Tag: Australia India Institute

Lisa Singh to take over as Director of the Australia India Institute


By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 30 August 2021: Lisa Singh, former Australian Senator and first female MP of South Asian descent is the new Director of the Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne.

Lisa Singh is the Deputy Chair of the Australia India Council and also sits on the advisory committees of the University of Melbourne’s Asialink and the University of New South Wales’ Australian Human Rights Institute.

Ms. Singh has been a long-term advocate for a deeper Australia-India relationship. In 2014, she was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India, for building friendly Australia-India relations, the highest civilian honor for a person of Indian origin.

Ms. Singh said she was honored to take up the role and intends to work with a range of leaders in Australia and India to advance the political and economic agenda.

“The Australia-India relationship is going through a transformative period. I believe its success will be dependent on the effort and collaboration that governments, business, and institutes like the AII put into it,” she said.

“It’s important we nurture the academic and research capabilities in the relationship. But it needs to be done by focusing on shared priorities. That way partnerships for both nations will be enduring and mutually beneficial.”

“COVID-19 restrictions have stymied the education sector. The sooner Indian students can return to Australia to complete their qualifications the better. I hope to play a role to help facilitate a pathway for that to happen,” Ms. Singh said while expressing concern over the significant impact of the pandemic on the sector.

Ms. Singh was previously Head of Government Advocacy at Minderoo Foundation (Walk Free initiative), a philanthropic organization founded by Andrew and Nicola Forrest to address some of the most challenging global issues.

She starts in her new role on 8 September.

Australia India Institute to observe ‘India Week 2021′ from 9-15 August


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 17 July 2021: The Australia India Institute (AII) will observe this year its annual India Week from 9-15 August, to mark India’s 75th year of independence starting on 15 August 2021. The annual event this year will showcase contemporary Indian culture, thought, politics and society. There are 19 online events that are aimed at strengthening the bonds of friendship between Australia and India.

Participants are required to register for the individual live and in-person programs at the AII website – https://www.aii.unimelb.edu.au/indiaweek2021/. Some of the events are as follows:

Art Exhibition – Indian Australian Artists: Folklore on Monday, 9 August – Sunday, 15 August; 12 pm – 6 pm (AEST): This group art exhibition, Folklore by Indian Australian Artists, captures the numerous aspects of the Indian folk culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, popular beliefs, and customs. This art exhibition is a means to connect the broader Australian community to the cultural folklores of India. No need to register – simply visit us at 147/149 Barry St, Carlton.

Webinar – India Week Official Launch: Australia & India in Partnership; Tuesday, 10 August 2:00 pm (AEST) / 9:30 am (IST): You will hear from a number of distinguished guests from India and Australia as they discuss the Australia and India education relationship and its future outlook, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) between India and Australia, and the bilateral partnership from educational, political, media and corporate perspectives.

Webinar – Stories of Indigenousness: Land and Belonging; Tuesday, 10 August 6:30 pm (AEST) / 2:00 pm (IST): Excavating narratives from the Adivasis in India and the Aboriginal peoples in Australia, whose stories are underrepresented in media and culture in this “modern age”. Who do these lands truly belong to, and what can India and Australia learn from each other about their seemingly similar indigenous inhabitants? Join us for this special discussion, hosted by Belongg.

Live Podcast – Gender & Security in Asia – Wednesday, 11 August 3:30 pm (AEST) / 11:00 am (IST): In Asia, discussions, and policies concerning conflict, peace and security remain dominated by male voices and views. This live Asia Rising podcast recording, hosted by La Trobe University, will explore the importance of involving women in Asian security conversations and what can be done to ensure greater gender diversity.

Webinar – Literature, Political Writings & Influence on the Indian Freedom Struggle – Thursday, 12 August 2:30 pm (AEST) / 10:00 am (IST): This panel discussion will focus on Indian literature and political writings and their importance in the Indian freedom struggle. The discussion will broadly cover political writings, fiction: novels and poetry, women writers. Hosted in collaboration with Australia India Institute, Delhi, and the Daily Milap.

