Australia-Korea Foundation


New opportunities to study and work in Korea

Foreign Minister Bishop with Korean Ambassador
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and His Excellency Mr Bonghyun Kim, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, at the 2015 New Colombo Plan launch

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced the New Colombo Plan will be rolled-out in more than 35 locations across the Indo-Pacific from January 2015, including the Republic of Korea. 

Ms Bishop described the New Colombo Plan as: “one of the most transformative foreign policy initiatives that Australia has embraced”. 

She continued “Australia’s New Colombo Plan, like the original historic Colombo Plan from the 1950s, is all about building people-to-people links and networks and friendships and engagement that will last a lifetime, not only be a marvellous experience for the individual student, the young leaders of tomorrow who will spend time living and studying and importantly having a work experience overseas, but then they’ll come back to Australia with new perspectives, new ideas, new insights, new understandings, new language skills. They’ll add to the productivity and prosperity of our country, but so much more importantly, they’ll be part of generations of young Australians interacting with young people in countries in our region. And that kind of connection is gold.”

The Australia-Korea Foundation encourages those familiar with Korea and those teaching Australian students interested in Korea to support universities to open the way for exciting study opportunities in Korea through New Colombo Plan Scholarships and Mobility Program Grants. 

Useful information is available on the Australia-Korea Foundation’s new “Study in Korea” webpage, including:

  • a link to the Korean Government’s informative site for foreign students;
  • direct links to 12 Korean universities’ websites for foreign students; and
  • information provided by recent AKF scholarship awardees and interns about study and life in Korea in the form of blogs and videos. 

Korea has welcomed this Australian Government initiative, and was one of the first countries to opt into the broader roll-out of the program from 2015. Approximately 60 scholarships and $8 million in mobility grants will be offered in 2015 to support Australian undergraduate students.

The AKF looks forward to an increasing number of Australians studying in Korea over coming years with the support of the New Colombo Plan.

Further information:

KAFTA - JSCOT report

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has recommended that binding treaty action be taken on the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA). JSCOT report 142 was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 4 September. 

“This brings the entry into force of KAFTA, and the many benefits it offers, one step closer. JSCOT’s review has clearly recognised the benefit of KAFTA to Australian business and to the Australian economy,” said the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb.

Stories of Australian Science 2014

Front cover of Stories of Australian Science publication

Australian ideas are transforming lives around the world: the bionic ear, cervical cancer vaccines, gum that repairs teeth, the astronomical ideas that make Wi-Fi fast and reliable and many more.

In this collection of stories you’ll hear about the next generation of ideas and discoveries that will change the world: from big ecology to quantum computing; from vast water reserves to tracking typhoid; from growing new limbs to watching serial killer cells.

Stories are included about winners of many of Australia’s science prizes: people whose discoveries and inventions are transforming mining, medicine, maths and more.

This book, along with earlier editions and Stories of Australian Astronomy 2012, provide a taste of the best of Australian science.

Stories of Australian Science 2014

Korea Studies Workshop Programme

Dates: 1 to 9 October 2014

Offered by the Korea Foundation (a South Korean-government funded organisation), this programme aims to skill senior policy officers, curriculum developers and secondary school educators to include studies of South Korea in school curriculum. KSWP participants come from Australia, USA, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.

International airfares and some administration costs will need to be covered by participants.

Please note that participation is by invitation only.

Express your interest now: email

Exhibition "Vertigo"

Vertigo, an Asialink touring exhibition curated by Claire Anna Watson, will be opening at the POSCO Art Museum, Seoul, on 23 July 2014.  The exhibition presents works by ten of Australia's most cutting edge contemporary artists in August 2014: Boe-lin Bastian, Cate Consandine, Simon Finn, Justine Khamara, Bonnie Lane, Kristin McIver, Kiron Robinson, Kate Shaw, Tania Smith, and Alice Wormald. 

This exhibition is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australia International Cultural Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The artists interrogate contemporary life, exploring the fracture, chaos and dislocation that arises in the human condition and in a world which is imbued with flux and change. The experience of dizziness and a loss of perspective are explored within a world that is gripped by an acceleration of time and pace.

Presenting sculptural works, collage, drawing and video, the artists disrupt the ordinariness that can pervade life, building new narratives of human experience. By conveying feelings of anxiety and humour, or by using absurd gestures, the artists in Vertigo attempt to make sense of the world around them, with dizzying effects.


