The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides a wide range of information services to the Australian public, and promotes Australia overseas. The department’s public diplomacy objectives are to ensure that Australians are kept informed about Australia’s foreign and trade policies, and have the opportunity to contribute to them, and to promote an accurate, positive and up-to-date image of Australia internationally.
Detailed information about Australia’s foreign and trade policy can be accessed through the DFAT website, http://www.dfat.gov.au. The department also produces hard copy publications on many foreign and trade policy issues, which are available from the department or from Commonwealth Government bookshops. Departmental officials provide a large number of media briefings on issues of the day. Key information available from the department electronically is listed in the section Further references.
The image other countries have of Australia influences judgments about a multitude of issues, including the quality of Australian goods and services, investment and tourism decisions, and Australia’s credibility as an international partner. It is therefore very important that the image of Australia received by other countries is contemporary, accurate and positive. While Australia benefits from a generally positive image internationally, DFAT promotes better understanding of some of the less well known aspects of modern Australia, including our technical capabilities, record of innovation and achievement in science and industry, and our cultural diversity.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics provided a unique opportunity to promote Australian capabilities and to update international perceptions about Australia. Through the international media, targeted business and dignitary visits programs, international conferences, sports marketing linkages and other opportunities, Australia’s hosting of the Olympics was used to advance Australia’s international interests.