Business Plan 2013-14

Australia-Korea Foundation

Executive Summary

The Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF) is a non-statutory, bilateral foundation in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which was established in 1992 with the aim of strengthening and further developing relations between Australia and the Republic of Korea.  The AKF funds suitably qualified individuals and non-government organisations in Australia and the Republic of Korea in support of projects that aim to build sustainable networks, increase mutual understanding and goodwill between the two countries and support Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests.  Grant applications are assessed by a Board comprising community and business leaders appointed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. 

Following the release of the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ Whitepaper, AKF goals, strategies and priority areas have been directed towards the achievement of national outcomes outlined in the whitepaper.


To strengthen the Australia-Korea relationship in ways that enhance mutual understanding and cultural links. 

The AKF will support Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests by facilitating activities that:

  1. raise awareness of Australia in Korea, and of Korea in Australia and increase understanding in both countries of Australia’s and Korea’s shared interests and importance to each other;
  2. increase knowledge and recognition in Korea of Australian excellence and expertise;
  3. promote exchanges of individuals and groups between the two countries across a broad range of fields, including international relations and trade, science and technology, education, society, culture and sports and the media ;
  4. encourage the development of institutional links, including between universities, research institutes, professional organisations, cultural establishments, museums, libraries, community groups and other non-government organisations;
  5. support Australian studies in Korea and Korean studies in Australia.


Risks Mitigation Strategies
Low profile of Australia in Korea, as we compete for attention with the rest of the world, particularly the United States of America, China, Japan and others.

AKF efforts directed towards increasing the prominence of Australia in Korea and building the capacity of influential Australians to establish and maintain enduring links with their Korean counterparts.

Support programs that are collaborative, demonstrate synergies between Australia and Korea, and emphasise the value of Australian expertise to Korean counterparts.

Develop communications strategy to make most of initiatives and raise the AKF profile.

Duplication or overlapping of activities undertaken by government and non-government organisations which could reduce the impact of AKF activities and the ability to achieve significant value for money. 

Consul widely with individuals, organisations, enterprises and government departments and agencies associated or concerned with the broadening of relations between Australia and Korea, including the Korean community in Australia.

Monitor Korea-related activities undertaken by other government and non-government agencies.

Unrealistic expectations of the level of support grant recipients can expect from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).  DFAT/AKF’s role should focus on the oversight and evaluation rather than implementation of projects in Australia and Korea.  

Preference to be given to applicants who can demonstrate the capacity to deliver project outcomes efficiently and effectively without requiring additional in-kind support. 

Indicators of this capacity include having confirmed partners in both countries and assured funding or in-kind support from a range of sources, as well as a proven track record in delivering similar projects independently. 

The AKF Board’s role limited to grant administration The Board to play a more active role in shaping the direction of its activities and strategic focus through allocating higher value grants to fewer number recipients with strategically aligned projects and by appointing a Board member as a ‘Champion’ for each flagship program.
Advertising fails to attract good quality, innovative grant applications across key AKF themes Advertise widely and use Board connections and key stakeholders in both countries to reach a more diverse audience of potential grant applicants.


Strategies to harness

The growing recognition of the fundamental importance of the bilateral relationship for economic, political and strategic reasons.


Target a broader range of stakeholder organisations and potential grant recipients to generate projects in line with the expanding strategic relationship.

The Australian Embassy in Seoul to continue to promote AKF activities to key stakeholders and supporters in Korea and the Korean public.

Australia and Korea are together taking practical steps to address regional and global strategic challenges. DFAT North East Asia Branch will oversee AKF activities in Australia and Korea, and will facilitate consultations with other areas of DFAT, including the Korea FTA Taskforce, Public Diplomacy Branch, State Offices, and other agencies, as appropriate, to encourage them to leverage off AKF activities and to help identify future funding opportunities.
Well-established networks of AKF stakeholders and supporters in both countries.

The Secretariat to maintain contact databases of key stakeholders and supporters in both countries, and to continue communication with alumni for long term strategic outcomes. Selected contacts to be invited to nominate new proposals for future AKF support.

The AKF to keep its website up-to-date and provide relevant information to the Australian Embassy Seoul website to ensure the public in both countries is informed of its activities and funding opportunities.

