SERVICES TO THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY
Network of Australian diplomatic and consular missions overseas
DFAT provides consular services to Australians travelling overseas and their families in Australia through its network of overseas missions and honorary consulates (consisting of 170 points of consular service world-wide), 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 more than five million Australians who travelled overseas in 2006-07, DFAT provided consular assistance to 33,927 of them, including in several major international crises, the largest of which was the Lebanon conflict. DFAT’s smartraveller campaign continued to promote safe overseas travel by Australians. In 2006-07 DFAT issued travel advice updates for 160 destinations on the website at <http://www.smartraveller.gov.au>. The site received over 20 million page views
DFAT provides secure travel documents to eligible Australians in accordance with the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cwlth). In 2006-07 the Department issued 1,367,602 passports - compared with 1,259,692 the previous year - an increase of 8.6%. This represents the largest number of passports ever issued in a financial year.
Public information services
DFAT provides a range of information services on foreign and trade policy to the Australian public and media, including through briefings, public presentations and the production of public affairs material such as brochures, reports and publications. Links to the Department’s recent publications can be found on the Department’s website. Through public advocacy and cultural diplomacy programs managed within DFAT and by Australia’s overseas missions, DFAT promotes an accurate and contemporary image of Australia internationally and a clearer understanding of Australia’s foreign and trade policies and strategies. These programs are based on whole-of-government objectives, implemented by posts and supported by biannual inter-agency meetings held in Canberra (with representatives from 18 federal agencies). DFAT manages the contract for the Australia Network international television service with a footprint covering 41 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Detailed information about Australia’s foreign and trade policies can be obtained from the department’s website at <http://www.dfat.gov.au>.
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 and it maintains offices in all other state and territory capitals, as well as in 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 on-line version of the Department’s annual report at <http://www.dfat.gov.au/ annual_reports>
5.1 Location and number of DFAT staff -
30 June 2007
5.2 Location of Australia-based DFAT staff posted overseas -
Location and number of DFAT staff
30 June 2007
The Department currently employs 2,165 Australia-based staff, of whom around 25% are posted overseas; an additional 1,491 locally-engaged staff are employed by the Department’s overseas missions (graphs 5.1 and 5.2).