Strategic framework 2015-2019

The Strategic Framework 2015-2019 is a high-level statement of the department’s purpose, what we do to achieve the outcomes expected of us by the Government and Australian community, and our key priorities over the next four years.  It also identifies the main assets the department brings to bear in carrying out its work and how we will conduct ourselves in doing so – our core values.  These values and associated behaviours are described in more detail in the companion DFAT Values Statement.

The Strategic Framework covers the breadth of the department’s operations.  It will guide our decision-making and aid business planning for all divisions and branches in Canberra as well as our overseas diplomatic posts and State and Territory Offices.  The Framework is a living document that will be reviewed periodically to ensure we are responding to changing priorities.

In laying out DFAT’s purpose and priorities, the Strategic Framework sets out the way forward for the department.  It will help build a stronger sense of common purpose and direction and a shared understanding of what we want to achieve as an organisation in conjunction with our partners and stakeholders. 

The Strategic Framework belongs to the staff of the department and all of us have a responsibility to support its implementation.  By working together, we will be able to sustain and build on the department’s reputation as a high performing organisation that contributes to Australia’s security and prosperity. 

Our Purpose

To help make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous by promoting and protecting our interests internationally and contributing to global stability and economic growth.

What we do

In partnership with government and non-government organisations, business and community groups in Australia and overseas, we lead the Government’s efforts to:

  • advance Australia’s security interests internationally
  • open up new markets and create conditions for increased trade and investment to strengthen our economy and create jobs
  • lift living standards and reduce poverty in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond
  • shape the regional and international environment and strengthen global cooperation in ways that advance Australia’s interests
  • project a positive and contemporary image of Australia as a destination for business, investment, tourism and study
  • provide high-quality passport and consular services to Australian citizens.

Our Priorities

  • Promoting a stable and prosperous regional and global environment by cultivating and deepening our engagement with bilateral and regional partners and multilateral institutions, with a particular focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Improving market access for Australian goods and services, attracting foreign investment to Australia and supporting Australian business.
  • Delivering an innovative aid program, centred on the Indo-Pacific region, which contributes to sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and regional stability.
  • Providing a secure, efficient and responsive passport service, and prompt, effective and courteous consular services to Australian citizens travelling or living abroad.
  • Building personal networks and institutional links to enhance Australia’s influence, reputation and relationships internationally and promote our economic, cultural, educational, scientific and other national assets.
  • Leading the Government’s response to international crises including humanitarian emergencies in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Strengthening international frameworks and norms that promote human rights, gender equality, democratic principles and the rule of law, international security, and open and transparent global markets.
  • Broadening knowledge and understanding within the Australian community and globally of the Government’s international policies and programs and DFAT’s role.
  • Keeping government communications secure, Australia’s global property assets in good order, and ensuring the security and health of our staff.
  • Enhancing our organisational capability to improve how we work and contribute to government policy-making and the delivery of whole-of-government outcomes.

Our Assets

  • Our people: our diverse workforce of highly skilled and motivated Australian and locally engaged staff is the foundation of a world-class foreign service.
  • Our networks: our overseas posts and offices in Australia, and our wide-ranging partnerships, help us to build vital contacts, interpret events, advocate Australia’s position and assist Australians.
  • Our systems: efficient, accessible and tailored systems and processes support the delivery of services to the public and government, and allow staff to perform at their best.
  • Our reputation: Australia’s international standing makes us a valued partner, enabling us to influence behaviours and shape outcomes that advance Australia’s interests.
  • Our heritage: Australia’s rich Indigenous and migrant heritage opens up opportunities for Australia and helps connect us to the world.

Our Values

We strive to exemplify the Australian Public Service values and behaviours: Impartial, Committed to service, Accountable, Respectful, Ethical.  We want to be an organisation which:

  • cultivates achievement, professionalism and innovation;
  • demonstrates leadership and accountability at all levels;
  • values people, treats them with fairness and respect, and promotes reconciliation with Indigenous Australians; and
  • collaborates effectively to achieve our collective vision.
Last Updated: 15 December 2014