New Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sioner to In­dia and Bhutan

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Reporter

The Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sion in New Delhi will next week wel­come Ms Harinder Sidhu to In­dia as the Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sioner-des­ig­nate.

Ms Sidhu said she was look­ing for­ward to her new role in a dy­namic coun­try.

“In­dia is one of the most ex­cit­ing places for a diplo­mat to be at the mo­ment. In­dia’s eco­nomic prospects are bright and it is be­com­ing a more in­flu­en­tial and ac­tive in­ter­na­tional player,” she said.

“The Aus­tralia-In­dia re­la­tion­ship has grown sub­stan­tially over the past few years and I will ded­i­cate my­self to build­ing that re­la­tion­ship fur­ther.

“At a per­sonal level, I have al­ways been fas­ci­nated by the coun­try of my her­itage and am keen to learn more about In­dia – its lan­guage, cul­ture and his­tory – while I am there.”

Ms Sidhu, who re­places for­mer High Com­mis­sioner Pa­trick Suck­ling, con­tin­ues a tra­di­tion of Aus­tralian rep­re­sen­ta­tives with strong con­nec­tions to In­dia.

“Both sides of my fam­ily are from the Pun­jab – my father was born in In­dia,” she said.

Ms Sidhu was born in Sin­ga­pore and set­tled in Aus­tralia with her fam­ily as a child.

She speaks a lit­tle Pun­jabi and Hindi but is look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to be­come more flu­ent.

The High Com­mis­sioner-des­ig­nate is also ea­ger to in­dulge her pas­sion for Bol­ly­wood movies.

“The first movie I re­mem­ber watch­ing as a child was Brah­machari, it starred Shammi Kapoor and Mum­taz, and I’ve been hooked ever since, ” she said.

One of Ms Sidhu’s first tasks in the job is likely to be host­ing the Aus­tralian men’s and women’s cricket teams in In­dia for the T20 next month.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing both the Aus­tralians and In­di­ans in ac­tion. I hope to get to Mo­hali for the match and, with luck, see them both in the fi­nal, too. May the best team win.”

For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop an­nounced Ms Sidhu’s ap­point­ment last Fri­day and will also be the am­bas­sador to Bhutan.

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