Australia-China Council
Navigation spacer

Administrative overview


The Australia-China Council was established on 17 May 1978 under an Order-in-Council. It reports to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.


Article 2(1) of the Order-in-Council establishing the Council provides for a membership of a Chair, and not less than four and not more than 16 other members. On 30 June 1998, the Council consisted of a Chair and eleven other members. Members are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.


Members receive a sitting fee in line with the rate set by the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973, as amended, for part-time members of non-statutory bodies. Under the Order-in-Council members are also entitled to reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses actually incurred while on business as a member of the Council


The Council holds three-four meetings each calendar year to discuss issues in the bilateral relationship, decide on funding priorities and monitor implementation of its decisions. Two meetings were held during the reporting period:

    71st meeting: 27 October 1998, Beijing
    72nd meeting: 25 February 1999, Canberra


The Order-in-Council of 17 May 1978 does not require the Australia-China Council to prepare an annual report. The first Chair of the Council submitted an annual report to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and this practice continued to 1993-94. The last report covered the period 1994-98.

Public information

In October 1998 the Council produced an information brochure outlining its objectives and key areas of activity. The brochure is printed in English and Chinese.

The Council secretariat maintains a web page on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade web site at

Auditor's report

The financial affairs of the Council are examined by the Australian National Audit Office as part of its examination of the accounts of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Since July 1997 the Australia-China Council secretariat has been located in the East Asia Branch, China Bilateral Section, of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The secretariat is staffed by two departmental officers and manages implementation of council decisions and administers council programs, funding and activities.

On 30 June 1999 the secretariat consisted of:

    Ms Michele Grant, Director (from June 1998)
    Mr Lyall Crawford, Executive Officer (from February 1999)

Ms Jenny Hanna held the position of Project Officer in the secretariat from June 1998 to February 1999.

The secretariat liaises closely with the Counsellor (Public Affairs and Cultural) at the Australian Embassy in Beijing (during the reporting period this was Mr Anthony Taylor). Council activities in China receive assistance from the Australian Embassy and other China posts.

Trust fund

The Council operates a trust fund under s.62A of the Audit Act 1901. The trust account allocation for 1998-99 was $636 000 and the carryover from 1997-98 was $115 031.

Industrial democracy and workplace diversity

Secretariat staff are covered under the industrial democracy and workplace diversity programs of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as the Department's Certified Agreement 1998-2000.

Freedom of information

In the reporting period the Council did not receive any applications under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Contact details

Address: The R G Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent, Barton ACT 0221 Australia
Postal address: PO Box E73, Kingston ACT 2604 Australia
Telephone: +61 2 6261 3818, +61 2 6261 2351
Facsimile: +61 2 6261 2143
Web page:

Introduction . . Membership . . Objectives

Australian Studies . . Exchanges and study programs . . Cultural program . . Internet and publishing . . Delegations . . Grants

Administrative overview . . Financial statement 1998-99

Annual report home . . Australia-China Council home . . Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from AusInfo. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Manager, Legislative Services, AusInfo, GPO Box 84, Canberra ACT 2601.