Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (also called DFAT, ˈdiː.fæˑt, DEE-fat) is the department of the Government of Australia responsible for foreign policy, foreign relations, foreign aid, consular services, and trade and investment.

The head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, presently Frances Adamson,[3] who reports to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, presently Senator Marise Payne. Subordinate ministers include the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, presently Senator Simon Birmingham; the Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific, presently Ann Ruston; and the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, presently Mark Coulton MP, who support the administration of the department.[4]

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) logo
Ac.dfat

The R. G. Casey Building, head office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in Barton, ACT
35°18′36″S 149°07′50″E / 35.3100°S 149.1305°ECoordinates: 35°18′36″S 149°07′50″E / 35.3100°S 149.1305°E
Department overview
Formed24 July 1987[1]
Preceding agencies
JurisdictionGovernment of Australia
MottoAdvancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally
Employees4,958 (at June 2014)[2]
Annual budgetA$1.5 billion (2006/07)
Ministers responsible
Department executive
Child agencies
Websitewww.dfat.gov.au

History

The department finds its origins in two of the seven original Commonwealth Departments established following Federation: the Department of Trade and Customs and the Department of External Affairs, headed by Harry Wollaston and Atlee Hunt respectively.[5]

The department was abolished on 14 November 1916 and its responsibilities were undertaken by the Prime Minister's Department and the Department of Home and Territories. It was re-established on 21 December 1921.[6]

Until the Second World War, Australia's status as a dominion of the British Empire in the then British Commonwealth meant its foreign relations were mostly defined by the United Kingdom. During this time, Australia's overseas activities were predominantly related to trade and commercial interests, while its external affairs were concerned mostly with immigration, exploration and publicity.[5] The political and economic changes wrought by the Great Depression and Second World War, and the adoption of the 1931 Statute of Westminster (ratified by Australia in 1942), necessitated the establishment and expansion of Australian representation overseas, independent of the British Foreign Office. Australia began to establish its first overseas missions (outside London) in 1940, beginning with Washington, D.C., and now has a network of over 80 diplomatic (and 22 trade) posts.[5]

The Department of External Affairs was renamed the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1970. On 24 July 1987, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Trade were amalgamated by the Hawke Labor Government to form the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

In 2005, DFAT became embroiled in the Oil-for-Food Programme scandal after it was revealed it had approved the Australian Wheat Board's (AWB) request allowing it to pay 'trucking charges' to Alia, a Jordanian trucking company with no actual involvement in the trucking of Australian wheat within Iraq. The Cole Inquiry into the AWB was established, however its terms of reference excluded any investigation of the role of DFAT.

Portfolio responsibilities

The functions of the department are broadly classified into the following matters as laid out in an Administrative Arrangements Order issued on 18 September 2013:[7]

  • External Affairs, including:
    • relations and communications with overseas governments and United Nations agencies
    • treaties, including trade agreements
    • bilateral, regional and multilateral trade policy
    • international trade and commodity negotiations
    • market development, including market access
    • trade and international business development
    • investment promotion
    • international development co-operation
    • diplomatic and consular missions
    • international security issues, including disarmament, arms control and nuclear non-proliferation
    • public diplomacy, including information and cultural programs
  • International expositions
  • Provision to Australian citizens of secure travel identification
  • Provision of consular services to Australian citizens abroad
  • Overseas property management, including acquisition, ownership and disposal of real property
  • Tourism industry (international)
  • International development and aid
  • Development and co-ordination of international climate change policy
  • International climate change negotiations

Secretary of the Department

DFAT is administered by a senior executive, comprising a secretary and five deputy secretaries. On the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the Governor-General has appointed the following individuals as Secretary to the department:

Order Official Date appointment
commenced
Date appointment
ceased
Term in office Ref(s)
1 Stuart Harris AO 23 July 1987 3 July 1988 346 days [8][9]
2 Richard Woolcott AC 1 September 1988 15 February 1992 3 years, 167 days [9][10]
3 Peter Wilenski AC 15 February 1992 14 May 1993 1 year, 88 days [10][11]
4 Michael Costello AO 27 May 1993 8 March 1996 2 years, 286 days [12][13]
5 Philip Flood AO 8 March 1996 31 March 1998 2 years, 23 days [13]
6 Ashton Calvert AC 1 April 1998 4 January 2005 6 years, 278 days [14]
7 Michael L'Estrange AO 24 January 2005 13 August 2009 4 years, 201 days [14][15]
8 Dennis Richardson AO 13 August 2009 18 October 2012 3 years, 66 days [15][16]
9 Peter Varghese AO 18 October 2012 22 July 2016 3 years, 278 days [17][16]
9 Frances Adamson 22 July 2016 incumbent 2 years, 212 days [18][19][20][21]

Structure

The department is responsible to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, and the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

The department has around 3,300 employees, of whom 1,300 are foreign staff employed by missions directly, and 1,500 are Australian employees based in Australia, and some 500 are diplomats serving overseas.

