Defence Pacific Engagement

The Australian Government is undertaking a series of initiatives to further deepen our engagement with the Pacific. We are working together with our Pacific partners to build a region that is strategically secure, economically stable and politically sovereign.

Defence’s enhanced engagement in the region is driven by the priorities of Pacific Island nations; and builds on our enduring commitment through the Defence Cooperation Program and the Pacific Maritime Security Program. We are focused on working with our partners during the COVID-19 recovery.

Working with our partners, we are increasing Defence’s presence, conducting training and activities with Pacific militaries and security agencies, building stronger people-to-people links, and delivering infrastructure to enhance the security capability of the Pacific.

Defence is working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Office of the Pacific to coordinate our international engagement efforts with other Government agencies and like-minded partners.

The Defence Cooperation Program has made a significant contribution to Australia’s international defence engagement since the 1960s. The program promotes the capacity of our international partners, improves Australia’s capacity to work with partners in response to common security challenges, and builds strong people-to-people links with regional security partners at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

The Defence Cooperation Program supports Australia’s strategic interests and its defence relationships with Papua New Guinea , Indonesia, Timor-Lesté, the South West Pacific, South-East Asia, Pakistan and the Middle East. The objective is to maximise Australia’s security through developing close and enduring links with partners that support their capacity to protect their sovereignty, work effectively with the Australian Defence Force and contribute to regional security.

Defence is strengthening people-to-people links through expanded sports, health and alumni partnerships, and the annual Joint Heads of Pacific Security event. Defence’s partnerships are based on our connections through formal exchanges and activities, as well as cultural engagements and activities.