he most interesting opportunities we get as DFAT officers are not always found behind a desk in Canberra. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to accompany Simon Newnham, Australia’s APEC Ambassador and First Assistant Secretary of the Investment and Economic Division, on a visit to Tokyo. As part of that visit, Simon addressed a Symposium hosted by Japan’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) and the Australian National University (ANU).

DFAT is collaborating with Philanthropy Australia to sponsor the inaugural Australian International Philanthropy Award. The Award honours significant achievements in Australian international philanthropy for grants or impact investment(s) allocated to countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia now – a flagship public diplomacy initiative that celebrates contemporary Australian innovation, creativity and lifestyle – complements our trade and strategic relationship with a key partner country each year.

Tropical Cyclone Gita made landfall in Tonga on 12 February 2018, causing severe damage to the main island of Tongatapu. The cyclone damaged or destroyed almost 2,000 homes, caused the evacuation of over 4,500 people and left more than 80% of homes in Tonga without power.  Australia is providing a comprehensive package of support to Tonga that includes addressing immediate needs, helping people return to their homes, reconnecting power throughout Tongatapu, and providing support to the island of ‘Eua, which was also badly affected by the cyclone.

The 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper makes clear that Australia’s investment in the stability and resilience of developing countries improves our own security and prosperity. Today, the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) released its 2018 peer review of Australia’s aid program. This important report highlights our achievements to date and provides valuable recommendations for us to consider in strengthening the overall effectiveness of the program.  

 By Hon Dr Sharman Stone, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls Financial inclusion gives women greater choice and control over their financial lives. I know this after sitting with village savings clubs and microfinance groups in Vietnam, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Sitting among them, I witnessed a new generation of financially empowered women […]

A photograph of two women

 By Hon Dr Sharman Stone, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls Over the past year, a few simple words like “#TimesUp” and “#MeToo” have inspired tens of thousands of women around the world to share their stories and advocate their rights. As the movement continues in 2018, I’m keen to use my role as Australia’s […]