In July 1987 the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Trade were merged into a single department. Fifteen years on, this article assesses the benefits and costs of the merger. It focuses on two questions. Firsly, did the organisational change meet the objectives being sought: that is, better coordination and greater efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness? Secondly, were Australia's capabilities in managing its international relations enhanced by the merger? The article reaches mainly positive conclusions.