Annual Report 2008-2009
 

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Your location: Performance > Outcome 3 > Output 3.1 > 3.1.2 Projecting a positive image of Australia internationally

OUTPUT 3.1: Public information services and public diplomacy

3.1.2 Projecting a positive image of Australia internationally

On this page: Overview :: International public diplomacy :: Public affairs material :: Special Visits program :: International media program :: International cultural visits :: Cultural diplomacy :: Fostering people-to-people links :: Direct Aid Program :: Regional television service: Australia Network :: Australian participation in the 2010 World Expo—Shanghai :: Outlook

Overview

Our international public diplomacy efforts promoted understanding of Australia’s foreign and trade policies; advanced Australia’s interests by shaping and influencing international opinion; projected a positive image of Australia; and assisted efforts to deepen people-to-people links in key countries.

The department worked intensively to promote accurate and positive messages about Australia and to correct misleading information about Australia. We recalibrated our media visits program to ensure the focus and timing of visits aligned more closely with key policy objectives.

We coordinated the Government’s response to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s Report Australia’s public diplomacy: Building our image, which the Minister for Foreign Affairs tabled on 5 February 2009.

International public diplomacy

Our posts overseas conducted 5054 public diplomacy briefings, events and initiatives to advance Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests and to promote a positive and contemporary image of Australia.

Posts’ swift delivery of information contributed to positive regional and international media coverage of Australian policies, including Australia’s approach to the G20 and to the global economic crisis, and Australia’s Indigenous reconciliation policies, environmental initiatives, trade liberalisation efforts and the Asia Pacific community initiative.

The department responded robustly to counter instances of false media reporting about Australia. Posts monitored the international media and ensured our international media outreach was targeted appropriately as issues arose. We worked closely with other agencies to ensure consistent and cohesive delivery of messages and programs and to provide factual information to posts on emerging and contentious issues such as H1N1 Influenza, mulesing and the culling of kangaroos. We hosted two meetings of the inter-departmental committee on public diplomacy and participated in the taskforce on crimes against international students (see sub-output 1.1.5).

Public diplomacy officers at posts worked closely with portfolio and other ministers travelling overseas, facilitating contact with host country media and assisting Australian media representatives.

We provided posts with resources to assist their advocacy of foreign and trade policy issues, including Australia’s United Nations Security Council candidacy. A weekly Key Messages brief, a twice-weekly Newslinks cable and issue-specific talking points provided posts with background on topics such as international security, climate change and Australia’s commitment to human rights.

To ensure that the quality of public diplomacy initiatives undertaken by our posts remained high, the department continued to provide public diplomacy training courses for staff proceeding on overseas postings. This training was also available for staff of other government agencies.

An international opinion survey we commissioned, in conjunction with several other agencies, indicated that Australia enjoys a strong and multifaceted brand image. According to the survey, Australia is seen as an economically advanced, well governed country with a friendly, welcoming people, a diverse multicultural society and rich in natural beauty—all of which make Australia attractive for tourism, immigration and investment.

We used various mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of our international public diplomacy programs. We analysed and provided feedback on our posts’ annual reports on their public diplomacy programs, noting in particular the extent to which they had succeeded in conveying particular messages, generating positive media coverage and changing opinions in Australia’s favour. Our public diplomacy programs were reviewed as part of our annual planning and review process to ensure they were aligned with current policy priorities, appropriately funded, took advantage of developments in technology, and were well coordinated across target countries. These evaluations incorporated the views of other agencies on our posts’ performance.

The department used the results of independent international nation brand surveys to feed into ongoing evaluation and targeting of public diplomacy efforts. We also drew on audience surveys carried out by Australia Network.

Activities and events overseas

Our network of overseas posts conducted a wide range of innovative and effective public diplomacy activities and events to promote a contemporary and positive image of Australia and to convey Australia’s foreign and trade policies throughout the world. Our posts’ activities included:

Public affairs material

Through print and our websites we delivered a wide range of public affairs material for international audiences. About Australia: Fast Facts is a pocket-size reference guide containing ‘at a glance’ information about Australia, including trade, tourism, education, climate change and cultural diversity in Australia. The 49th edition of Australia in brief, a pocket-size publication on contemporary Australia, was translated into 15 languages. Other specialised resources produced included:

Special Visits Program

The Special Visits Program brings emerging opinion-shapers to Australia for meetings with government, business and community figures, and an introduction to Australia’s culture and policy environment. Over the years, the program has helped establish a network of international contacts relevant to our foreign and trade policy interests. The 22 visits to Australia we organised in 2008–09 included:

International media visits

Our International Media Visits (IMV) program plays an important role in generating informed international media coverage about Australia, on the strengths of Australia’s economy and our foreign and trade policy objectives. The program also aims to promote understanding of Australia’s cultural diversity and capacity for innovation and creativity.

