Ex-Oz envoy to India appointed Chair of Australia-India Council

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New Delhi, Dec. 22 (ANI): Former Australian High Commissioner to India John McCarthy has been appointed as the new Chair of the Australia-India Council (AIC).

McCarthy brings a wealth of experience to his role as Chair of the Council having served with distinction as Australia's High Commissioner to India for five years from 2004 to 2009.

His distinguished forty-year diplomatic career has included postings as Australia's Ambassador to the United States, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. McCarthy is currently Australia's Special Representative to Sri Lanka.

The Australia-India people-to-people links are increasing, along with an elevated bilateral relationship to the level of a strategic partnership. The Australia-India Council ensures that the relationship extends into diverse fields such as culture, economics, science, public health and sport.

The Australia-India Council was established by the Australian Government in 1992 to broaden and deepen Australia-India relations through contacts and exchanges in a range of fields that promote mutual awareness and understanding.

McCarthy joins three other new Members appointed to the Australia-India Council Board by the Governor-General in September 2009:

Professor Brien Holden OAM: Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Eye Research, the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), the Vision Cooperative Research Centre (Vision CRC) and Professor of Optometry at the University of New South Wales. Professor Holden has long enjoyed a relationship with India in research and education, particularly with the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad.

Professor Margaret Sheil: Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council (ARC). Prior to her appointment to the ARC in 2007, she had a long and distinguished academic career in chemistry, most recently as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Wollongong.

Professor Gillian Whitlock: Professor of English at the University of Queensland. She is the author and editor of a number of books on life narrative, Australian literature and Australian Studies.

Other AIC Board Members are: Mr Vinod Daniel, Chairman of AusHeritage; Ms Suzanne Davies, Director and Chief Curator of the RMIT Gallery; Indian politics and media expert Professor Robin Jeffrey; and, DFAT Deputy Secretary Mr Miles Kupa. (ANI)

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