Centres across China. The network is one of Australia's leading public diplomacy and education engagement platforms.
The Australian Studies in China Program aims to build a vibrant, linked-up community of researchers, teachers and students participating in the study and research of Australian literature, economy, culture and other facets of Australian society. The Australian Studies Centres network is supported by the Australia-China Council, the Foundation for Australian Studies in China, the Australian Embassy and Consulates-General in China, and the broader Australian education and business community.
Foundation for Australian Studies in China
In 2011 ACC established the Foundation for Australian Studies in China – a unique partnership between government, business and higher education sector, created to boost support for the Australian Studies in China through the BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies, scholarships and strategic projects. BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University is an initiative of the ACC, Foundation for Australian Studies in China, BHP Billiton and Peking University. It is the first high-profile, privately-funded Australian professorial position in China - a reflection of extensive academic engagement between the two countries.
Policy and Advocacy
The Australia-China Council provides informed advice to the Australian Government in relation to public diplomacy strategies and Australia-China economic, cultural and education engagement. ACC runs a robust outreach and advocacy program with the aim to promote diversity, depth and strength of the bilateral relationship among its vast network of partners, grantees, alumni, supporters and friends and broad Australian community.
ACC is increasingly active online as a provider of high-quality, relevant and up-to-date information about the Australia-China relationship. ACC 'Australia-China relations' web-space is one of the most comprehensive Australian resources on the bilateral relationship.
The Hon Warwick Smith AM, Chair
Chairman, Advisory Board Australian Capital Equity, Chairman (NSW & ACT), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Chairman, Asia Society (Australia)
Professor Stephanie Fahey
Deputy Chair Oceania Education Lead Partner for Ernst & Young
Mr David Olsson
Senior China Consultant, King & Wood Mallesons
Ms Suhanya Raffel
Director of Collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Mr Frank Tudor
Managing Director, Horizon Power
Professor Sandra Harding
Vice-Chancellor and President, James Cook University Australia Vice Co-Chair, New Colombo Plan Reference Group
Ms Vicki Thomson
Executive Director, Australia Technology Network Member, New Colombo Plan Reference Group
Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade responsible for North Asia represents the Department on the ACC Board