Australia-ASEAN Council

What is the Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC)?

The Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) grants generate opportunities for Australian business, education, science and innovation and the arts to work  with partners in Southeast Asia.


Australia-ASEAN Council 2020 COVID-19 Special Grants Round

The Australia-ASEAN Council’s 2020 COVID-19 Special Grants Round are to support continuity in people-to-people and institutional engagement between Australia and the ASEAN region during and following the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when restrictions on travel and social distancing will limit opportunities for face-to-face engagement and inward and outbound visits. In this context, the round will target online and other activities or forms of engagement that help bring people together through virtual means and build cross-cultural linkages, but do not require travel and are consistent with government restrictions in response to COVID-19. Countries in scope include: Brunei Darassalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The round will also prioritise applications that directly contribute to the priority needs of ASEAN countries during and immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic.



The objectives of the program include:

  • strengthening bilateral relationships in areas of mutual interest with particular countries and regions
  • build understanding, trust and influence across international networks, collaboration and connections between institutions and communities
  • enhancing Australian international reputation and reach through the promotion of our economic, creative and cultural, sporting, innovation and science, and education assets, and
  • increased understanding of Australians of the cultures and opportunities in each of these countries.



The Australian Government has announced a total of $300,000 AUD is available in 2020-21 for the Australia-ASEAN Council’s 2020 COVID-19 Special Grants Round, subject to appropriation.

  • The minimum individual grant amount is $10,000 AUD.
  • The maximum individual grant amount is $50,000 AUD.

Only grant applications between these amounts will be considered. Co-contributions from you and other parties strengthen your application.

It is anticipated that most grants will be between $20,000 AUD and $40,000 AUD per year, depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity.


Eligible Projects

You must use the grant for the following activities:

  • The project outlined within the application.

You can use the grant to pay for costs detailed in your budget and grant agreement, including:

  • Online or remote communication activities
  • Research, excluding salaries (see 5.2 below)
  • Communication and translation
  • Advertising and promotion, graphic design, photography and printed material
  • Production costs, including freight and artists’ wages, and
  • Only one participant per conference or meeting and only where the participant is a principal speaker and the subject of the conference is of direct relevance to the grant opportunity (in line with current Australian Government medical advice on COVID-19 restrictions).

For activities delivered in Australia, applicants are encouraged to consider the use of an Indigenous supplier, if they intend to subcontract any of the services above. A directory of registered Indigenous businesses is available at

You can only spend grant funds on eligible grant activities as defined in the grant details in your grant agreement.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the Australia-ASEAN Council’s 2020 COVID-19 Special Grants Round, you must be one of the following entity types:

  • an Australian entity with an Australian Business Number (ABN), Australian Company Number (ACN), or Indigenous Corporation Number (ICN)
  • an Australian consortium with a lead organisation
  • an Australian registered charity or not-for-profit organisation
  • an Australian local government body
  • an Australian State/Territory government body
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • an Australian statutory authority,
  • be an Australian or permanent resident of Australia, and
  • be willing to provide or develop child protection guidelines for your project if it involves people under the age of 18 years.

Applications from consortia are acceptable, provided you have a lead applicant who is the main driver of the project and is eligible as per the list above.

Individuals who intend the grant to be administered by a university should apply on behalf of the university, i.e. your university is the applicant.

The Australian Government recognises that some organisations may seek to form consortia in order to apply for a grant under the Program. Consortia are eligible to apply and the relevant conditions applicable to consortia are at 8.6 ‘Grant Applications from Consortia’



Applications close 05 August 2020.


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