Annual Report 2007-2008

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Your location: Performance > Outcome 3 > Output 3.1 > Quality and quantity information

OUTPUT 3.1: Public information services and public diplomacy

Output 3.1 Quality and quantity information

Quality indicators

Quantity indicators

Satisfaction with public diplomacy

Ministers’ and parliamentary secretaries’ offices commended the department on its strategic media advice, its responsiveness in dealing with media inquiries on consular matters and trade and foreign policy developments, and its role in providing accurate and positive messages to international audiences on key topics.

Posts effectively used advocacy resources (such as the weekly Key Messages Brief, the new twice-weekly NewsLink cable, op-ed pieces, talking points, speech notes, PowerPoint presentations and general background information) to influence international public opinion regarding Australia’s interests, and where necessary correct international media reporting.

A well-targeted International Media Visits (IMV) program produced extensive and informed international media reporting on foreign and trade policy issues such as mining and resources, innovation and environmental protection, agriculture, and Australia as a diverse and tolerant society. Feedback from participants and posts was uniformly positive about the utility and quality of the program. The IMV program also received positive feedback from organisations that took part in meetings with IMV participants, including state and territory government agencies, universities, industry and cultural organisations.

The department’s International Cultural Visitors reported that their programs were well designed and highly valuable in increasing their understanding and knowledge of Australian arts, and allowed them to establish an excellent network of Australian contacts in their respective fields. The visits resulted in Australian artists being identified as talent for major international cultural events, including in Republic of Korea (2009 Chuncheon International Mime Festival), Singapore (National Museum of Singapore), France (Musée du quai Branly), China (Shanghai International Arts Festival), New York (New Victory Theatre) and Washington (Atlas Performing Arts Centre).

The department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program received positive feedback from international audiences and Australian stakeholders on its touring exhibitions, supporting public affairs materials and policy advice on Indigenous issues, including cultural protocols. Major Australian collecting institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia, as well as other government agencies such as the Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs and the Australia Council commended the department on its program.

Cultural events arranged under the auspices of the Australia International Cultural Council in France, Malaysia and Indonesia were well supported in those countries, with high levels of audience attendance at events and related workshops, and coverage in local print, radio and television media, including positive reporting about broader aspects of bilateral engagement.


The department produced a range of publications providing general information about Australia and specialised resources on Australia’s foreign and trade policies, as well as publications containing economic and political data about other countries. To make this information as widely available as possible these resources are published in various formats, including hard copy, online, CDs and downloadable PDF files.

One new historical publication was released in 2007–08. The fifth publication in the series Australia in the World: The Foreign Affairs and Trade files titled Full Circle: Australia and Papua New Guinea 1883–1970 was launched by the High Commission in Port Moresby and circulated widely in Papua New Guinea. Volumes of historical publications published in previous years remained in demand domestically and internationally.

Freedom of information requests

Of the 78 access decisions made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act), the applicant chose to exercise their rights under section 54 of the FOI Act to request an internal review on four occasions. Two applicants made an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal under section 55 of the FOI Act.

Quantity information for output 3.1
Number of Australian performing groups, artists, exhibitors and other cultural visitors supported
1 809
1 840
Number of public briefings given by departmental staff in Australia and overseas
3 253
3 259
Number of other public diplomacy/cultural activities organised
1 286
1 681
Number of media-related inquiries handled by the media liaison section
6 101
9 395
Number of visits organised under the:
International Media Visits Program
Special Visits Program
International Cultural Visits Program
Number of publications produced and number of copies distributed1
Number of statistical services provided to external clients
5 468
11 137
Number of treaties maintained on, and added to, the international treaties database2
2 629
2 602
Number of Freedom of Information requests processed
Number of records assessed for international relations sensitivities before release under the Archives Act 1983 and number of completed requests for archival information

1 The department continues to distribute a substantial number of publications in hard copy form. However, given our increasing use of the website to disseminate publications—including to our overseas posts—the quantity of hard copy documents distributed has become a less meaningful indicator.
2 For information on treaties, see the Australian Treaties Database at

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