Departmental structure

  • Office of the Secretary
    • Internal Audit Branch
    • Strategic Policy, Contestability and Futures Branch
    • Executive Branch
  • Global Cooperation, Development and Partnerships Group
    • Multilateral Policy Division
    • Development Policy Division
    • Multilateral Development and Finance Division
    • Public Diplomacy, Communications & Scholarships Division
    • Centre for Health Security
    • Office of Development Effectiveness
    • Innovation Xchange
    • Office of the Ambassador for the Environment
  • International Security, Humanitarian and Consular Group
    • International Security Division
    • Consular and Crisis Management Division
    • Humanitarian, NGOs and Partnerships Division
    • Legal Division
    • Middle East and Africa Division
    • Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office
    • Office of the Ambassador for Cyber Affairs
  • Indo-Pacific Group
    • South-East Asia Division
    • North Asia Division
    • Pacific Division
    • US and Indo-Pacific Strategy Division
    • South-West Asia Division
  • Trade, Investment and Business Engagement Group
    • Office of Trade Negotiations
    • Investment and Economic Division
    • Free Trade Agreement Division
    • Europe and Latin America Division
  • Services Delivery Group
    • People Branches
    • Diplomatic Academy
    • Finance Branches
    • Security Branches
    • Information Management and Technology Division
    • Australian Passport Office
    • Overseas Property Office
    • Protocol Branch
    • Contracting and Aid Management Division

Diplomatic network

The department maintains offices in each state and mainland territory to provide consular and passport services, and to perform an important liaison service for business throughout Australia. In addition, it has a Torres Strait Treaty Liaison Office on Thursday Island. Additionally, the department manages a network of over 90 overseas posts, including Australian embassies, high commissions, consulates-general and consulates.

Portfolio agencies

DFAT also manages several agencies within its portfolio, including:

DFAT also manages foundations, councils and institutes including:[22]

  • Australia-China Council (ACC)
  • Australia-India Council (AIC)
  • Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII)
  • Australia International Cultural Council (AICC)
  • Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF)
  • Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF)
  • Australia-Malaysia Institute (AMI)
  • Australia-Thailand Institute (ATI)
  • Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR)
  • Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR)

See also

References

  1. ^ CA 5987: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 27 December 2013
  2. ^ Australian Public Service Commission (2014), Main features:APS at a glance, archived from the original on 5 October 2014
  3. ^ "Frances Adamson - Biographical details". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Commonwealth of Australia. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Full list of Scott Morrison's new ministry". SBS News. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  5. ^ a b c "History of the Department". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 2007-08-08.
  6. ^ Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia, 20th ed, 1978, pp. 289-290
  7. ^ "Administrative Arrangements Order" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  8. ^ Hawke, Bob (23 July 1987). "For the media". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  9. ^ a b Hawke, Bob (2 June 1988). "For the media". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b Hawke, Bob (8 November 1991). "For the media". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  11. ^ Keating, Paul (14 May 1993). "Dr Peter Wilenski AO". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  12. ^ Keating, Paul (26 May 1993). "Appointment of Departmental Secretaries". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  13. ^ a b Howard, John (8 March 1996). "Statement by the Prime Minister designate, The Hon John Howard MP". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  14. ^ a b Howard, John (2 December 2004). "Dr Ashton Calvert AC". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  15. ^ a b Rudd, Kevin (13 August 2009). "Departmental secretaries and statutory office-holders, Canberra". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  16. ^ a b Gillard, Julia (17 September 2012). "Diplomatic Appointment and Appointment of Secretaries of the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Mr Peter N Varghese AO - Biographical details". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Commonwealth of Australia. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  18. ^ Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2016), Biography of Ms Frances Adamson, Australian Government, archived from the original on 17 August 2016
  19. ^ Doran, Matthew (20 July 2016). "Frances Adamson appointed as DFAT's first female secretary". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016.
  20. ^ Mannheim, Markus (20 July 2016). "Frances Adamson becomes Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's first female secretary". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016.
  21. ^ Turnbull, Malcolm (20 July 2016). "Ms Frances Adamson appointed Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade" (Press release). Australian Government. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  22. ^ "Foundations, councils and institutes - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Dfat.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-10-17.

