Foundations, councils and institutes

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    The Australia-ASEAN Council supports gender equality and women’s empowerment through sport.

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  • Federal government focus on building economic links to Asia

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  • Circus Oz takes centre stage in China

    Circus Oz presented a unique slice of Australian culture and circus performance to Chinese audiences in 2017.

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  • Early origins

    For 15 years, Australian and Indian researchers have been working collaboratively in central India to discover the “world’s oldest rock art”.

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Over the past nearly 40 years the Australian Government has established cultural councils supporting people-to-people links underpinning our key bilateral and regional relationships. Eminent Australian business and community leaders are appointed to the boards, providing a range of expertise and input to Australia’s foreign policy and economic diplomacy goals. Funding for these Foundations, Councils and Institutes and for the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program is provided through the International Relations Grants Program.

The International Relations Grants Program (IRGP) supports the Government's foreign policies and economic diplomacy interests and projects a positive contemporary image of Australia. IRGP grants support professional, community and institutional linkages between Australia and its partners on contemporary issues of shared interest including business, education, innovation, science, technology, the arts, media and sport.

Grant round dates

Grant rounds are expected to open in February 2018.

Profiles of successful projects are provided on the “Grants at a Glance” webpage or on individual Foundation, Council or Institute pages under menu item “Meet our Grantees”.

Standard grant documentation

Individual forms for each grant program are customised to address the strategic priorities relevant to the individual diplomatic relationship. When a grant round is open, applicants complete an interactive form online via SmartyGrants. These static Word and PDF versions provide an indication of the information required:

The standard draft funding agreement is also customised to the particular grant and country situation.

Grants eligibility

There is considerable competition for grant money with approximately 10 per cent of applications being successful. Individual grants generally do not exceed $40,000 per year. IRGP grants are managed in accordance with the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines. Grants are generally not awarded for:

  • Capital expenditure including items such as real property, equipment or computer software;
  • Activities that are properly the responsibility of other funding bodies or other government agencies (e.g. development assistance projects, trade promotion and academic research);
  • Activities that are already commercially viable in their own right or which give a commercial advantage to one organisation;
  • Subsidy of general ongoing administration of an organisation such as electricity, phone, rent, salaries (including for research assistants or administrative staff), honorariums or administrative charges levied by the applicant's organisation; or
  • Projects already completed.

Given the competition for grants funding, requested travel costs should be reasonable (refer to the ATO website).

Grant recipients

Lists of previous grant recipients.

Grant project summaries are available under the grants tabs of individual FCI pages. Project summaries across the Foundations, Councils and Institutes are also collated here: Grants at a glance.



Last Updated: 8 August 2017