Bilateral cultural relations
Cultural ties between Germany and Australia enjoy a long tradition. Germans were among the first European settlers in Australia and have made significant contributions to the discovery and development of the Fifth Continent. In areas with particularly high German immigration (example: Barossa Valley in South Australia) the German heritage is again proudly preserved these days. Numerous German societies (primarily choral - and rifle associations) are spread all over the country.
The cultural presence of Germany in Australia has gained a sharper profile in the recent past due to a number of flagship events. Major exhibitions like „European Masters“ of the Städel Museum (Melbourne 2010), „Mad Square – German Modernity 1910-1937“ (Sydney and Melbourne 2011), „Handwritten- Ten Centuries of Manuscripts Treasures“ of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin (Canberra 2011/12) as well as the cultural festival 'BerlinDayz' in Melbourne 2010 and finally the first concert journey of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra to Australia in November 2010, were all extremely successful.
Australia's biggest city Sydney hosts a highly frequented Goethe-Institut, same as the second Australian metropolis, Melbourne. Furthermore, both Sydney and Melbourne are home to a German school. Whereas the old-established German International School Sydney has been awarding the International Baccalaureate (IB), acknowledged both in Germany and Australia, since 2002, the German School Melbourne started its work in January 2008 as a primary school and is now offering bilingual courses for all school grades.
Around 100.000 pupils are studying German at Australian schools (around 1% of all pupils).
Among graduating students German ranks second - after French - as the favourite European language, in general however a trend toward Asian languages can be observed.
Particularly intensive are the academic and scientific relations (361 cooperation agreements exist between German and Australian universities). The active exchange between universities and scientists is supported by scholarship programs on the German side, mainly provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The DAAD also runs a DAAD-Information Centre in Sydney and therefore provides a good starting point for people interested in the education- and research location Germany. The Institute Ranke-Heinemann in Essen and Berlin is representing Australian and New Zealand universities, schools and professional schools in Germany. It gives advice on all questions concerning study visits to Australia and New Zealand.