Australian National Commission for UNESCO

The Australian National Commission for UNESCO is the Australian Government focal point for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The National Commission provides expert analysis and policy advice to the Australian Government on UNESCO matters and acts as a point of liaison between government, the community and UNESCO in Australia.

UNESCO was established in 1946 as a specialised agency of the United Nations. UNESCO's mandate includes education, the natural sciences, the social and human sciences, culture and communications/information technology. Australia is a founding member. Further information is available from UNESCO.

Australian National Commission for UNESCO Grants Scheme

The Australian National Commission for UNESCO assists projects which will further National Commission and UNESCO priorities and objectives as set out in UNESCO’s approved Programme and Budget 2014-2017 (37 C/5) [PDF] and Medium-Term Strategy for 2014-2021 (37 C/4) [PDF], and the priorities for the Australian National Commission for UNESCO. They include:

  • Attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning;
  • Mobilizing science knowledge and policy for sustainable development;
  • Addressing emerging social and ethical challenges;
  • Fostering cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; and
  • Building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication

The Australian National Commission for UNESCO’s small grants program is open for applications between Friday 8 July and Friday 30 September at midnight. Applications for grants up to $20, 000 will be considered.

This grants program is managed through Smartygrants.

Please note that applicants who were unsuccessful in applying for funding under the National Commission Grant Scheme 2015-16 (i.e. the latest grant scheme) need not resubmit applications for the same projects next year. Only applications for new projects will be considered.

Additional Funding Sources

We would encourage applicants to also familiarise themselves with other potential funding sources. The Grants & Assistance Finder is a useful Australian Government online tool for identifying available Federal, State and Local grants in a range of sectors, including the arts, environment education, disaster relief and indigenous programs.

About the Australian National Commission

UNITWIN/UNESCO University Chairs

Launched in 1992, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work.

The Programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence – i.e. in education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication.

Contact us

  • The Secretary-General
    Australian National Commission for UNESCO
    International Organisations and Legal Division
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    R G Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    BARTON ACT 0221
  • Email:
  • Phone: +61 (0)2 6261 2037
  • Media enquiries: +61 (0)2 6261 1555