The Centre was established through grants from the International Centre for Excellence in Asia Pacific Studies at the Australian National University, including a collaborative workshop with the Humanities Research Centre, and the Faculty of Arts and the former College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.

The University was honoured in 2006 by the first Dr Lee Seng Tee Annual Lecture in Asian Art and Archaeology; and further projects and fellowships have been generously funded by Dr. Lee.

The Centre welcomes further external support for named individual lectures, research fellowships, dedicated lectureships, and libraries and buildings.