The Australia-India Council (AIC) was established on 21 May 1992 in response to a recommendation by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, following an inquiry into Australia's relations with India.
On 22 March 2022, the then Prime Minister announced the establishment of the Centre for Australia-India Relations , to be based in Australia, to help foster new ties and support our expanding cooperation with India. The Centre will promote policy dialogue, build Australian business literacy, and engage Australia’s Indian diaspora communities to support the bilateral relationship and deepen cultural connections and understanding. The Centre will also administer three Maitri (friendship) initiatives announced by the then Foreign Minister on 14 February 2022 – the Maitri Scholarships Program, the Maitri Fellowships and Grants Program, and the Maitri Cultural Partnerships.
The Centre will build on the 30-year legacy of the Australia-India Council in supporting collaborative projects and bilateral exchange. Arrangements are under way to establish the Centre which is expected to commence operations in early 2023.
The Australia-India Council has awarded its last grant round - the 2021-22 grant round - the results of which were announced by the Foreign Minister on 15 August 2022 .
The AIC's mission is to advance Australia's foreign and trade policy interests by building awareness and understanding between the peoples and institutions of Australia and India (Order Constituting the Australia-India Council, 6 May 2010).
AIC objectives are to:
- Raise awareness of Australia in India, and India in Australia, to grow bilateral relations, including trade and investment.
- Promote collaboration between Australian and Indian organisations in fields of relevance to the strategic partnership.
- Facilitate high quality programs demonstrating Australia's economic credentials to influential Indian audiences.
- Mobilise community involvement and private sector support for the AIC’s efforts and the bilateral relationship broadly.
To achieve these objectives, the AIC gives priority to projects that:
- support the recommendations of the India Economic Strategy, an ambitious plan to transform Australia’s economic partnership with India out to 2035, including the 10 economic sectors and 10 priority Indian states identified;
- establish innovative, dynamic and sustainable linkages between Australia and India and improve perceptions in both countries;
- harness the leadership of Australia’s Indian diaspora, alumni groups, and Australian expatriates in India to strengthen people-to-people and business links.
Information, resources and training opportunities for Australian organisations: Doing business in India - Asialink Business
An India Economic Strategy to 2035: A report to the Australian Government by Mr Peter N Varghese AO