Webinar – Multiculturalism and the Creation of an Anti-Racist Society – Thursday, 12 August 6:30 pm (AEST) / 2:00 pm (IST): India and Australia are both countries with long histories of cultural assimilation; how can such multiculturalism lead to vibrant societies and how can a vibrant society, in turn, foster more multiculturalism? In this session, hosted by Belongg, our panelists will delve into what anti-racism and diversity truly mean, and how literature molds these realities while simultaneously introspecting on existing systems and stories.

Webinar – The Many Faces of Dr. Ambedkar – Saturday, 14 August 3:00 pm (AEST) / 10:30 am (IST): This webinar will explore Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s legacy, in partnership with Dr. Ambedkar International Mission Australia.

A full list of all the 19 events can be accessed at – https://www.aii.unimelb.edu.au/

Source- aii.unimelb.edu.au

Rao family & Trust’s $ 400,000 boost to Australia India Institute


By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 25 November 2020: The Australia India Institute (AII) affiliated with the University of Melbourne, has been received a funding boost of $ 400,000 over the next four years from the Australia India Social and Charitable Ventures Limited, through Mr. T. Janardhana Rao OAM and his family.

The financial support will go towards the development of Indian studies and engagement at the University. The funding will also help to provide scholarships to assist students from India, or of Indian heritage, who are facing financial hardship.

Talking to South Asia Times (SAT), Mr. Janardhan Rao disclosed the money makes provision for two scholarships of $ 30,000 each for five years in Indian Studies and assisting Indian students in need of support. The 82 years old Dr. Rao, a prominent surgeon, and India’s former Hon. Consul in Melbourne for many years told SAT he decided to take this step as not many came for help from the Trust in the last two years and his health was not the best.

” My main aim through this donation is to promote Australia-India relations,” he said.

Director and CEO of the Australia India Institute and Professor of Geography at the University of Melbourne, Craig Jeffrey, thanked Mr. Rao and his family noting that the funding provides an opportunity for the University to grow its expertise in the area of India-focussed research.

“This important gift will greatly enhance the efforts of the Institute and the University of Melbourne to develop the study of India and engage with the Indian diaspora. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Rao and his family for their generosity and vision,” Professor Jeffrey said.

Speaking on behalf of his father Mr. T Janardhana Rao OAM and the Australia India Social and Charitable Ventures Limited, businessman Harish Rao said the Indian community in Victoria has grown from less than 100 families in 1968 to over 300,000 people of Indian origin now.

Mr. Rao emphasized that it is critical the wider Australian community is able to enhance their engagement with the Indian diaspora, and it is equally important for the Indian diaspora to further integrate into mainstream Australian society.

“India and Australia have a tremendous amount in common. We want to highlight the opportunities that exist in the Australia-India relationship, from education, business, and commerce through to culture, the arts, and sport. It is our hope that this gift and the work of the Australia India Institute will support this important goal,” Mr. Rao said.

The Australia India Institute has proposed the following breakdown of how the grant will be used:

1. To allocate $40,000 per year to the development of India teaching and engagement. In Years 1 and 2 this funding would be devoted to exploring the development of Indian Studies at the university, including the initiation of a Hindi program on campus ($40,000 per year to fund the development of program and subject materials, cross-faculty engagement, and a business plan). The University of Melbourne had an India Studies department and program until 1990. Rebuilding this activity would serve as a major form of national leadership since there is no substantial India Studies program in Australia at present.

2. To allocate $30,000 per year to develop scholarships to assist students facing financial hardship to study at the University of Melbourne, with a particular focus on students who are Indian citizens. Decisions about the nature of these scholarships, and how they are named, would be made in consultation with a representative of AISCV and the University of Melbourne.

3. To allocate $25,000 a year to develop a program of business engagement and establish a strategic alliance with the Australia India Chamber of Commerce (AICC) with a particular pivot to developing an India-Australia Free Trade Agreement. These monies will be allocated to support the Aii’s further engagement with AICC.

