Competing globally under the banner of Team Australia is crucial to our success – and an important consideration for the Government’s forthcoming Foreign Policy White Paper – but what does it mean in practice?

Aid for trade accounts for about 40 per cent of all aid funding to Asia and the Pacific and is integral to the region’s economic development. Aid for trade can benefit socially vulnerable groups, including women. Internet access can be transformative in providing opportunities for small firms, often owned by women, to tap into previously inaccessible markets.

Few areas of the Attorney-General’s Department’s diverse span of work are immune from international developments. Areas of law that were almost exclusively the domain of domestic governments have increasingly taken on international dimensions. Inevitably, our responsibilities for national security and emergency management are directly affected by events overseas.

Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is strong and continues to grow. A key focus for DFAT this year will be concluding a deal to increase trade and investment opportunities between our two countries. We are also fostering research collaboration to find solutions to shared problems.

“The minute I stepped off the plane in Paro, an airport in the middle of a steep mountain range with prayer flags lining the single runway, I felt that sense of coming home.”

State Visits are usually very formal affairs, with lots of gilt and glitter.  But, with a relationship as close as Australia and New Zealand’s, you’d be forgiven for asking whether any of that is really necessary. We’re such great mates; wouldn’t it be possible to just get together for a barbecue? Why do we bother with all of the formalities? 

The 2017-18 Antarctic season will be the 70th anniversary of the Australian Antarctic Program. The international interest in Antarctica has grown significantly since it began and will continue to do so. It is timely that the Department of the Environment and Energy’s Australian Antarctic Division is participating in the development of the Foreign Policy White Paper, which will reflect Australia’s role as a leader in Antarctica.