Complying with Australia’s Foreign Relations Act

Early childhood services interested in forming new or varying existing foreign arrangements in 2024 must submit all forms to the department by 15 March 2024.

Complying with Australia’s Foreign Relations Act

The department is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from all school and school-council run early childhood education and care (ECEC) services wanting to form a new or vary an existing foreign arrangement in 2024.

This is in line with Australia’s foreign policy objectives under the Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020.

Under the Act, all school and school council-run ECEC services must submit their proposed arrangements, or variations to existing arrangements, to the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through our department.

The department’s EOI process for new or existing foreign arrangements takes place twice a year ‒ in Term 1, and in June.

Arrangements that need approval

The legislation extends to any written arrangements, agreements or contracts between school and school-council run ECEC services, as well as foreign entities such as overseas governments, universities, and other schools.

Examples of foreign arrangements requiring Australian Government approval include:

  • partnerships with foreign ECEC services
  • agreements
  • written arrangements
  • contracts
  • memoranda of understanding (MoU)
  • teacher-exchange programs.

Arrangements may be in any form and do not need to be signed or legally binding to fall within the scope of the Act.

What’s the first step?

Before negotiating or entering into arrangements with foreign entities, the first step is to contact the department’s Stakeholder Engagement team within our International Education Division.

The Stakeholder Engagement team will tell you which documents to complete, when to complete them by and how to submit them.

This ensures that arrangements between state and territory government departments and their international counterparts are aligned with Australia’s foreign policy objectives.

How to submit an EOI

If you are considering varying or entering into a new foreign arrangement between now and June 2024, you need to complete these documents and submit them to the Stakeholder Engagement team by Friday 15 March 2024:

Find out more

For further enquiries, contact the Stakeholder Engagement team by email: