The expansion of the Mongol empire under Chinggis Khan in the 13th century remains a pivotal event in world history which continues to capture the imagination of Australians. Historical relations between Australia and Mongolia have been sparse, but in recent years links between the two countries have grown in importance. Australia has significant involvement in the Mongolian mining and energy sectors; both countries have been involved in seeking solutions to security problems in Northeast Asia; and an increasing number of young Mongolians obtain secondary and university education in Australia. Both countries have expertise to share in handling climatic extremes, in animal husbandry and in heritage archaeology.
The ANU Mongolia Institute was founded in 2013 to promote Mongolian Studies, not only at the ANU but also throughout Australasia. Prior to this time, unlike in Europe, US and Japan, there was no institutionalised history of Mongolian Studies in Australia or, more broadly, in the Southern Hemisphere. The vision of the Institute is to establish the ANU as a global centre for Mongolian Studies supported and driven by the rapid increase in business, trade and cultural exchange between Mongolia and Australia and the strong Australian interest in Mongolia. The Institute provides a formal source of advice and information on Mongolia for the University, government organisations and the broader public to the extent that such advice and information is not available through existing channels. The Institute provides a support network for Australian researchers on Mongolia and promotes active participation by government, business and the public in the Institute’s activities.