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New chairman for Australia-India Council.
MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA82 23 June 2005
NEW CHAIRMAN FOR AUSTRALIA-INDIA COUNCIL
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Darren Gribble as the new Chairman of the Australia-India Council (AIC). Mr Gribble has been a member of the AIC since 1997 and succeeds Michael Abbott QC, who has retired from the Council.
As Australia’s High Commissioner to India from 1994 to 1997, Mr Gribble has made a substantial contribution to AIC activities and will bring an astute understanding of both Indian and Australian Government policy to board deliberations.
The following board members have also been appointed or reappointed:
Professor Suzanne Crowe, Professor of Medicine at Melbourne’s Monash University and Head of the AIDS Pathogenesis and Clinical Research Program at the Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, has been reappointed to the board. Professor Crowe is actively involved in the development of Australia-India research links in the HIV/AIDS field.
Professor Bruce Bennett AO, a former Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of the Universities of Western Australia, Oxford and London, has been reappointed to the board. Based in Canberra, he is Professor of English at the School of Language, Literature and Communication, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy. Professor Bennett’s work has focused principally on the literature and culture of Australia and he has been instrumental in the development of Australian Studies in Indian universities.
Mr Vinod Daniel, Chairman of AusHeritage and Head of Materials Conservation and the Built Environment at the Australian Museum, has been appointed to the board. Mr Daniel has been instrumental in building cultural heritage links between Australia and India. He is an Australian with Indian roots who understands the intangible aspects of the two cultures and has been successful in managing many Australian heritage preservation initiatives in India.
Ms Gillian Bird, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been appointed to the board. Ms Bird is a career officer who has overall responsibility for Australia’s bilateral relations with South East Asia and South Asia, including India.
Other board members are Mr Sandy Hollway AO (consultant) and Ms Suzanne Davies (Director and Chief Curator of RMIT Gallery in Melbourne).
Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/
The Australia-India Council was established by the Australian Government to broaden and deepen Australia-India relations through contacts and exchanges in a range of fields which promote mutual awareness and understanding.
Australia places great value on its multifaceted relationship with India. The Government has worked hard to expand Australia’s political, commercial and cultural links with India and it continues to pursue opportunities to develop the bilateral relationship further. My recent visit provided an opportunity to cement bilateral dialogue on key aspects of the relationship.
The Australia-India Council is playing a key role in this process by initiating and supporting collaborative projects in a range of areas such as the arts, education (in particular Australian studies), film, sport, health, social issues and institutional and professional links.
Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / 0419 206 890 Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555