The 2008–09 IMV program comprised 19 visits to Australia by 84 journalists from 16 countries. We worked with posts to ensure IMV programs were targeted at priority issues and countries and timed to make the most effective contribution to the Government’s policy objectives. The majority of IMV participants were drawn from countries in Asia and the Pacific, including China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand.

The IMV program supported deeper links with Indonesia by funding the participation of five senior editors and six working journalists from Indonesia at Australia–Indonesia: Partners in a new era, a high-level conference on the future of the Australia–Indonesia relationship held in Sydney in February 2009 (see sub-output 1.1.2). We organised visits by three Indonesian journalists with an interest in Islam in Australia, including during the holy month of Ramadan. Those visits were complemented by the Elizabeth O’Neill Journalism Award—granted to one journalist from Indonesia (Kartika Sari, Rakyat Merdeka) and one journalist from Australia (Sophie Morris, Australian Financial Review). Each journalist took part in a three-week program in the other country to build a stronger understanding of the broad range of issues facing contemporary Indonesia and Australia.

The IMV program supported the Government’s initiatives to reach bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with major trading partners. Six journalists from India visited Australia to explore the mutual benefits of a bilateral FTA and to research Australia’s agricultural policies. We followed up the official launch of FTA negotiations with South Korea with a visit by eight Korean journalists (see sub-output 1.1.7 for information on FTAs).

We supported the Government’s greater emphasis on relations with Africa by arranging a visit by five African journalists to Australia (from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania). We also arranged visit programs for Australian-based members of the Foreign Correspondents Association, including one to the Northern Territory focusing on Indigenous issues. The IMV program reinforced Australia’s engagement in the Pacific through the Douglas Gabb Australia Pacific Journalist Internship with Radio Australia, which included two journalists from Fiji and Samoa. We also arranged the secondment of one journalist from Vietnam with Australia Network under the John Doherty Asia-Pacific Journalism Award.

International cultural visits

The International Cultural Visits (ICV) program hosted four visits to Australia by leaders in the arts and culture from selected countries, with a view to enhancing their understanding and appreciation of the diversity and depth of Australian arts.

Cultural diplomacy

We pursued an active cultural diplomacy program designed to shape international views of Australia. Its pitch and direction were guided by the foreign and trade priorities of the Government.

Australia International Cultural Council

In February 2009, we supported the fifteenth meeting of the Government’s peak advisory body on cultural diplomacy, the Australia International Cultural Council (AICC). The meeting was co-chaired for the first time by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, in line with Recommendation 10 of the 2006 Senate Report Australia’s public diplomacy: Building our image.

We worked closely with colleagues in the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) to implement the AICC’s international cultural diplomacy priorities, including:

Australia International Cultural Council grants program

The second round of the AICC grants program approved 13 activities, including in the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan. Our posts often worked closely with recipients to implement their projects. Initiatives funded under the AICC grants program’s first funding round included:

Cultural diplomacy in Indonesia

Photo - See caption below for description
Australian performer Jessica Mauboy meets students in Indonesia during her visit under the IN2OZ program in August 2008.
Photo: AusAID/Adi Rahmatullah
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

The AICC’s first major cultural initiative in Indonesia in many years, IN2OZ: Creative Australia, achieved significant public diplomacy outcomes in direct support of the overall bilateral relationship. IN2OZ began in 2007 and continued in 2008–09.

Working with Australians overseas to promote Australia’s interests

Through a four-year grant we continued to support the activities of the Advance Global Australian Professionals network of Australians overseas, deepening its engagement with Australian expatriate professionals and with alumni of Australian universities in Asia. In 2008–09 Advance continued to build local chapters across Asia, opened its first office in Asia in Hong Kong, and extended its communications program to reach a new audience in Asia. In April 2009, the organisation announced that the Prime Minister had agreed to be its patron.