Bill Paterson, Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, opens the Exhibition
The opening was well attended

Australian curator Claire Anna Watson leads the opening tour

Australia-Korea Foundation Newsletter

The Australia-Korea Foundation Newsletter provides news about bilateral relations and stories of people-to-people engagement.

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Tabling of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement in the Australian Parliament

Minister Robb tabled the text of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement with the National Interest Analysis in the Australian Parliament on 13 May 2014. The Agreement will now be considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT). More information about JSCOT and details on how to make a submission.

The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee is also conducting an inquiry into KAFTA and is receiving submissions.

The AKF encourages Australians currently in business with Korea, as well as potential new entrants to the market, to make your views known to each of these independent enquiries.  Submissions to JSCOT close on 13 June.  The Senate Committee is due to table a response by 13 June. Information regarding the negotiated Agreement, including sector-specific fact sheets, is available on the KAFTA website.

Planning for the Future: Scientific and Industrial Investment

Interested in the next big technological break-through?  Korea certainly is. 

A new publication from the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy describes Korea’s “Creative Economy” policy as adding value through innovative technologies and creative ideas.  The Ministry outlines fifteen Industrial Initiatives which apply cutting-edge research to new products in areas with forecasted demand:

  1. Wearable Smart Device
  2. Autonomous Vehicle
  3. Manufacturing System for Advanced Material (ultra-light/high stiffness materials used in airplanes, cars etc)
  4. High Speed/Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  5. Safety and Health Robot
  6. Offshore Plant in Extreme Environment
  7. Carbon Materials (weight lightening, high functionality and eco-friendly transportation; carbon fibre, grapheme etc)
  8. Non-Ferrous Metals for the Advanced Industry (titanium, magnesium)
  9. Personalized Health Care System (personalised health care solutions through genetic information, medical records, data analysis and clinical tests)
  10. Nano Based Bio-Artificial Device
  11. Virtual Training Platform
  12. High Efficiency Subminiature Generating System (generating electricity more efficiently by using transcritical CO2 instead of high temperature and pressure steam created with oil and coal)
  13. Direct Current Power Distribution System
  14. Northeast Asia Oil Hub
  15. ICT Based Energy Demand Management System

If these products or technologies are unfamiliar, the Ministry’s document provides further information for laypeople: Korean Industrial Initiatives for the Creative Economy.

Korea’s current priorities, including the Creative Economy, were outlined in President Park’s New Year Address when she unveiled her 3 Year Plan for Economic Innovation:


Board members of the Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF) were deeply saddened to hear of the sinking of the ferry "Sewol" and the tragic loss of life, young and old. Australia's Prime Minister has written to President Park and our Foreign Minister to HE Yun Byung-se conveying the sympathies of all Australians and offering assistance and support. The AKF works with many Australians engaging personally and professionally with Korea. We are all thinking of our friends and partners in Korea as they face the days ahead. We stand with you each and every day as you gradually commence the healing process as individuals and as a nation.

MIKTA Foreign Ministers

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with her counterparts from Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Turkey in Mexico City on 14 April to discuss global issues of common interest and strategies to enhance bilateral and plurilateral ties.

Read the joint communiqué

Privacy policy

Updated information on how DFAT handles personal information is now available.

Signature of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement

The Minister for Trade and Investment Mr Robb and his South Korean counterpart, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Mr Yoon Sang-jick, signed the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement on 8 April 2014. The ceremony was witnessed by Australian Prime Minister Mr Abbott and his South Korean counterpart, President of South Korea Ms Park Geun-hye.

Humanities connections

The President of the Australian Academy of Humanities, Emeritus Professor Lesley Johnson AM FAHA, has recently met with Professor Sook-Il Kwun, President, and Professor Lee Song Mu, Vice-President, of Korea's National Academy of Sciences to discuss collaboration between Australian and Korean humanities scholars.

Korea's 3 Year Plan for Economic Innovation

President Park formally unveiled Korea's new 3 year plan in her address on 25 February 2014. She stressed that her goal is to build an economy based on strong fundamentals that will launch an era of happiness for the people. President Park said that the three key goals of her economic plan are, "an economy characterized by strong fundamentals, dynamic innovation and a balance between domestic demand and exports."

