Australia-Korea Foundation Strategic Plan 2009-12


Australia has important geopolitical and economic interests in Korea which need to be sustained by a closer relationship that promotes an increased awareness of Australia in Korea and Korea in Australia. This requires a widening and deepening of the areas of contact and exchange between the two countries and their peoples. The Australia-Korea Foundation was established to support the exchange and dissemination of information, and to provide a source of advice and strategic guidance, in relation to the ways in which such relations may be encouraged, strengthened and developed. Much has been accomplished since its establishment in 1992 but much also remains to be done to develop the relationship to a level which matches its strategic importance.

Australia-Korea Foundation Strategic Plan 2009-12


To achieve enhanced awareness and understanding in Australia and Korea of the importance and mutual benefits of the bilateral relationship


To strengthen the Australia-Korea relationship in ways that support Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests

Key priority areas

  • Geopolitical Relations
  • Economics and Trade
  • Education, Science and Technology
  • Society, Culture, Arts and Media


  • Informed public awareness of Australia and Korea’s shared responsibility for promoting peace and progress in the region and globally as middle powers
  • Public and corporate awareness of the mutual importance and complementary nature of the Australia-Korea relationship
  • Cooperation in Australia and Korea on research and development opportunities in areas of current and future mutual interest
  • Productive Australia-Korea partnerships on contemporary issues of shared interest such as climate change and the environment, ageing and social change, gender and multiculturalism, innovation and technology
  • Advance cultural and social research, dialogue and exchange in areas that improve the understanding of, or directly impact on, the bilateral relationship, including in a regional context
  • Robust professional, community and institutional linkages between Australia and Korea which enhance mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill and project a well-informed and contemporary image of Australia in Korea

Guiding principles

  • To create and strengthen networks, contacts, partnerships and/or institutional linkages
  • To capitalise on partnerships which increase overall value of activities
  • To provide seed funding for activities which will become self-sustaining
  • To support activities which have the potential to deliver medium to longer term outcomes, including through institutions, groups or individuals
  • To facilitate a broad geographic spread of activities both in Australia and Korea
  • To leverage from high profile events to maximise benefits and the effective use of resources
  • To promote complementarities and avoid duplication with other institutions active in Australia-Korea relations


  • The Australia-Korea Foundation will prepare an Annual Business Plan for submission to the Minister by 31 May each year for the following financial year
  • In preparing the Annual Business Plan, the Foundation will give consideration to the goals and guiding principles identified in the Strategic Plan, the effectiveness of projects funded in previous years, and undertake extensive consultations with stakeholders, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Embassy, Seoul
  • The Foundation will prepare an Annual Program Report by 31 October each year for submission to the Minister
  • The Foundation will prepare a Performance Report assessed against the goals of the Strategic Plan every three years
  • The Foundation will undertake a Board Performance Review every year

Opportunities and challenges

The AKF is the Government’s key public diplomacy program for strengthening the Australia-Korea relationship in ways that support Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests. The agenda for this program continues to expand. Over the next few years, Australia is strongly committed to concluding a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Korea. Security cooperation is another fast growing element of the relationship as well as working together on global issues such as climate change.

Although the bilateral trade relationship has been strong for decades, in recent years the growth in services trade, driven by education and tourism, has required greater cultural awareness and understanding between the people’s of our two countries than the traditional trade in commodities and agricultural products.

However, Australia competes for attention with the rest of the world in Korea, not only in trade but also in higher education, the arts and culture. Much of the AKF’s efforts, therefore, will be directed towards increasing the prominence of Australia in Korea and building the capacity of Australians to establish and maintain enduring links with their Korean counterparts.

Diminished capacity for the Government to influence Korean opinion in support of Australian objectives, bilaterally and in relation to regional and global issues would result from any reduction in funding levels to the AKF. In addition, significant movements in the value of the Australian dollar may impact on delivery of AKF projects in Korea, and is a major risk requiring careful monitoring.

Last Updated: 9 February 2011