4. In addition, a further $5,000 of discretionary income will be provided each year.

In 2012, Dr. Jana Rao published his memories A Surgeon & Consul General-A Migrant Experience. As India’s Hon. Consul in those days he charged a fee for Consular services which he was supposed to keep. But he kept all that money in an account which later became the Australia India Social and Charitable Ventures Limited.

Dr. Rao lives in Melbourne with his wife.

Australia India Institute’s ‘India Week 2020′ online bonanza


By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 16 October 2020: This year’s ‘India Week 2020′, Australia India Institute’s annual event will be online with many events. A celebration of all things India, the five days event from October 26 – 30 will have many events. One has to register to join.

On Monday, October 26,4 PM (AEDT) there will be a one-hour interactive session that aims to provide insights on occupational demand, future trends, and potential employment opportunities in Australia and India. A panel of industry professionals and alumni will discuss key industry trends, skills needed in a post-COVID 19 world, the importance of having work experience and networking.

Speakers at the event are Nandini Shetty, Head of Talent Acquisition, APAC, Infosys, Manorani Guy, Co-Founder/President, VicWISE, Siddharth Gupta, University of Melbourne alumni representative and Keeratdeep Kaur, University of Melbourne alumni representative.

On Tuesday, October 27, 12,00 PM (AEDT) anyone can have an online yoga class, from beginners to intermediate levels. The one-hour free class will be run by Nupur Biswas, live from Mumbai, India. One has to make sure to login with comfortable clothes and space to practice.

On Tuesday, October 27, 4:00 PM (AEDT) there will be a live recording of the ‘Asia Rising’ podcast as part of the Australia India Institute’s ‘India Week’ via zoom. The subject is – Assessing India and Australia’s strategic partnership. Guest: Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan (Distinguished Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi) Host: Dr. Bec Strating.

On Wednesday, October 28, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (AEDT) a webinar on Humanitarianism in South Asia – How can Australia help South Asia during the Covid-19 crisis? Panel members – Cherian Thomas Regional Leader, South Asia & Pacific Region, World Vision International and Emma Mawdsley, Geography Department, University of Cambridge, Director, Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies, Vice Principal, Newnham College, Cambridge.
This webinar will allow 20-30minutes for audience interaction and Q&A.

On Thursday, October 29, 5:00 PM (AEDT) a Panel event on India’s Heritage: Preserving the Past While Embracing the Future will take place. Panel: Dr. Kiran Shide (Planning, La Trobe University),
Professor Utpal Sharma (Dean and Director at the Institute of Architecture and Planning at NIRMA University, India) and Dr. Anita Smith (Archeology and History, La Trobe University). Chair: Dr. Bec Strating (La Trobe Asia). This is a La Trobe Asia event.

Separate registrations have to be done for all the events and it can be done at aii.unimelb.edu.au

Melb Uni launches new India strategy

From L-R: Ms Muskaan Jain, VC Duncan Masell & Ms Tanya Spisbah. Photo: Australia India Institute

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE,5 September: The Australia India Institute Delhi, received Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell with a traditional welcome before the Australia-India strategy launch last week in New Delhi. In the photo above, He can be seen lighting a lamp as part of the ritual with Projects Officer Muskaan Jain and Director Tanya Spisbah

Some of the key initiatives the University is aiming to work with its Indian partners are (1) Health; (2) Water;(3) Law; (4) Arts; (5)Teaching and Learning.

The strategy says, “Since 2008, the Australia India Institute (Aii), has enhanced understanding and cooperation between Australia and India. The Institute brings together scholars with shared research interests in India, creating a potential for inter-disciplinary work and partnerships.”

The full report can be accessed at – https://about.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/104834/UoMEngagingIndia2020-2024.pdf?mc_cid=5ae32a4d98&mc_eid=959790c0e7

Text & photo source: Australia India Institute Newsletter