Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Chapter 3 - International relations >> The role of DFAT in Australia's international relations

THE ROLE OF DFAT IN AUSTRALIA'S INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is the principal source of advice to the Australian Government on foreign and trade policy issues, and is responsible for implementing the Government’s foreign and trade policies. The aim of the Department is to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. To this end, the Department works to achieve four primary outcomes:

  • Australia’s national interests protected and advanced through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance, and global cooperation
  • Australians informed about and provided access to consular and passport services in Australia and overseas
  • public understanding in Australia and overseas of Australia’s foreign and trade policy and a positive image of Australia internationally
  • efficient management of the Australian Government overseas owned estate.

SERVICES TO THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY

Consular services

DFAT provides consular services to Australians travelling overseas, and their families in Australia, through its network of overseas missions and honorary consulates (consisting of over 170 points of consular service worldwide), the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra and consular cooperation arrangements with other countries.

Consular services include: assisting Australians who are hospitalised, imprisoned or require welfare assistance overseas; helping family members when Australian travellers go missing or die overseas; and coordinating responses to overseas emergencies affecting Australian nationals. Of the 4.1 million Australians who travelled overseas in 2004-05, the Department provided significant consular assistance to over 25,000 of them. In addition, the Department’s Smartraveller campaign promotes safe overseas travel by Australians, including by providing comprehensive travel advice on 152 countries to help Australians avoid dangers and difficulties.

Passport services

DFAT provides secure travel documents to eligible Australians in accordance with the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cwlth), which entered into force on 1 July 2005. The Department issued 1,260,831 travel documents in 2004-05 - an increase of more than 15% over the previous year. For international security reasons, emphasis is increasingly placed on identity verification and fraud prevention in passport issuing processes. A new and more secure passport was introduced in December 2003 and work is continuing to make the passport even more secure through new technology applications.

Public information services

DFAT provides a range of information services on foreign and trade policy to the Australian public and media, including through briefings and public presentations and the production of public affairs material such as brochures, reports and publications. The Department promotes an accurate and contemporary image of Australia internationally, and also provides regular briefings to the media on current international issues. Detailed information about Australia’s foreign and trade policy can be obtained from the Department's web site at <www.dfat.gov.au>. Further information and links are listed in the bibliography.

THE NETWORK OF AUSTRALIAN DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS OVERSEAS

DFAT manages an extensive network of Australian diplomatic and consular missions abroad, supporting Australia's international interests and providing consular and passport services. The Department's central office is in Canberra. It maintains offices in all other state and territory capitals, as well as Newcastle and Thursday Island. Information on the location of overseas embassies, high commissions, consulates and multilateral missions managed by DFAT can be found in the online version of the Department's annual report at <http://www.dfat.gov.au/dept/annual_reports/>.

The Department currently employs just under 2,000 Australia-based staff, of whom around 25% are posted overseas. In addition, just over 1,400 locally engaged staff are employed by the Department’s overseas missions (graphs 31. and 3.2).

Graph 3.1: AUSTRALIAN AND LOCALLY ENGAGED DFAT STAFF - 30 jUNE 2005



Graph 3.2: LOCATION OF AUSTRALIA-BASED DFAT STAFF POSTED OVERSEAS - 30 June 2005

Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.