Collaborate with other Foundations, Councils and Institutes (FCIs) and Government Agencies The Secretariat to seek opportunities with other FCIs and agencies such as Austrade and DEEWR to coordinate activities.

Goals, strategies and priority areas

While the AKF will look to undertake initiatives that fulfil its wider goals and continue to support flagship and scholarship programs, in 2013-14 the AKF will place a special focus on four themes or priority areas for new projects and activities to be funded.  These four themes which support ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ Whitepaper national outcomes are:

  • Korean Language and Literacy
  • Green Growth and Environment
  • Digital Services
  • Sport and Community (focus on soccer/Asian Cup 2015).

Goal 1  Public understanding of the importance of the Australia-Korea relationship

Increase public awareness of Australia in Korea, and of Korea in Australia, and understanding in both countries of Australia’s and Korea’s shared interests and the importance of the bilateral relationship.


  • Facilitate bilateral visits by influential individuals.
  • Sponsor public seminars and workshops to increase outreach and broaden the knowledge base in both countries.
  • Support trade-related policy seminars and exchanges.
  • Support academic projects to examine bilateral relations across all sectors.
  • Disseminate accurate and up-to-date information about Australia-Korea relations through publications and websites.
  • Develop a communications strategy for both countries, aligned to a calendar of events to maximise opportunities.

Goal 2 Developing Partnerships

Develop partnerships in areas of shared interest in the bilateral, regional and global context


  • Enhance government-to-government relationships through collaboration with relevant Korean agencies.
  • Develop new academic partnerships and linkages between leading educational institutions and organisations.
  • Develop linkages between leading scientific institutions in Korea and Australia such as the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the National Research Foundation of Korea.
  • Support visits by:
    • Australian cultural institutions and organisations to Korea and their Korea-related projects
    • Korean decision-makers and emerging leaders in the arts and culture field to Australia.
  • Encourage dialogues on bilateral foreign policy issues involving the non-government sector.
  • Increase access to contemporary Australian resources in Korean universities, and facilitate increased linkages between Korean university libraries and peak bodies and their Australian counterparts.
  • Promote Australian educational resources in Korean schools.
  • Support scholarly collaboration between Australian and Korean universities in areas of mutual interest.
  • Establish networks between leading educational and scientific institutions in Australia and Korea, including museums.
  • Broaden partnerships to include digital, technology, youth and contemporary arts.

Goal 3  Increase capacity to engage with Korea

Increase Australians’ capacity to engage effectively with Korea.


  • Support exchanges and partnerships between professional, commercial, academic, sporting, cultural, community and other non-government organisations, and young leaders.
  • Support visits by influential Australian individuals and institutions to Korea as well as Korean individuals and institutions to Australia, to develop and strengthen linkages with Korean counterparts across AKF priority areas.
  • Support expert Australian participation in high-level conferences, seminars and workshops on Australian Studies in Korea.
  • Support development of Korean-language education and knowledge of Korea in Australia.
  • Build groups of young and potentially influential people in both Australia and Korea who have knowledge and personal experience of the two countries.
  • Develop and offer a competitive annual scholarship program for postgraduate scholars to undertake PhD studies in Korea.


The Board and Secretariat

There are seven part-time Board members (Chair, five members and one ex-officio member).  The Secretariat is made up of one full-time manager and a shared Executive Officer position in Canberra and an AKF director at the Australian Embassy in Seoul.

The Chair, ex officio and AKF board members are responsible to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  The Chair may be appointed for a five-year term and board members for three-year terms.  The Board meets three times a year to set the broad’s strategic direction and to consider grant applications and other funding proposals. 

AKF Income

The Business Plan for 2013-14 is based on expected funding to be received in July 2013 by the International Relations Grants Program (IRGP) and departmental funds.

Departmental Allocation: 230,000
IRGP Allocation: 620,000
Other income: 0

Total 850,000

Financial information

Income history

Financial Year






Source of Income
Departmental Funding 200,000 200,000 200,000 200,000 230,000
  - supplementary dept funds 120,000
Accrued from previous year - - 2,000
IRGP Funding 550,000 550,000 550,000 550,000 620,000
Other Sources  - Sale of Books 400  500 190
Total income 870,400 750,500 752,190 750,000 850,000


Last Updated: 25 September 2013