With huge smiles, the business people I met shared exciting plans for attracting inward investment and driving local exports into new markets. I had come to talk about the importance of expanding trade with South East Asia but they were ahead of me and had so much to share.

Understanding and recognising the uniqueness of our individual differences is what makes our communities and countries strong, inclusive and progressive.

A White Paper may sound bureaucratic and complicated but getting it right can make a real difference to Australia’s security and prosperity.

We do right now have an extraordinarily challenging role in mapping out the ‘known’ and ‘unknown unknowns’ confronting Australia’s national and international interests. Harder than anything else I can remember in my time in the job.

DFAT is recruiting now for the 2018 graduate program. We are looking for graduates to work in policy – foreign policy, trade, development – and in corporate management areas such as human resources, consular, and financial management. Applications close on 26 March.

On International Women’s Day, DFAT’s South-East Asia Mainland and Regional Division reflects on how women have shaped and inspired their work. The result is an important and diverse set of reflections from a group of skilled and bold women.

Australia is perfectly situated geographically, institutionally and linguistically, to service PNG’s emerging economy. The Australian Government’s decision to establish a Consulate-General in Lae recognises this and will support trade and investment links to the benefit of both Australia and PNG.

DFAT has made a sustained effort to increase the diversity of its workforce and has improved the representation of Australia’s indigenous diplomats.

As technology continues to grow and reshape our world we will all need to be brave, creative, involved, and connected.