International Engagement

This page outlines the focus of the department’s international engagement.

Page last updated: 15 June 2022

International Engagement - What drives our work?

The Department’s international engagement is embedded in an ever shifting global health context and is underpinned by our domestic and international policy priorities. Targeted international engagements inform and support Australia’s domestic approaches in health, health regulation, sport and aged care – ensuring everything we do is crafted in light of international best practice and the best available evidence. Our international engagement allows us to protect the health of Australians, promote Australia’s national interests, track emerging and evolving global issues, learn from international experience and highlight our leadership on key health issues.

Australia is well regarded and influential in critical international fora such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Here we work to ensure that international agreements that affect or benefit Australia are based on the best available evidence and are consistent with the development of effective, efficient and resilient health systems – at home and abroad.

Australia respects international norms and standards and the technical, moral and legal weight they carry. While protecting national health interests, we utilise these mechanisms to promote international action on critical issues, and support other countries to meet critical benchmarks.

As a developed nation with a world-class health system, it is also incumbent on Australia to collaborate internationally and provide leadership through our technical knowledge and policy skill where we can. This can be reflected in a number of ways, including bilateral cooperation on various issues, fostering closer links in research and innovation, or advocating in international fora for collective action against common threats.

Australia’s international standing and reputation is enhanced through engagement with a wide spectrum of bilateral and institutional contacts. Our scientific, cultural and economic assets complement our engagement with traditional bilateral and multilateral partners, promoting Australian health and aged care, research and innovation.

More information can be found on the International Engagement – Our objectives webpage

Related links:

WHO actions on non-communicable diseases
Overview of Environmental Health
Health Warnings
Travel Health Information
Communicable Disease Control
International Standards and Risk Assessment

NHMRC International Engagement
TGA International Engagement Strategy 2016-20
Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy 2015-18
FSANZ International Engagement
Memorandum of Understanding in the field of health cooperation