Advance’s main event of the year was the Advance Asia 50 Summit, Partnerships for the Asian century, held in Shanghai in March 2009. Funded by the department, the event gathered leading Australians working in Asia and alumni of Australian universities to discuss ways they might contribute to efforts to deepen Australia’s international linkages.

Supporting Australian artists overseas

Australian contemporary visual arts and fine music were exhibited and performed in South and South-East Asia under the auspices of the department’s Australian Visual Arts Touring Program and Australian Fine Music Touring Program. Managed by the Asialink Foundation and Musica Viva Australia respectively, the programs fostered greater appreciation of Australia’s cultural accomplishments, promoted the professional development of selected artists and strengthened institutional linkages. Performances included:

Indigenous Australian culture

We worked to develop deeper appreciation and awareness of contemporary Indigenous Australian arts and culture through our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program. The program included visual arts exhibitions and complementary public programs, supporting performing arts and providing information and educational resources to our overseas posts. The exhibition touring component of the program contributed economically to Australia’s Indigenous communities by introducing the work of Indigenous artists to new audiences and thus facilitating sales.

In collaboration with Artbank, we launched a new exhibition, Balgo: Contemporary Australian art from the Balgo Hills. Balgo toured five cities in South-East Asia and the Pacific and will continue to other Asian destinations, including China, in 2010. In Port Moresby, Balgo featured as the flagship event of Australia Week and was opened by the PNG Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

The Torres Strait Islander linocut print exhibition, Gelam Nguzu Kazi: Dugong my son, completed the final leg of its international tour, visiting seven cities in North America and Latin America. In New York, the exhibition was launched at the United Nations in the margins of the annual United Nations Economic and Social Council meeting. The event generated excellent television and print media coverage, drawing attention to the Prime Minister’s National Apology and the Government’s moves towards closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

We supported events to celebrate NAIDOC Week, both in Australia and overseas (for further information see Section 3).

Embassy Film Roadshow and Australian Film Focus Program

We worked with Screen Australia on the AICC-funded initiative, the Embassy Film Roadshow, to promote greater understanding of Australia and its people through film and to promote the Australian film industry.

We presented 15 Australian film festivals, using the Embassy Roadshow collection of 64 feature films and documentaries and 32 short films. Festivals were presented in Jakarta, Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, Phnom Penh, Zagreb, Moscow, Port Louis, Seychelles, Kathmandu, Colombo and the northern and southern provinces of Vietnam. Total audience attendance for these events was approximately 25 500.

In Vietnam the Embassy Roadshow collection was presented in Australian film festivals in seven locations—Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, four northern central provinces, and the southern province of An Giang. The events complemented events celebrating the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam. The Embassy Roadshow was the first ever foreign film festival to visit most Vietnamese regional destinations.

We funded Screen Australia to establish an Indonesian-subtitled collection of four films with a focus on Indigenous Australia and to coordinate the expansion of the department’s subtitled Spanish collection from 10 to 15 films. The subtitled films will allow posts in Indonesia and Spanish-speaking countries to connect with new audiences.

We also funded Screen Australia to deliver the Australian Film Focus program, with the aim of supporting Australian participation in established international film festivals in AICC priority regions. Screen Australia assisted six international film festivals to include an Australian focus in their programs, with the screening of a minimum of five Australian films in each of the United States, American Samoa, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Australian Sports Outreach Program

We supported the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP), a discretionary grant program jointly managed by the department and the Australian Sports Commission. In 2008–09, 20 grants were approved under the Pacific Program and 33 grants under the Rest of the World Program in predominantly Commonwealth countries. Projects focused on community sports development, coaching clinics, equipment and infrastructure construction. The projects, which received strong support from local communities and assisted sports development, included:

Fostering people-to-people links

The International Relations Grant Program (IRGP) is the largest grants program administered by the department. The majority of the grant programs funded under the IRGP are managed by nine foundations, councils and institutes (FCIs). The department provides secretariats for, and works closely with, the FCIs to promote people-to-people links and positive images of Australia in support of the Government’s foreign and trade policy goals.

Council for Australian–Arab Relations

The Council for Australian–Arab Relations (CAAR) aims to promote greater mutual understanding and foster positive perceptions between the peoples of Australia and Arabic speaking countries.

