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What is the government doing?

The Department of Home Affairs provides coordinated leadership for Australia’s national, cyber and transport security, federal law enforcement, criminal justice, border migration, multicultural affairs and emergency management – all working together to keep Australia safe.

One element of our work to keep Australia safe is work to Counter Violent Extremism.

We work in partnership with communities and businesses to address factors that make people vulnerable to extremist influences—including recruitment by terrorists. The Australian Government works with states, territories and local government, communities and services to develop initiatives to counter violent extremism by getting involved to help individuals at an early stage, before a law enforcement response is needed.

The absence of social, economic and civic participation and opportunities in some Australian communities can leave individuals vulnerable to recruitment by criminal groups and violent extremists. Building safe, peaceful, resilient communities in response to these absences is a long term challenge requiring the coordinated efforts and partnership of governments, businesses and the community.

Our approach to countering violent extremism supports Australia’s broader counter terrorism efforts and is built around three objectives.

  1. Build and maintain the resilience of Australian communities to violent extremism.
  2. Support the diversion of individuals at risk of becoming violent extremists and
  3. Rehabilitate and reintegrate violent extremists when possible.


To achieve our objectives we work together with local, state and territory governments, communities, businesses and individuals to deliver a range of programs and initiatives aimed at building resilience to violent extremism.

Visit our Programs page to find out more about the range of government and community programs available across Australia.

Recognising the significant impact online propaganda was having on individuals we launched the Report Online Extremism tool, a website where people can report violent extremist material they find online.


Countering Violent Extremism is about preventing future violence, by intervening early before a law enforcement response is required.

Having effective and proportionate terrorism laws is also important, because it clearly defines what is legal, gives the agencies the power to disrupt and prosecute terrorism offenders.

Since 2014, significant counter-terrorism laws have been passed by Parliament. These include new offences, new powers, strengthening existing powers and responding to lessons learned from domestic counter-terrorism operations. For more information on Australia’s counter-terrorism laws visit the Attorney-General’s Department website.

For more information on Countering Violent Extremism download: