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Australia-ASEAN Council at a glance

Bringing together the peoples of Australia and South-east asia

From the Minister

With a population of over 635 million people, the 10 member nations of ASEAN now represent almost 15 per cent of Australia's total trade, with two-way trade valued at over $224 billion in 2016.

The Australia-ASEAN Council will shape our engagement with South-East Asia and strengthen partnerships through stronger business, education, science, arts and cultural links. It will also work closely with the New Colombo Plan and Australian Alumni networks to facilitate ongoing links between individuals and organisations.


The council's objectives are to

  • Initiate activities and support influential persons and groups in Australia and in the countries of South-East Asia in order to encourage a greater interest in the development of relations between the countries, including trade and economic relations and other diplomatic objectives;
  • Promote cooperation between individuals and institutions in Australia and in the countries of South-East Asia to enhance learning, teaching and research in areas of mutual interest;
  • Broaden awareness and understanding in Australia and in the countries of South-East Asia of each other's culture, values and traditions through increased people- to-people contacts;
  • Promote the Australia-ASEAN region relationship and foster relations through media and alumni activities in order to facilitate long-term bilateral links; and
  • Wherever possible, expand people-to-people and institutional links through partnerships with other organisations and seed funding of projects.


The council's mission is to promote Australia's interests in South-East Asia by initiating and supporting activities designed to enhance awareness, understanding and links between people and institutions in Australia and South-East Asia.

Australia-ASEAN Council Programs

  • Annual grant rounds are designed to generate opportunities for Australian business, education, science, innovation and the arts to work with partners in South-East Asia.
  • AAC grants provide seed funding for innovative projects that support knowledge development. Multi-country applications with strong community outreach and lasting partnerships are encouraged.
  • The AAC will strengthen and expand people to people, professional, and institutional networks between Australia and South-East Asia by improving and developing new areas for engagement in bilateral and regional relationships. It will seek to attract corporate and philanthropic support and financial assistance, as appropriate, to support the AAC goals and activities.
  • Through its programs and activities, the AAC will showcase contemporary Australian and South-East Asian creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in order to increase the knowledge and understanding of each other's economies and societies. The AAC's programs and activities will have clear and sustainable outcomes which support and enhance networks and collaboration between Australia and South-East Asia.
  • The AAC will build partnerships between educators, students and school communities through people-to-people exchanges.

Meet some of our grantees

20th Biennale of Sydney

The Biennale is a unique arts event which provides an opportunity to showcase innovative Asian contemporary art.

Find out more about the Biennale

Disaster Resilience Education

A multi-year partnership to build regional capacity, share knowledge and create synergy on disaster resilience education.

Find out more about the partnership

Financial Integration in the Asia-Pacific

This three-year project on financial integration in the Asia-Pacific will connect financial industry stakeholders with leading researchers in Australia and countries of South-East Asia.

Find out more about the project

Australia-ASEAN BRIDGE Program

A network of 36 school partnerships will be established between Australia and nine ASEAN member states connecting teachers, students and communities.

Find out more about the program

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