Highlights included: the conclusion of the CAAR Scholarships Program, which provided up to 12 months’ study in Australia for four Arab students to achieve postgraduate qualifications; and the completion of a rural irrigation reconstruction project sponsored by CAAR and the Australian aid program in the Bsharreh region of Lebanon that has helped improve livelihoods. CAAR also supported a multi-year project to develop and distribute a multimedia teachers’ resource kit about the Arab world for use in Australian secondary schools; and a number of grants for business promotion, education, and cultural sponsorships and exchanges with the Arab world.

Australia–China Council

The goals of the Australia–China Council (ACC) include fostering positive perceptions in China of contemporary Australia’s scientific, technological and educational outlook. The ACC also worked to increase Australians’ capacity to engage with China and promoted Australian culture and expertise in China, including in publishing, conservation and heritage, and science and technology.

A key initiative supported by the ACC was the University of Queensland’s Australian Studies Centres in China program which supported the publication by Chinese scholars of nine books, 80 journal articles, many unpublished conference papers and 15 articles on Australian studies. Two PhDs and 39 Masters degrees were completed and approximately 1800 university students enrolled in courses about Australia.

Australia–India Council

The Australia–India Council (AIC) continued to build institutional and people-to-people links between Australia and India, with an emphasis on showcasing Australian excellence to influential Indian audiences. The AIC organised a visit to India by climate change expert and former Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery, and by the poet, Mr Geoff Page. The AIC also supported visits to Australia, including by India’s Special Envoy to West Asia, Ambassador C.R. Gharekhan, who delivered the Australia–India Strategic Lecture at the Lowy Institute.

A major new AIC initiative was the establishment of the Australia India Science and Technology Research Award, in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), which will allow outstanding young scientists from each country to travel to the other to undertake collaborative research.

Australia–Indonesia Institute

The Australia–Indonesia Institute (AII) celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2008–09 with a conference held in Sydney in February 2009, Australia and Indonesia: Partners in a new era. The Prime Minister, Mr Rudd, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Smith, and the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Dr Hassan Wirajuda, addressed the conference and emphasised the importance of people-to-people links—and the role of the AII—in developing the relationship between Australia and Indonesia.

Education was the AII’s largest program in 2008–09. The AII obtained major external funding from the Myer Foundation and AusAID for the Building Relationships through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing Engagement (BRIDGE) project, which is managed by the Asia Education Foundation. Australia hosted the first of three annual visits by Indonesian school teachers during which the teachers worked with their Australian counterparts in 30 school communities. The schools will now go on to collaborate through a specially designed web-based curriculum.

Australia–Japan Foundation

The Australia–Japan Foundation (AJF) aims to increase mutual understanding and goodwill between the peoples of Australia and Japan and to highlight our shared interests as economic and strategic partners. Highlights included the inaugural Crawford-Nishi lecture on Australia–Japan relations delivered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Smith, and the 2009 Australia–Japan Talkback Classroom Forum held at the National Press Club of Australia.

The Foundation supported projects that increased public debate on Australia–Japan strategic relations and emerging regional security architecture. Among these was a report by The Lowy Institute for International Policy, Australia–Japan going global: An agenda for multilateral cooperation and a workshop hosted by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security in conjunction with the International Alliance of Research Universities. The AJF also supported a series of public forums on Australia–Japan cooperation for nuclear disarmament conducted by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability in San Francisco.

The AJF supported Australian arts activities in Japan by funding The Australian Ballet’s participation in the 12th World Festival of Ballet in Tokyo; the creation of Australian contemporary art installations for the 2009 Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial; and collaboration between Indigenous playwright David Millroy and the Rakutendan Theatre Company.

Australia–Korea Foundation

The Australia–Korea Foundation (AKF) supported efforts to broaden and deepen relations with the Republic of Korea by enhancing mutual understanding and long-term collaboration between the two countries. Six large-scale AKF flagship programs, including the Next Generation Leaders Program, Early Career Researchers Program and the Australia–Korea Business Internship Program promoted strong institutional links between counterpart agencies and business organisations.

A major new initiative, the AKF Scholarship Program, announced during the visit of the ROK President Mr Lee Myung-bak in March 2009, was widely promoted across Australia. In May 2009, 11 successful Australian scholarship recipients were selected by the AKF Board and received funding for a range of study, research and intern programs in Korea. Other projects supported advocacy for a free trade agreement with Korea and enhancing bilateral collaboration on global issues such as climate change.

