The role of diaspora in cultural exchange, international affairs and in economic development is now well established. What is new is the increasing proliferation of national strategies to harness them actively for public diplomacy. This article addresses the rise of Australia’s only formal, global diaspora network: Advance – Australia’s Global Community which has acted self-consciously to become an instrument of public diplomacy. Emerging from a small base in New York, Advance sought to ‘open doors’ for Australians in the world’s biggest market. Cultivating a strong membership base of well-connected individuals in the arts, commerce and professions, Advance developed its network centrality by building partnerships with state governments, Australian universities and federal government agencies. As an elite organisation of high-profile Australians overseas, Advance has developed into a global organisation communicating Australian culture and economic achievements to both Australian national audiences and foreign constituencies.