After many months of wrangling between the government and the opposition parties a compromise has been achieved over what has come to be known as the “Backpacker Tax.” Legislation to tax young foreign workers at 15 percent from the first dollar they earn will now pass the Senate. [...] These visas were initially designed as a form of “cultural exchange.” 

The term "soft power" has been thrown around the media and academic circles for the last couple of years, but its currency has heightened in regards to Australia's relationship with China. All countries practise some form of soft power — the ability to coax and persuade other countries that their culture and values are desirable.

"The showing of the continued commitment to Indigenous cultures' broadcasting efforts across the planet ... so this has built out, what, just eight years ago, and what we have is this connection point to each other to not only share content but also share perspectives and technologies that allow us to hopefully move forward at the rate that technology and the media landscape is moving as well."

She tells it every time she runs a cooking class for Free to Feed, a social enterprise that runs classes taught exclusively by asylum seekers and refugees. Founded by community worker Loretta Bolotin and her husband Daniel Bolotin earlier this year, Free to Feed aims to create a cultural exchange between asylum seekers and the general public through conversation, learning and food.

As yet another report highlights the human toll of Australia’s offshore migrant processing system, NGOs and advocacy organizations are asking themselves what it will take to make a change. Countless investigators and human rights groups have raised concerns about Australia’s processing system in recent months, most recently Amnesty International with a report published Tuesday. 

Why Confucius Institutes have become China's most controversial soft power asset. 

The sarkari festival of India abroad has been forced to try a new template, with corporate contributions and a professional production company brought in, which could not have been easy at a time when the government is cutting spending on culture. Organising the Confluence Festival of India was a learning, and sometimes, a humbling experience, especially for Indian High Commissioner to Australia Navdeep Suri.