Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

Australia-India Council

Australia-India Strategic Lecture

The Australia-India Strategic Lecture is a public diplomacy initiative to strengthen the Australia-India bilateral relationship with a particular focus on security and strategic issues. The lecture series is a joint venture between the Australia-India Council (AIC) and the Lowy Institute, and provides a program of annual lectures in Australia by eminent Indians in the fields of regional and international politics and security. Please click here for information.

Australia-India Council

The Australia-India Council (AIC) was established by the Australian Government in May 1992 to broaden and deepen Australia-India relations through contacts and exchanges in a range of fields which promote mutual awareness and understanding. The AIC is a non-statutory body with a Chairman and a Board appointed by the Government on a part-time basis for three years.

AIC programs and activities are a form of “second-track diplomacy” conducted in parallel to, and in support of, government-government- contacts and exchanges.

Recent AIC-funded projects have promoted a wider recognition in India of Australian attributes and expertise, including in important fields such as public health, volunteering, education, heritage and conservation services, film, literature and arts management. Specific activities have included bilateral exchanges for schoolteachers ; Australian authors tours; Border-Gavaskar cricket scholarships; Australian studies postgraduate fellowships; prestigious lecture series; doctor training program in HIV/AIDS and nutrition; and artist residencies.

The AIC normally requires that its projects involve a genuine and substantial two-way partnership between individuals and organisation in Australia and India and substantial contributions from project partners in both countries.

The Council does not provide support for projects which confer essentially personal or commercial benefits on specific individuals, companies or institutions. The AIC does not fund activities that are the responsibility of other funding bodies or other government agencies (eg academic research, development assistance, activities under bilateral science and technology agreements, and trade promotion activities normally handled by Austrade), or activities which are commercially viable in their own right.

In 1995, the Indian Government established a counterpart to the AIC in the form of the India Australia Council (IAC).

AIC Principles, Objectives and Strategies

The objective of the AIC is to advance Australia’s interests in India by:

  • fostering the deepening and strengthening of relations between the two countries
  • demonstrating to Indians Australian excellence in the arts, education, science and technology, sports and other fields
  • promoting knowledge in India and Australia of each other’s society and culture.

The AIC achieves this objective by initiating and supporting activities among influential persons and groups in Australia that:

  • raise awareness of Australia and Australian capabilities in India and vice versa, including through the support of Australian studies in India
  • promote and support visits, exchanges and institutional links in the following broad thematic areas: arts/culture (including film); education; society (including health and sport); science/technology (including the environment); and public policy (including media links).

Priority strategies:

  • encourage Australians to take a greater interest in developments in India through Council-supported activities that increase the level and quality of public awareness, and to broaden community knowledge and understanding of India in Australia
  • to publicise important developments in the various areas of the relationship between India and Australia
  • encourage young Australians to develop a life-long interest and involvement in Australia-India relations
  • expand projects through corporate sponsorship or other partnering arrangements
    establish new areas of contact between Australia and India.

The AIC in 2007-08 has and will give priority to projects in the following areas (listed in alphabetical order):

  • The Arts (including literature and film)
  • Education
  • Social (including health and sport)
  • Science/Technology/Environment
  • Public Policy Activities (including media links)

See also the Australia-India Council website.