DFAT Debunked (or not) at #ATF2013

Beverly Mercer from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) gave a quick overview of the Department’s Public Diplomacy program and most specifically how showing off Australian cultural content is part of the deal.

The essence of the session was really:

Are you doing something overseas? Or planning to? Talk to DFAT an talk to them early to hook in with other things that might be happening and leverage support of our Embassies and Public Diplomacy programs.

That was really the whole session. Oh and go explore the website for information about funding through DFAT or any of the councils, institutes and foundations that service particular exchanges as well as stalk priority areas. Take a look here.

Apps for the DFAT funding usually close in February with max grants up to $40,000. The sense I came away with from the session is that they are looking for tour ready products with ‘wow’ factor rather than grass roots exchanges, which is fine but just something to be aware of it you’re thinking of applying.

There is also a festival/showcase type program with a different focus country every year. Last year was OzFest in India. This year is Vietnam (with Bangarra as the key organisation opening the festival) and next year is Indonesia – hence Ria Papermoon as our cultural visitor at ATF.

Also for your future planning:

2015 – Turkey

2016 – Brazil

Take away messages from the session:

  • If touring overseas get in touch with DFAT early so you can leverage the possibilities.
  • They can put you in touch with their embassies and public diplomacy officers. People on the ground. Insider information. Local organisations to work with.
  • Help with publicity though their own networks. Website, Facebook page and twitter to promote to. Contacts working in the same area, venues, local orgs etc.
  • Pacific is a priority country. They get very few applications for there. Pacific islands ie. Solomon. Vanuatu.
  • Note to self. Tell people what you’re doing because they do want to know what’s going on and they might be able to facilitate it.
  • We talk about culture in terms of public diplomacy. Showcase excellence in Australian arts and culture.

 

While I was in the DFAT session. Jane Howard was sitting in with David Pledger here.

 

Don’t forget to follow #ATF2013 on twitter for live tweeting and opportunities to ask questions. It’s a full day tomorrow so there should be plenty of food for thought and all that.

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