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Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party Julie Bishop at the launch of the Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy.

Today's launch of the Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy 2015-18 signals a new era of partnership between the Australian Government and sporting organisations.

Together, we will leverage our outstanding sports skills, facilities and knowledge to promote Australia and strengthen our links with countries and communities in the region.

The strategy highlights our excellence in hosting major sporting events like the AFC Asian Cup, ICC Cricket World Cup and the upcoming Netball World Cup that generate long-term economic, diplomatic, tourism and community benefits.

The strategy also showcases Australia's excellence in sports administration and participation, sport-for-development initiatives, high performance and training, and sport integrity.

We welcome the strong collaboration between Government, national sporting organisations and other key partners to deliver this important strategy.

The Australian Government will provide $1 million for the Australia Awards Fellowships – short-term exchanges for athletes, officials and administrators to visit Australia to develop skills and technical expertise, training and networking.

We also announce $250,000 to Netball Australia to ensure Samoa, Sri Lanka, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia can participate in the Netball World Cup in Sydney in August.

The Government will deploy high-profile sports ambassadors to deepen regional engagement and promote Australia as a desirable trade and investment destination.

This announcement builds on the Australian Government's $134 million funding package in 2015/16 that focusses on supporting our athletes perform on the world stage and encourages higher levels of participation in organised sport to ensure a healthier and more active nation.

Australia will continue to invest, through its aid program, in the Pacific Sports Partnerships initiative. This encourages participation in sport, improves health outcomes and provides mentoring and leadership opportunities, especially for Pacific women and girls.

Joint media release:

The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for Health and Sport

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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