Council on Australia Latin America Relations

The Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) continued to build Australia’s relations with Latin America across the Council’s priority areas of business, education, tourism and cultural promotion. COALAR worked closely with Austrade and the Australia–Latin America Business Council to raise awareness of Latin American markets in Australia and to enhance the profile of Australian businesses. Support was provided for the inaugural Australia Latin America Leadership Program and the 2008 Australia Latin America Business Awards with the aim of building professional links and networks.

In cooperation with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, COALAR promoted Australia as a competitive and high-quality provider of education and training. COALAR funded the attendance of several Latin American buyers at the Australian Tourism Exchange in Melbourne to promote Australia as a travel destination. COALAR also funded a visit by two Australian journalists to Peru and Chile in the lead-up to APEC 2008 which provided an opportunity to increase awareness of those countries and APEC in Australia.

Australia–Malaysia Institute

The Australia–Malaysia Institute (AMI) continued to support efforts to broaden the bilateral relationship through strengthening people-to-people and institutional links between Australia and Malaysia. The AMI awarded 25 grants to a range of projects including academic research on Malaysian development and local government, and an exchange program between schools in Western Australia and Sabah (focused on aspects of shared history).

The AMI funded training courses for Malaysian doctors and nurses in severe burns management and an exchange program for young Australian and Malaysian journalists. Working with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the AMI administered a pilot Australia–Malaysia sister schools program. Following initial teacher exchanges, the schools involved have built teacher–student and practical curriculum links.

Australia–Thailand Institute

The Australia–Thailand Institute (ATI) continued to strengthen people-to-people and institutional links between Australia and Thailand in public policy, education, media and culture. A visit by four Thai business journalists focused on the Thailand–Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), generating substantial coverage on TAFTA issues in the Thai press and building links between the journalists and Australian business. The Institute funded a visit by four Muslim community leaders and two Buddhist teachers from southern Thailand to foster goodwill, ideas for community initiatives and relationships between the participants and Australian community leaders.

Highlights included support for a study program for Thai secondary school students in Tasmania, Thai participation in the Asia-Pacific Community Mental Health Development Project and collaboration between a Cairns-based theatre company and the Makhampon Living Theatre in northern Thailand. The ATI also sponsored a lecture in Australia with Professor Suchit Bunbongkarn from Chulalongkorn University on Thailand’s political situation, its constitution and role in ASEAN in June 2009.

Direct Aid Program

Photo - See caption below for description
Third Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Manila, Mr Rick Adams (centre), with members of Kooperatiba ng mga Magsasaka ni San Isidro Labrador (KOMSIL) during the opening of a DAP-funded traditional sugar milling plant in Nasugbu, Batangas, the Philippines on 18 March 2009.
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a small aid program funded by AusAID and implemented by the department through 52 overseas posts. Its objective is to deliver targeted local-level assistance while advancing Government policy.

We administered a DAP budget of $4.5 million, the majority of which was directed toward South-East Asia and the Pacific. Substantial proportions were also directed toward Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Central Europe.

Typical DAP projects addressed community health, youth and education, gender equality, rural development and environmental issues. Grants were also provided to disaster relief and emergency humanitarian operations, including for the victims of the Honduras earthquake in May 2009, and in June 2009 for the more than two million internally displaced persons in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province.

Regional television service: Australia Network

The Government provides funding for a regional television service with the aim of presenting a credible and reliable Australian voice in the Asia-Pacific region and promoting Australia as a sophisticated, diverse, innovative and tolerant society. Since August 2006 we have contracted the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to operate the Australia Network television service.

In 2008–09 the global economic recession and strong competition in key markets affected Australia Network, including reducing its advertising revenue and sponsorship. The Synovate PAX cable and satellite survey for the Asia-Pacific indicated that the audience for Australia Network increased in Bangkok, Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore and declined in Hong Kong, Jakarta and Seoul.

Our overseas posts worked closely with Australia Network to facilitate contacts at senior levels to secure re-broadcasting opportunities. For example, the post in Kuala Lumpur secured agreement in late 2008 to re-broadcast Australia Network as a full channel on the leading Astro Satellite platform (up from a previous programming level of four hours a day). The Embassy in Beijing assisted Australia Network in its efforts to seek ‘landing rights’ to be included in the officially sanctioned list of international broadcasters allowed access to the Chinese market.

