Ambassadorial Afterthoughts: Building the Australia-Korea Relationship

Project Summary

13 August 2018

Sector: Reciprocal Australian and Korean Studies
Country location:  Australia, Republic of Korea
Grantee: Dr Jeffrey Robertson

photo of Dr. Jeffrey Robertson

Researcher, Dr. Jeffrey Robertson in Seoul, South Korea. Credit: Alan Van Beek.

Project Description

The Australia-South Korea relationship is a success story – a strong, close, and growing relationship that serves both countries interests. We share a mutually beneficial trade relationship; work closely as allies of the United States with shared interests in regional and global governance; and have rapidly growing sporting, cultural, and people-to-people links.

Yet, in the public eye, the relationship is too often neglected amidst the attention-grabbing antics of North Korea, and the economic promise of China and Japan. In the same way, South Korea's relationship with Australia is neglected amidst its stability as a tourist destination, a source for raw materials, and a place to learn English. Is the Australia-South Korea relationship a victim of its own success?

Understanding a bilateral relationship requires more than just numbers and graphs – it requires stories. With the aim of adding color to accounts of this highly successful relationship, I investigate how ambassadors and staff of both countries have worked to build this important relationship – the challenges they faced, the efforts to overcome them, and what they think the future holds for Australia-South Korea relations. Under the smooth surface, how have ambassadors and staff of both countries contributed to this successful relationship?

Key dates:

  • Book launch, Sydney or Canberra, 01 June 2019
  • Book launch, Seoul, 15 June 2019 to 15 June 2019

Social media: (will add all materials and blog), Twitter: @junotane, Facebook: http://facebook/junotane,

Australia-Korea Foundation grant offer: $24,000.00

Last Updated: 7 August 2018