The ANU Mongolian Studies Centre was founded in 2011 to provide a focus for the growing interest in Mongolia at the Australian National University and in Australia more generally. 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. Australia and Mongolia have expertise to share in handling climatic extremes, in animal husbandry and in heritage archaeology. The expansion of the Mongol empire under Chinggis Khan in the 13th century remains a pivotal event in world history which continues to catch the imagination of Australians.
The Mongolian Studies Centre hosts guest researchers working on Mongolia, organizes occasional seminars on Mongolian topics, provides a support network for Australian researchers on Mongolia and promotes Mongolian studies in Australia in general. It promotes active participation by government, business and the public in the Centre's activities.