Australian participation in the 2010 World Expo—Shanghai

We made good progress in our preparations for Australia’s participation in World Expo 2010, which will be held from 1 May to 31 October 2010 in Shanghai. In May 2009, the Minister for Trade, Mr Crean, took part in a construction milestone ceremony on the building site, which attracted extensive Chinese media coverage. Chinese organisers forecast 70 to 80 million people will visit the expo, which will be the largest world exposition ever held. Up to seven million people are expected to visit Australia’s national pavilion. This is an unparalleled opportunity to update and enhance perceptions of modern Australia, to promote bilateral trade and investment, and to strengthen institutional and people-to-people links with China.

Photo - See caption below for description
Minister for Trade, Mr Crean (centre), visiting the construction site of the Australian pavilion in Shanghai, China in May 2009.
Enlarge image :: Photo gallery

Through competitive public tender processes, we awarded four major contracts to Australian companies for: the construction of the Australian pavilion; the development of the associated communications and public affairs program; pavilion operations, including staffing and associated support; and the development and implementation of an extensive cultural program. Contract negotiations for the fifth and final tender, to decommission the pavilion, were completed, with the contract to be awarded in early August 2009.

Australia’s preparations for the expo advanced steadily and, overall, on schedule. Bovis Lend Lease Projects (Shanghai) Co Ltd, our construction contractor, together with Think!OTS and Wood Marsh Architecture, made rapid progress on pavilion construction and production of the exhibition content. In February 2009, Australia became the first international participant to complete pavilion foundations.

Partnerships were signed with the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Western Australia, and Queensland, all of which will provide the project with both cash and in-kind support. ANZ, BlueScope Steel and Rio Tinto were confirmed as leading corporate sponsors. Sponsorship negotiations continued with the remaining states and other private sector companies.

We continued developing, with other agencies and the states and territories, a trade and investment program aimed at highlighting Australian commercial capabilities, strengthening bilateral trade ties and increasing two-way investment. The pavilion’s business program will cover industries such as resources, education and tourism, and showcase emerging sectors such as financial and business services, urban design and planning, clean energy and environmental technologies.

Our cultural program contractor, George P Johnson, began detailed programming work for the pavilion cultural program, which consists of three core components: a resident performance group; a rolling program of visiting Australian artists including performances and visual arts exhibitions; and a program of performances for Australia’s designated national day at the expo on 8 June 2010.

A targeted communications and public affairs strategy designed and implemented by our communications contractor, Parker & Partners, and their China-based partner, Ogilvy Public Relations Shanghai, helped to ensure Australia was well-recognised in the Chinese media as a leading international participant. More than 637 feature articles were produced about Australia’s participation. Mr Crean also launched the pavilion’s bilingual website and a public competition within China to name the pavilion’s kookaburra mascot. By the end of the voting period, 2805 competition entries had been received, and 16 859 hits had been registered on the website, demonstrating expanding interest in Australia’s participation in the expo.

Outlook

The department will deliver high-quality and cost-effective public and cultural diplomacy programs in support of the Government’s foreign and trade policy goals. Supporting a public diplomacy strategy for Australia’s United Nations Security Council candidacy will be a priority in 2009–10.

The department will plan and implement Australia International Cultural Council country programs in the United States (2009), China (2010) and Korea (2011). The US program in Washington in September-December 2009 will present the Sydney Theatre Company and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, combined with a major Indigenous visual arts exhibition, Culture Warriors, on loan from the National Gallery of Australia.

Australia’s participation at the World Expo in Shanghai from May to October 2010 will provide the launching pad for a year-long program of Australian cultural activities throughout China. This will be a major bilateral cultural initiative supported by the Chinese and the Australian governments. The Australian launch of the pavilion will be held in the last quarter of 2009.

We will support Football Federation Australia’s 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bids. We will implement a major increase in the Direct Aid Program budget. We will refine our advocacy and engagement strategies and seek to utilise emerging web 2.0 technologies to promote key messages abroad. Deepening regional awareness both of Australian creativity and innovation and our long-standing respect for cultural and religious diversity will be priorities.

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