The Australian Astronomical Observatory, a division of the Department of Innovation, Industry Science and Research, operates the Anglo-Australian and UK Schmidt telescopes on behalf of the astronomical community of Australia. To this end the Observatory is part of and is funded by the Australian Government. Its function is to provide world-class observing facilities for Australian optical astronomers. The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) provides world-class optical and infrared observing facilities enabling Australian astronomers to do excellent science. The AAO is a world leader in astronomical research and in the development of innovative telescope instrumentation. It also takes a leading role in the formulation of long-term plans for astronomy in Australia.