Australia's handling of the assaults on Indian students has been a debacle. And it's still a mess. The country has suffered real reputational damage, real economic cost, and real diplomatic disadvantage.

Shanghai World Expo 2010 Commissioner General for Australia, Lyndall Sachs said in Melbourne on Wednesday, over 200 bilingual staff will represent Australia at the Australian Pavilion during the World Expo.

The campaign, created by DDB, is timed to capitalize on the return of consumer confidence but also coincides with a longer term Building Brand Australia Program to market Australia as a place to visit, live, work and do business.

Australian state of Victoria will showcase its capabilities in key areas such as information and communication technology, biotechnology, sustainable urban development, education, tourism and the arts during a week-long program of events at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Mini-Australian Film Festivals have recently taken place in countries as diverse as Nepal, Malaysia and Ghana, as part of the Screen Australia/Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Embassy Roadshow program.

Earlier this month, a blue ribbon panel, appointed in 2008 by Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy to enquire into that country's foreign ministry and representational capacity, reported a deep diplomatic deficit and has recommended sweeping reform and major reinvestment. The findings, which include a series of recommendations on public diplomacy, are widely applicable and warrant close inspection.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade faces a $109million budget cut at the very time Kevin Rudd sees a more prominent role for Australia on the world stage. The cuts promise to undermine the Prime Minister's new "soft power" diplomatic strategy, proclaimed during his current world trip.