External links

Austrade

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission, or Austrade, is the Australian Government's trade, investment and education promotion agency. It is a statutory agency within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, with offices in overseas embassies and consulates, and representative arrangements in some other locations.Under Austrade's corporate structure, its chief executive officer is accountable to the federal Minister for Trade and Investment.

Australia China Youth Association

The Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA) is an international non-governmental organization that aims to strengthen ties between young people in Australia and China through bilateral initiatives in the areas of Careers, Education, and People-to-People Exchange. ACYA is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that takes the form of a grassroots community comprising over 5000 members spread across 18 Chapters in Australia, including all Group of Eight universities, and 7 city-based Chapters in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taipei. ACYA's major sponsors are the Australian National University and the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia). ACYA was one of only three youth organisations to be commended by name in the Australian Government's 2012 'Australia in the Asian Century' White Paper. ACYA was founded in 2008 in Wudaokou, Beijing, by three Australian National University undergraduate students—Henry Makeham, Huw Pohlner and Dominic Delany—then on exchange at Peking University, Renmin University and Tsinghua University, respectively.

Australian Passport Office

Australian Passport Office is an independent operating agency of the Government of Australia with bureaucratic oversight provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) portfolio. It provides passports to Australian citizens in Australia and overseas under the Australian Passports Act 2005 and related laws. In some cases they also issue other types of travel documents. DFAT has offices in each of the nine Australian capital cities.

Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office

The Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO) was established by the Australian Government to enhance national and international security by contributing to "effective regimes against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." It combines three Commonwealth agencies: the Australian Safeguards Office (ASO), the Chemical Weapons Convention Office (CWCO), and the Australian Comprehensive Test Ban Office (ACTBO).

ASNO's Director General is a statutory officer, and his staff are public servants employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The Director General has reported directly to the Minister for Foreign Affairs since 1994. As of 2014, Dr. Robert Floyd is ANSO's Director General.

Australians in Pakistan

Australians in Pakistan comprise Australian citizens residing in Pakistan, which includes expatriates and immigrants, as well as their locally-born descendants.

Australia–Bangladesh relations

Australia–Bangladesh relations refer to bilateral relations between Australia and Bangladesh.

Australia–Malaysia relations

Australia–Malaysia relations (Malay: Hubungan Australia–Malaysia; Jawi: هوبوڠن أستراليا–مليسيا) refers to bilateral foreign relations between Australia and Malaysia. Australia has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in Canberra. Both Australia and Malaysia are members of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and often participate in military exercises together.Occasional issues such as perceived Australian influence in Southeast Asian affairs, as well as the detention and execution of Australian citizens in Malaysia, further complicate relations between the two nations.

Credit Union Foundation Australia

Cufa, formerly known as Credit Union Foundation Australia is an independent, secular, not-for-profit Australian development organisation. Cufa has full accreditation under the Australian Aid program run by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) and is a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development Code of Conduct.Cufa founded in 1971 delivers economic development, education, enterprise and employment projects across the Asia Pacific. Cufa has a head office in Sydney and offices in its countries of operations which include Bougainville, Cambodia, Fiji (serving the greater Pacific) Myanmar and East Timor.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may refer to:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia), a department of the government of Australia

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Ireland), a department of the government of Ireland

Emirati Australians

Emirati Australians are citizens or residents of Australia who are of Emirati origin. There is a small Emirati community in the country, mainly comprising a few thousand international students.

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) is Australia’s export credit agency and has carried out its role within various statutory frameworks since 1957. Efic was established in its current form on 1 November 1991 under the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991 (Cth) (the EFIC Act) as a statutory corporation wholly owned by the Commonwealth of Australia.

Efic’s role is to support the growth of Australian companies in their international activities by providing tailored financial solutions when the private market faces constraints.

As the Australian Government’s export credit agency, it helps Australian-based businesses to win and finance export, offshore investment and onshore export-related opportunities when their bank is unable to provide all the support they need.

Efic helped over 110 SMEs with 191 transactions totalling $155 million in 2015-16.

Efic has over 50 years of export finance and industry expertise, contacts at financial institutions around the globe, the strength of the Australian government's AAA credit rating and an entrepreneurial business approach.

It practises responsible lending and uphold social and environmental best practice in the transactions they support and ensures that all transactions are subject to due diligence before being approved.

Efic reports to The Hon. Steve Ciobo MP as Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Efic is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement

The Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement was concluded between Australia and Japan in November 2014 and took effect January 15, 2015.

