2006-9 Strategic Plan
Part One: Mission Statement and Key Objectives
The Australia-China Council operates within the provisions of the Executive Council Order of 17 May 1978 under which it is constituted and the amendments to that order of 17 May 1979, 28 April 1981 and
19 February 2004.
To broaden and deepen relations between Australia and China by:
- fostering in Australia a greater awareness and understanding of China and fostering in China a greater awareness and understanding of Australia.
- developing and expanding the areas of contact and exchange between Australia and China.
- To initiate, develop and support activities to achieve the Council's Mission (Part 2: Program Strategies).
- To provide seed funding to projects which promise continuing benefits.
- To promote complementarities and avoid duplication between the Council's programs and those of other institutions active in Australia-China relations.
- To retain flexibility to support initiatives brought to the Council by other bodies (Part 3: Funding Policy).
- To monitor, review and modify programs as necessary to meet Council objectives.
- To comply with all federal government financial and reporting requirements (Part 4: Financial Framework).
Part Two: Program Strategies
- To encourage young Australians to develop Chinese language skills and a life-long interest and involvement in Australia-China relations.
- Offer a range of scholarships for young Australian students to visit China, with the main focus on younger students..
- Make the China Experience curriculum available to school and community groups.
- Modify the Year in China program to allow for higher numbers of self-funded students.
- Seek corporate sponsorship or other partnering arrangements for scholarship programs.
- Encourage, including through competitions and awards, the study of China and the Chinese language in Australian schools.
- Encourage sister-school relationships between Australian and Chinese schools.
- Seek to consolidate ACC alumni networks.
Australian Studies in China
- To enhance the range, volume, quality and value of research on contemporary Australian society, traditions and capabilities and promote the dissemination of outcomes in China through publishing, internet and media projects, conferences and other means.
- By rewarding performance, maintain and develop the network of Australian Studies Centres in China.
- Promote complementarity between ACC funding and funding received by Australian Studies Centres in China from their own institutions.
Residencies and Awards
- To encourage talented Australians to focus their efforts on China.
- To seek new initiatives in the arts, scholarship, business or any other field which would enhance Australia-China relations .
- To acknowledge the significant contribution to the bilateral relationship of key individuals in Australia and China.
- Extend the reach of the ACC's residency programs.
- Support awards, prizes and other ways of recognising significant events, milestones and achievements in the Australia-China relationship.
Culture and collaboration
- To foster a greater awareness in China of contemporary life in Australia and in Australia of contemporary life in China by supporting and promoting cultural and collaborative activities.
- To promote support among commercial organisations for ACC objectives.
- Provide funding to support exchanges in all aspects of the arts and other fields, including through cost-sharing with DFAT's visitor programs, under the following guiding principles:
- giving priority to activities which project Australia as an innovative, multi-cultural, open and liberal society, especially activities with the potential to generate longer-term institutional and people-to-people links;
- encouraging activities designed to involve young people;
- providing seed money to attract sponsorship, where practical;
- ensuring regional spread;
- supporting projects that raise awareness of indigenous Australian culture.
- Support Australian research on the history of Chinese contact with and settlement in Australia and the impact of Chinese Australians on Australian society, and promote the dissemination of this research.
- Seek to engage Australian and Chinese companies and institutions to support ACC objectives.
- Maintain links with the relevant Australian Chambers of Commerce in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Part Three: Funding Policy
Most ACC funding goes to Council-initiated programs such as the Youth Programs, the Australian Studies Program and Residencies and Awards Program. However, each year some money is available to suitable one-off projects.
ACC funding is only valid for the financial year in which it is awarded. Agreement for funding is not transferable to a future financial year, if commencement of a project is delayed. In that event, applicants must reapply in a subsequent financial year, and be considered on a competitive basis with other project applications in that year.
- A project should have clearly defined objectives consistent with the Council's key objectives and with the specific objectives and priority activities of the relevant Council program(s).
- Those involved in the proposed project should be recognised as having substantial merit in their field.
- As a general rule, the Council will only provide seed funding for activities.
- Projects that primarily involve one person travelling to China are better suited to the Residency programs. (Potential applicants should discuss these cases with the Secretariat.)
- Preference will be given to projects that project Australia as an innovative, multicultural , open and liberal society and that offer prospects of long-term institutional links and continuing exchanges. Preference is also given to activities which have the prospect of being independently sustained in the future.
- The Council encourages applicants to also seek funding from other bodies. Where there is no confirmed partner funding at the time of application, the Council may decide to award funding only on the condition that adequate supplementary funds are raised.
- Grants will normally not exceed $8,000. Grants within the range of $8,000 to $20,000 will only be provided for particularly worthwhile projects which the ACC judges will meet its key objectives. Funding over $20,000 for any single activity will only be provided in exceptional circumstances and where the Council decides the project will become a priority activity of the Council in that financial year.
- In any financial year the Council will look to fund, both in Australia and throughout the Greater China region, a diverse range of activities, including projects which have a reach outside the major cities.
- All ACC funding is given on the condition that the applicant will provide a report on the project and an adequate financial acquittal within 30 days of the completion of the activities for which the funding is provided.
- Full acknowledgement of the Council's support is required in all promotional materials and publications associated with ACC funded projects. Where organisations have internal policies that apply certain conditions on treatment of sponsors, such policies should be made known at the time of application.
Activities not funded
The ACC is interested in a broad range of activities consistent with the Council's program strategies and welcomes new projects being brought to its attention. However, the Council will not normally make money available for the following purposes:
- activities which more appropriately fall within the area of responsibility of other funding bodies and government agencies, for example:
- community aid projects;
- activities under bilateral science and technology agreements;
- trade promotion activities normally handled by Austrade; or
- academic research, which is more appropriately funded by other institutions, except in very exceptional circumstances where the Council considers there is a prospective wider benefit for Australia-China relations.
- travel to meetings and conferences where the travel to and participation in the gathering is the principal or sole purpose of the application.
- activities which are commercially viable in their own right and/or which give a commercial advantage to one organisation.
- funding support to grant-giving organisations for activities mainly involving the staff of those organisations.
- the day-to-day operational costs of the organisation seeking funding or the project's principals eg. for wages, salaries or fees for services.
- capital expenditure on real property, and purchase of equipment.
- reimbursement for the costs of projects, or parts of projects, which have been completed prior to the Council's consideration of the application.
Part Four: Financial Framework
- The Australia-China Council program funds are provided by the Australian Government in the form of an annual grant-in-trust administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which is reviewed each year by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Council's funding policies and financial practices conform to the Department's guidelines for administering those funds. These include:
- publication of an Annual Report, including a detailed financial statement;
- the condition that funding is valid only for the financial year in which it is awarded and that agreement to provide funds is not transferable to a future financial year if the start of a project is delayed;
- the requirement to submit a detailed financial acquittal and project report by all grant recipients and service providers within one month of the completion of the activities funded;
- regular monitoring of the progress of the activities funded;
- regular evaluation of the outcomes of programs and projects funded, to ensure funded activities meet the Council's objectives and strategies; and
- regular updating of a risk management strategy.
- ACC Funding and awards are provided on the basis of merit and the ability to fulfil the Council's stated objectives for the particular program. Applicants from all regions of Australia and all sections of the community with an interest in strengthening links between Australia and China are welcome to apply for Council funding.