The Australian Government has announced the formation of a new Centre for Australia-India Relations.
This Centre will build on the work of the Australia India Council (AIC) in fostering education and cultural exchange.
It will also help foster new ties and support Australia’s expanding exchange and cooperation with India.
Further, it will help the government engage with Australia’s rich Indian Diaspora community.
In 2020, the Indian-born population became Australia’s second-largest overseas-born migrant group behind the UK-born at 721,050-strong.
Dan Tehan, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, said:
“Australia’s Indian community is young and highly educated and well represented across services and STEM sectors with strong export potential. Indian Diaspora networks can make important contributions to our trade and investment relationship with India, and also to Australia’s international competitiveness generally.”
Australia recognises India as an important partner in the Indo-Pacific region.
Marise Payne, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, said:
“Mutual understanding, trust and common interests between our countries underpin the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Our relationship continues to strengthen, as seen in the Australia-India Annual Leaders’ Summit today – the second since our partnership was elevated to a CSP.”
With funding of $28.1 million dollars over four years, the new Centre will focus on four key areas of work:
- promoting policy dialogue
- building Australian business literacy and links
- engaging Australia’s Indian Diaspora communities to support the Australia-India bilateral relationship, and
- deepening cultural connections and understanding.
The Centre will also administer the $20.8 million Maitri (friendship) scholars, fellowship programs and cultural partnership.
The new Centre, with substantially increased funding and resources, will have an expanded remit in supporting greater business and Diaspora engagement.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will consult broadly with government, industry and community organisations throughout the Centre’s establishment.
Details regarding the location and administration of the Centre are awaited.