Lieutenant Governor of Guam

The Guamanian self-governing government consists of a locally elected Governor, Lieutenant Governor and a fifteen-member Legislature. The first popular election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor took place in 1970. The current Lieutenant Governor is Josh Tenorio, who has been in office since January 7, 2019.

List of Australian High Commissioners to Sri Lanka

The High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka is an officer of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the head of the High Commission of the Commonwealth of Australia to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in Colombo. The High Commissioner has the rank and status of an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and is currently Bryce Hutchesson, who also holds non-resident accreditation as Ambassador to the Maldives (the post has held the accreditation since 1974).Between July 1982 and October 2016, the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka was also cross accredited as Australian High Commissioner to the Maldives.

Between 1974 and 1982, and again since October 2016, the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka has been cross accredited as Australian Ambassador to the Maldives.

List of United Nations resolutions concerning Iran

The UN Security Council passed a number of resolutions concerning Iran, mainly related to its nuclear program.

List of diplomatic missions of Australia

This is a list of diplomatic missions of Australia, excluding honorary consulates. Australian diplomatic missions are posts representing the Commonwealth of Australia in foreign countries. They are mostly maintained of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with some smaller posts being run by Austrade. There are currently over 100 Australian missions overseas.After federation in 1901, Australia's presence abroad was largely limited to state and Commonwealth agents and trade offices. The United Kingdom played a defining role in Australia's foreign policy, limiting its need for missions abroad. In 1939 there were only two External Affairs officers posted overseas: one in London (known as Australia House), and one in Washington attached to the UK Embassy.

The Second World War necessitated increased co-operation with foreign countries independent of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. By 1940, a base of four missions had been established in Washington, Ottawa, London, and Tokyo, and as World War II progressed missions to Australia's wartime allies were established in Nouméa, Chongqing, and Moscow.

Australian diplomatic missions today number at over 100, although the number of Australian diplomats overseas has dramatically been reduced. Missions have been closed in Bern, Almaty, Damascus, Kupang, Lusaka, Algiers, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, and Bridgetown.

As Australia is a Commonwealth country, its diplomatic missions in the capitals of other Commonwealth countries are referred to as High Commissions (as opposed to embassies).

Under the terms of the Canada–Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement, the two countries provide consular services to each other's citizens at a number of locations around the world. At this time, there are 12 cities where Canadians can obtain consular services from Australian offices, and 19 locations where Canadian offices provide consular services to Australians. In an emergency, Australians can also seek assistance from British diplomatic missions around the world in the absence of an Australian consulate or embassy.

Lists of Australian treaties

This is a list of currently active treaties that the Government of Australia has entered into since federation in 1901. Currently lists active treaties only. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) in conjunction with the Australasian Legal Information Institute, has published an online Australian Treaties Database from where this list is obtained and updated from.

New Colombo Plan

The New Colombo Plan is an initiative of the Australian Government aimed at increasing exchange in the Indo-Pacific region for Australian university students. The plan was launched as a signature initiative of the Abbott government's foreign policy in 2014, and was aimed at enhancing the knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia, by supporting Australian undergraduates studying and undertaking internships in the region. The program consists of two separate streams, the New Colombo Plan Scholarship and the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant.

In 2014, the pilot scheme supported 40 scholars and more than 1300 mobility students to study and undertake work placements. In 2015 the Scheme expanded further across the Indo-Pacific, awarding 69 scholarships and supporting more than 3,100 mobility students. The scheme was continued by the Turnbull Government. By 2017, the NCP was supporting around 7,400 mobility students and 105 scholarship recipients.The New Colombo Plan is jointly administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) and Department of Education (Australia).

World Interplay

World Interplay is the largest festival of young playwrights in the world. It is the peak activity of the Interplay organisation, and is held for two weeks every two years in Townsville, Australia. The first World Interplay was held in Sydney in 1985.

The 10th festival was held 3-17 July 2007. The 2007 Festival Director was the Australian theatre director David Berthold.40 playwrights aged between 18 and 26 came from across Australia, China, Croatia, England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, and the USA. They were joined by senior directors and dramaturgs from ten nations for two weeks of workshops, forums and cultural exchange. The acclaimed Australian writer Louis Nowra delivered the opening address.

At World Interplay 2003 and 2005, playwrights came from nations such as Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland, the U.S., Venezuela, and Vietnam, as well as Australia.

World Interplay is supported by the Australia Council, Arts Queensland, Townsville City Council, James Cook University, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia). Long term partner organisations include the Royal Court Theatre and the Utrecht School of the Arts.

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