2004-6 Strategic Plan

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 and 28 April 1981.

Mission Statement

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 and their people.

Key Objectives

  • To initiate, develop and support activities consistent with the achievement of the ACC's Mission Statement. (as set out in Part 2: Program Strategies).
  • To provide seed funding to projects which promise continuing benefits.
  • To promote complementarities between the Council's different program areas and avoid duplication of the activities of other institutions active in Australia-China relations.
  • To maintain some 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 requirements ( Part 4: Financial Framework)

Part Two: Program Strategies

Understanding China


  • Encourage Australians, especially young Australians , to develop a life-long interest and involvement in Australia-China relations.
  • Develop a cadre of young Australian graduates with Chinese language skills and direct experience of Chinese business practice.


  • Expand programs to include:
  • promoting participation by Indigenous Australians;
  • options for encouraging exchanges of young scientists looking at the commercial applications of research.
  • extending youth exchange programs to other parts of China;
  • Expand programs through corporate sponsorship or other partnering arrangements.
  • Encourage, including through competitions and awards, the study of China and Chinese in Australian schools.

Australian Studies in China


  • Enhance the range, volume, quality and value of research on Australia, and promote the dissemination of research outcomes in China through publishing, conferences and other means.
  • Promote greater Australian content in teaching at all levels of the Chinese educational system.


  • Promote institutional links between Australian and Chinese institutions.
  • Encourage the broadening into new areas of Australian Studies in China.
  • 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.
  • Promote complementarity between ACC and other sources of Australian Commonwealth funding to avoid duplication.
  • Investigate all modes of communication, including electronic, to foster Australian Studies in China.
  • Give priority to research outcomes using the Chinese language.
  • Develop projects providing Australian Studies teaching aids for Chinese secondary schools, starting in one or two provinces.

Residencies and Awards


  • Encourage talented Australians to focus their efforts on China.
  • Seek new initiatives in the arts, scholarship, business or any other field which would enhance Australia-China relations .
  • Acknowledge the significant contribution to the bilateral relationship of key individuals in Australia and China.


  • Target specific categories of talented Australians and Chinese including young journalists and applied scientists.
  • Extend the ACC's residency programs into other parts of China, including through cost-sharing arrangements with other bodies.
  • Support awards, prizes and other ways of recognising significant events, milestones and achievements in the Australia-China relationship.

Culture, Sport and Heritage


  • Increase understanding of the issues, traditions and values that preoccupy contemporary Australia and China and thereby strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
  • Foster a greater awareness in China of contemporary life in Australia and in Australia of contemporary life in China by supporting and promoting cultural, heritage and sporting activities.


  • Provide funding to support exchanges in all aspects of the arts (including performing arts, visual arts, literature and multi-media), heritage and sports activities 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;
  • supporting activities which capitalise on Australian expertise;
  • providing seed money to attract sponsorship, where practical;
  • ensuring regional spread;
  • supporting projects that raise awareness of indigenous Australian culture.
  • Develop a closer link between sporting bodies in China and Australia with special reference to the training of Chinese coaches in key sports.

Publishing and Media


  • Support publishing, internet and media projects that promote in China an increased understanding of contemporary Australian society, traditions and capabilities.


  • Provide support for original works in Chinese about Australia.
  • Support the translation into Chinese of publications about Australia and by Australian authors.
  • Seek new initiatives to promote the publishing of more information about Australia on the Chinese language internet.

Commerce, Science, Technology and Environment


  • Promote support among commercial organisations for ACC objectives.
  • Promote and facilitate collaboration between Australian and Chinese universities, research organisations, governmental agencies and business in research and the application of science, technology and environment research.
  • Support activities designed to raise awareness in China of education opportunities in Australia.


  • Seek to engage Australian and Chinese companies to support ACC objectives.
  • Enhance links with the relevant Australian Chambers of Commerce in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Encourage and promote formal links between Australian universities and major universities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, including:
  • through round table conferences of research personnel from influential universities to facilitate scientific exchange
  • Identify key research figures and encourage and support exchanges with their Australian counterparts, including by cost-sharing with DFAT's visitor programs.
  • Encourage key research bodies to partner a pilot program with the ACC.

Chinese-Australian Studies


  • Enhance the volume and quality of 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.
  • Promote Chinese language publishing that disseminates Australian research in the field of Chinese-Australian studies.


  • Provide awards for the best English and Chinese language publications disseminating Australian research in the field of Chinese-Australian studies .

Part Three: Funding Policy

Most ACC funding goes to Council-initiated programs such as the Understanding China Program, Australian Studies in China 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 the general rule, the Council will only provide seed funding for activities. Thus it encourages applicants to seek partnership funding from other bodies as well as corporate sponsorship. Where there is no confirmed partner funding from other sources 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 $5,000. Grants within the range of $5,000 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 priority program areas 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;
    • 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 equipent.
  • reimbursement for the costs of projects, or parts of projects, already completed.

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
    • 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, where their activities fit within the Council's objectives and funding policies.
Last Updated: 5 November 2012