The Commonwealth and each State Government in Australia has a protocol branch or unit to ensure correct protocol is applied in the delivery of activities such as state occasions, visits, ceremonies and functions. Protocol was established to encompass certain formalities and courteous modes of behaviour. These behaviours are accepted as necessary and useful in today’s modern society, particularly when dealing with dignitaries. Protocol is therefore about building relationships and facilitating positive outcomes for the parties involved.
The philosophy of this definition can be extended to more general matters relating to government occasions and functions. For practical purposes, protocol is about following correct procedures. It is the art of ensuring that official (and unofficial) occasions, visits, meetings and functions are planned and conducted in accordance with a set of rules that are formally, socially and culturally accepted and expected by the parties involved. The importance of protocol in fostering positive relations and outcomes should not be underestimated or overlooked.
The Department of the Premier and Cabinet's Protocol Branch is part of the Whole of Government’s Future Directions and Strategic Projects Unit, Cabinet and Policy Division. The role of the Branch includes:
the planning and coordination of Royal, Head of State, Head of Government, Ministerial, Head of Mission and other official visits to the State by Guests of Government and other distinguished visitors
coordinating all official hospitality functions hosted by the Premier as well as major government ceremonial and special events
selecting, purchasing and allocating appropriate official gifts for presentation by the Premier to dignitaries visiting Western Australia and during his overseas visits
providing protocol advice to the Western Australian Government and public on matters such as order of precedence, forms of address, State symbols etc.
being a focal point for liaison with the Consular Corps.