Former Cricketer To Help Strengthen Australia-India Ties
Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist has been appointed as the country’s first ever education ambassador to India.
Education minister Christopher Pyne, who announced the appointment yesterday, said Gilchrist “will play an important part in supporting the growth in the strong bilateral education relationship between Australia and India, to help ensure that Australia continues to be seen as a high quality provider of education.”
Gilchrist will also “help grow our already strong education partnership with India and raise Australia’s profile and reputation,” Pyne said.
Gilchrist, who retired from international cricket in 2008, has been working as ambassador for the University of Wollongong (UOW) for the past seven years and will maintain the role.
At UOW, which has one of Australia’s largest university-based IT research facilities, Gilchrist has focused on encouraging Indian IT companies to consider establishing Australian operations at UOW’s innovation campus.
In his role at the university, he said, he has “seen first-hand the vital role education plays in the development of modern India.”
Gilchrist added: “Having spent so much of my cricketing career playing in India, I have gotten to understand the important bond Australia has with India.”
Being famous in the world of cricket, he said, also “opens the boardroom door: you have photos and autographs and talk cricket for the first 10 minutes because it’s a common love, but if you don’t have a quality product or offering, that’s all it is.”
Pyne said: “The Indian people recognise Adam as one of cricket’s greats, and the values he espouses both on and off the field – excellence and integrity – are precisely those with which Australia aligns its reputation for high-quality education, training and research.”
Gilchrist, who will join Minister Pyne in New Delhi, India, on Monday to help showcase the quality of Australia’s education systems in India, said: “Being Australia’s first education ambassador to India will give me the opportunity to put so much back into that relationship through the all-important focus of learning and training.”