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Annual Report 1999-2000Annual Report 1999-2000 home page

ContentsContents > Overviews > Outcome 1: National Interests > Outcome 2: Consular & Passports > Outcome 3: Public Diplomacy > Management > Financial Statements > Appendixes > Glossaries

YOU ARE CURRENTLY AT: Outcome 3 > Output 3.1

OUTCOME 3: Public understanding in Australia and overseas of Australia’s foreign and trade policy and a positive image of Australia internationally

Output 3.1:
Public information services and public diplomacy



  • Contribution to awareness and public understanding of Australian foreign and trade policy through departmental engagement with the media.
  • Department’s Internet websites and publications updated and enhanced to promote understanding of foreign and trade policy issues.
  • Contribution made to greater domestic understanding and support for trade liberalisation and Australia’s objectives in a new World Trade Organization round, through media briefing, addresses to key bodies, including in regional and rural centres, and the development of brochures, reports, Internet-based material and ministerial speech input.
  • Benefits of multilateral trade liberalisation, and related Australian and Cairns Group positions, promoted internationally through studies and the provision of tailored information packages; misinformation countered.
  • Domestic awareness of trade policy issues, and awareness of the importance to Australia of open markets, promoted through:
    • briefings and public presentations by departmental officers including from the department’s State and Territory offices;
    • establishment of an information booth at the Northern Territory Trade Expo, organisation of a China trade and investment summit, and facilitation of the World Economic Forum Millennium Summit in Australia in 2000; and
    • support to the Minister for Trade for presentations on trade issues to parliamentarians and the public, particularly in rural and regional areas.
  • Australia’s resilient trade and economic performance through the economic crisis highlighted to international audiences through post-based investment promotion, speech inputs and the development of public information material.
  • Contribution made to increased public understanding of arms control and regional security matters, and nuclear fuel-cycle issues and safeguards, including through interaction with the media, the Internet, the Council for Security Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, regular production of Peace and Disarmament News, and contributions to internationally recognised publications.
  • Electronic database of international treaties maintained and updated to ensure continued accessibility, via the Internet, to the widest possible audience.



  • An accurate and contemporary image of Australia projected through public diplomacy activities and initiatives, including targeted international media, special visitor program and cultural award scheme visits, and public affairs material.
  • Contribution made to international awareness of contemporary Australia and its cultural achievements through:
    • introduction of an Australia International Cultural Council three-year strategy for the Coordination and Promotion of Australian Cultural Activity Overseas (1999–2001);
    • efforts by the newly established Commission on International Cultural Promotion to promote Australian culture, including art exports;
    • development of a strategy for the international promotion of the Centenary of Federation; and
    • implementation of international touring programs in key markets for the Australia Our Sporting Life and New Directions—Aboriginal Australia and Business exhibitions.
  • Non-official linkages and partnerships between Australia and key Asian partners developed, and a positive image of Australia promoted in these countries, through the work of the Australia–China Council, Australia–India Council, Australia–Indonesia Institute, Australia–Japan Foundation, and Australia–Korea Foundation.
  • Australian Expo 2000 pavilion in Hanover opened on time (1 June 2000) and within the construction budget (relates to administered item on Expo 2000).
  • East Asia Analytical Unit reports successfully launched on East Asia-related topics of interest to Australian business, including on financial market reform in the region, on the recovering economies of South-East Asia, and the commencement of reporting on emerging market opportunities outside East Asia.
  • Contribution made to a positive image of Australia in Asia, and trade opportunities and Government support available to business highlighted, through the Asialine magazine.
  • Commercially useful information and statistical services provided to business and the public through publication of trade and economic reports, Internet-based information and client-based statistical and market access information services.

   3.1.3: OLYMPICS   


  • An Olympics Virtual Media Centre established and media material produced for overseas markets to promote Australia’s image through the Olympics.
  • Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests relating to the Sydney Olympics advanced through effective coordination and liaison with the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) and other agencies, including for SOCOG’s taking of the Olympic torch through Oceania.
  • Planning finalised for the establishment in July 2000 of an Unaccredited Media Centre for the Sydney Olympics; Olympics media programs implemented through the International Media Centre.
  • Review of the Australia South Pacific 2000 Program finalised, and Australia Asia Sports Linkages Program implemented.



  • Obligations under the Freedom of Information Act fully met.
  • First draft of One Hundred Years of Australia’s Engagement with Asia completed, and submitted to the Advisory Committee, Centenary of Federation Project.
  • Documents on Australia and Indonesia’s Incorporation of Portuguese Timor, 1974–1976, published and released.


Public diplomacy represents the department’s interface with the broader community, internationally and within Australia. Through open engagement, and by integrating an awareness of public relations into our day-to-day work, the department aims to increase understanding of Australia’s foreign and trade policy, and to project a positive image of Australia internationally.

The department provided information to Australian and international audiences through a range of media on a variety of policy issues, including East Timor, Australian Indigenous issues, developments in the Australian economy, global and regional trade, and in relation to the Sydney Olympic Games.

Responding to community concerns about Australia’s place in the global economy, the department developed a program to keep the business community and members of the public informed about the positive potential of globalisation for Australia’s highly skilled and technologically aware workforce. We augmented that work with international efforts to promote Australia as a constructive participant in the global economy.

The department used a variety of public diplomacy tools to project an accurate and contemporary image of Australia internationally and to respond to negative or misleading media reporting. Key decision-makers and opinion leaders were brought to Australia through senior media visits, special visitor programs and cultural award scheme visits; briefings were given to foreign correspondents based here; targeted public affairs materials were distributed and a range of tightly focused public affairs and cultural activities were conducted at overseas posts.

During the year we sharpened the focus of our publications and redesigned our Internet website (www.dfat.gov.au) to make it more informative and accessible. We also introduced the Australian Public Service’s first online purchasing system for departmental publications.

The lead-up to the Sydney Olympic Games provided both challenges and opportunities as unprecedented international media interest has significantly raised Australia’s profile. Our major responses to these developments included the establishment of the Sydney Media Centre and a special Olympic media website (www.mediafocus.org), and planning for a large media servicing program during the Games.

YOU ARE CURRENTLY AT: Outcome 3 > Output 3.1

Annual Report 1999-2000Annual Report 1999-2000 home page

ContentsContents > Overviews > Outcome 1: National Interests > Outcome 2: Consular & Passports > Outcome 3: Public Diplomacy > Management > Financial Statements > Appendixes > Glossaries


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