Losing our cool at Davos
Islamist movement strikes another blow for its destruction

Julie Bishop hard at it in New York trying on clothes #fashiondiplomacy

I hope Foreign Minister Julis Bishop has her priorities right.  She seems to spend a lot of time on #fashiondiplomacy

Andrew Robb is the Trade Minister.   Not a Tweet out of him.

I don't see other present or former MPs or ministers creating made-up hash-tags joining a personal interest with their portfolio.  #ThaiMassageInfrastructure #TurboRedRoomHealthService 

Bishop's fashion diplomacy under fire

  • AAP

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has been accused of using fashion diplomacy as a self-promotional tool.

LABOR senator Sam Dastyari took issue with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade devoting public diplomacy funds to a hashtag #fashiondiplomacy initiative in the wake of the Australia Network's demise.

The Abbott government axed the Australia Network - the ABC's international broadcasting arm - in 2014.

Senator Dastyari accused Ms Bishop of using the project for self promotion.

"I'm opposed to an initiative that's about glorifying the foreign minister," he told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Thursday.

"To me it looks like an opportunity for the minister to do 11 profile stories about fashion diplomacy."

Ms Bishop signed a memorandum of understanding between DFAT and the Australian Fashion Chamber at an Sydney event in September which attracted Australia's fashion elite.

Australia will have fashion events in New York, Paris, Istanbul, Jakarta and New Delhi to promote designers and labels.

Senator Dastyari asked officials whether fashion diplomacy was a better way of doing public diplomacy compared to the axed Australia Network.

Attorney-General George Brandis said it was a core function of DFAT to promote Australian industry, commerce, style and way of life.

Senator Brandis accused Senator Dastyari of ridiculing the Australian fashion industry with his "foolish line of questioning".

Senator Dastyari also inquired about Trade Minister Andrew Robb's involvement in the fashion diplomacy project.

DFAT officials had briefed him on the initiative but he was yet to participate in any of the events.


Visit to the United States

Media release

20 January 2016

I will visit New York, Washington and Los Angeles from 21 to 31 January 2016 for the 2016 G’Day USA program, Australia’s premier public and economic diplomacy program in the United States.

I will promote Australia’s high growth economy and sophisticated, innovative culture and the opportunities this offers to leaders in American politics, business and creative industries.

In Washington I will discuss with senior members of the Obama Administration, Congressional leaders and leading policy thinkers our shared interests and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. I will reinforce Australia’s commitment to the Australia-US Alliance and the global fight against terrorism. I will also deliver the G’Day USA annual foreign policy speech co-hosted by the United States Studies Centre and the Center for New American Security on Australia’s role in Asia.

In New York I will deliver the annual G’Day USA address on innovation and economic diplomacy, which will provide an opportunity to showcase the Government’s $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda.

In Los Angeles, I will be speaking at the University of California on foreign policy, and at RAND Corporation on the Middle East. I will also meet business leaders, including in the film and television industry.  

I will attend the G’Day USA Los Angeles Gala which will honour Dr George Miller with a G’Day USA Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Australian creative arts sector and acclaimed global success, particularly through the Mad Max franchise.  

Mr Joel Edgerton will be honoured with the G'Day USA Excellence in Film award in recognition of his critical success as a writer, actor and director, most recently with his film “The Gift”.