Further detail on Korea's current priorities:

Open for Business: Embracing a New Era of Opportunity in North Asia

Prime Minister's Address to the Asia Society, Canberra, 26 March

The Australia-Korea Foundation was proud to support the Asia Society's luncheon on 26 March with a key note address by The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, ahead of his April 2014 visit to Japan, Korea and China.

The Prime Minister says he hopes to witness the signing of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement while in Korea.

"The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement will reduce or eliminate tariffs on key agricultural exports and will open opportunities for innovative service businesses, well suited to compete in President Park's "Creative Economy".

"We will open the doors – but Australian businesses will still have to walk through in order to maximise the benefits of these arrangements, in the same way that Hastings Fund Management, for instance, an infrastructure fund manager, has opened an office in Seoul and is now in partnership with the Incheon International Airport Corporation."

The Prime Minister also highlighted the New Colombo Plan and emphasised the depth of connection within the region based on decades of stability.

"Of course, for millions of Australians, the countries of Asia are family, through ties of ancestry, marriage and migration. These bonds are to be nurtured as much as the bonds of trade and commerce."

The transcript is available on the Prime Minister's website.

Watch the complete program (23 minutes) on the Asia Society website.

2014–15 Grants and Scholarships Rounds—Open, closing 11 April (5pm AEST)

The Australia-Korea Foundation invites applications for grants and scholarships from Australians wishing to further their engagement with Korea in 2014–15.

Applications should be completed online by 5pm AEST, 11 April 2014.

AKF grants typically involve a contribution of between $20,000 and $30,000 towards a significant project with clear goals and committed partners.

Scholarships assist with the travel and living expenses incurred while undertaking language studies (up to $5,000), research (up to $15,000) and internships (up to $10,000) in Korea.

The new priority areas for the Foundation in 2014–15 are:

  • Korean language and literacy
  • science and innovation (with a focus on health, ageing and social change)
  • sports diplomacy (with a focus on the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, to be hosted by Australia, and the 2018 Winter Olympics to be hosted by Korea).

The Foundation will also consider applications in other areas, such as projects that advance Australia's engagement with Korea by supporting cultural and academic pursuits, business and community exchanges, and partnerships and collaborations.

New AKF priority areas for 2014–15

In the context of the successful conclusion of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, in support of President Park’s Three Year Plan for Economic Innovation and with reference to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Strategy for Korea, the AKF has designated the following priority areas for 2014–15. The Foundation will also consider applications in other areas, such as projects that advance Australia’s engagement with Korea by supporting cultural and academic pursuits, business and community exchanges, and partnerships and collaborations..

Korea language and literacy: Developing the language and literacy skills of Australians to effectively engage with Korea and build a deeper understanding of Korean society, politics and the economy, including language studies and student/professional exchanges.

Science innovation: Establishment of new partnerships or strengthening of existing collaborations between institutions and peak bodies and their counterparts in Korea, particularly in emerging fields of research and development. Health, aging and social change projects are of particular interest.

Sports diplomacy: Projects harnessing major sporting events, such as the 2015 Asian Cup hosted by Australia and the 2018 Winter Olympics hosted by Korea, to develop ties between the sports and business communities of Korea and Australia.

Korea-Australia FTA text released

Minister Robb and his Korean counterpart, Trade Minister Yoon, concluded negotiations on the Australia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in early December 2013. The legally verified text of the agreement was initialled by Chief Negotiators on 10 February 2014 and released to the public on 17 February 2014.

Opportunity for Teaching & Research in Korea at Yonsei University

The Centre for Australian Studies (CAS) at Yonsei University in Korea invites applications for the position of Visiting Lecturer in Australian Studies for one semester in 2014. This position is a key initiative under the 'Building a Teaching Base for Australian Studies in Korean Universities' project, supported by an Australia-Korea Foundation grant.

The successful applicant will teach a postgraduate subject for a semester on an aspect of Australia approached from a social sciences perspective and taught within the Graduate School of International Studies. It is expected that he/she will also participate in the Centre's research and education activities, such as seminars, research collaboration, joint grant applications and guest lectures.

More: Opportunity for Teaching & Research in Korea at Yonsei University

Australia-Korea Foundation welcomes conclusion of free trade agreement negotiations

Media release: Australia-Korea Foundation welcomes conclusion of free trade agreement negotiations