What we do

The department’s purpose is to make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous by promoting and protecting our interests internationally and contributing to global stability and economic growth, specifically in the Indo–Pacific region.

The department provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the Government. We work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively.

DFAT is the lead agency managing Australia’s international presence. We manage a network of 100 overseas posts in five continents and have 6,264 staff located in Canberra, state and territory offices and overseas posts. 

Our officers are highly skilled at their work which includes developing and implementing foreign, trade and development policy, negotiating international agreements, delivering an effective aid program, and providing high quality consular assistance. This business is often conducted in one of the 29 foreign languages in which DFAT staff are proficient.

Find out more about what we do in the DFAT Annual Report.

Who we are infographic from the DFAT Annual Report 2015-16 What we do infographic from the DFAT Annual Report 2015-16
Who we are, what we do infographics with data from the DFAT Annual Report 2015-16. Click the images for a larger view.
Last Updated: 3 May 2017