Australian High Commission
New Delhi
India, Bhutan

From AHC Desk

International Women's Day 2022

Our Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Storey did a walk the talk interview with Meenakshi Lekhi, India's Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India to discuss her successful career and how we can empower women to navigate career challenges. Watch the full conversation below.


Request for Information (RFI) for the provision of administrative services for the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

The Australia Government Department of Home Affairs has released an RFI today on AusTender titled Service Delivery Partners: Delivering Administrative Services for the Department of Home Affairs (HOMEAFFAIRS/2083/RFI).  The RFI seeks information on best practice service approaches and technologies to support and extend the Department’s overseas service delivery. It aims to identify opportunities that will enable the Department to meet increasing future demand for services. 

Reopening our border during COVID-19 will see an increase in demand for departmental services along with evolving integrity threats and traveller expectations for more efficient, digitally enabled services. To meet these challenges the Department is examining opportunities to increase the involvement of Service Delivery Partners in the delivery of its overseas transactional and administrative services.

If you are a supplier of application support, biometric collection and/or verification services (as well as other services as described in the RFI), the Department is keen to hear from you.  The RFI is not a procurement. Whilst the Department has not yet committed to any future procurement activity, next steps may include a procurement process commencing in 2022.


High Commissioner visits Odisha

High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell paid another visit to Odisha - an important partner state for Australia both strategically and economically - to continue engagement in education and sports sector. He visited Centurion University of Technology & Management and awarded degrees to graduating students together with the Governor of Odisha Prof Ganeshi Lal. He also visited KIIT - Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences to explore further institutional collaborations and partnerships under the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and India's National Education Policy.  

High Commissioner Barry O\\\\\\\\\\'Farrell with Governor of Odisha Prof Ganeshi Lal
High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell with Governor of Odisha Prof Ganeshi Lal

Australia announces new Consulate General in Bengaluru and a Centre of Excellence to boost tech ties with India

Australia is strengthening its technology partnership with India through the establishment of a new Consulate-General in Bengaluru and a Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy, also to be based in India. As announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Bengaluru Tech Summit, the new consulate would focus on deepening Australia’s ties with Indian innovators, technologists and entrepreneurs as well as support Australian businesses in India’s cybertech hub. The Centre of Excellence for Critical & Emerging Technology Policy will bring together Australian and Indian technologists, policy practitioners, academics, researchers & thought leaders and will help guide the responsible development and use of critical technologies.

Click here for Prime Minister’s remarks at the Bengaluru Tech Summit
Media Release: Strengthening our technology partnership with India

Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered the key note address at the Bengaluru Tech Summit
Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered the key note address at the Bengaluru Tech Summit

High Commissioner visits Gujarat and Pune

High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell and our Mumbai Consul-General Peter Truswell visited Gujarat - a major trade and investment partner for Australia. They met Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Australian alumni and business leaders, and discussed ways to deepen the Australia India economic cooperation. In Pune, High Commissioner met with Mayor Murlidhar Mohol and discussed opportunities for collaboration in urban planning, water management and transport. They also met with Serum Institute of India’s Adar Poonawalla to discuss the crucial role Indian manufactures are playing in the vaccine rollout. High Commissioner also met accomplished Australian alumni and members of the Indo Australian Chamber.

High Commissioner Barry O\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'Farrell and Mumbai Consul-General Peter Truswell met with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel
High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell and Mumbai Consul-General Peter Truswell met with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel

Australia and India trade deal

Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, concluded a successful visit to India. Minister Tehan met his Indian counterpart Minister Piyush Goyal and agreed to resume negotiations for the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). Both the Ministers committed to conclude the negotiations on a full CECA by the end of 2022, including to reach an interim agreement by December 2021, to liberalise & deepen bilateral trade. Minister Tehan also met the Indian Education Minister, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, and discussed ways to strengthen the strategic partnership, especially in the education and skill development sectors.

Joint Media Release:

Australia\\\\\\\\\'s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Dan Tehan MP with India\\\\\\\\\'s Trade Minister, Piyush Goyal
Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Dan Tehan MP with India's Trade Minister Piyush Goyal

Australia's High Commissioner visits Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell visited Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – the two southern states of growing commercial and strategic importance under the Australia India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The High Commissioner held discussions with the senior members of the two state governments, opposition figures, government officials and business representatives to advance trade and investment links, particularly in critical minerals, education, health, and technology.

Read more: High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell's visit to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy

High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell's visit to Uttar Pradesh

Australia’s relationship with every state in India has a part to play in our overall Australia-India partnership. On his first official visit to Uttar Pradesh, High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell  met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, other state ministers and government officials to progress economic engagement, particularly in roads and infrastructure, water and skills development sectors. He also attended the Ganga Aarti at Varanasi’s Tulsi Ghaat, and witnessed the famous silk-weaving technology in a Varanasi village.

Read more: High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell's visit to Uttar Pradesh

High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

First Australia-India Leaders’ Virtual Summit

The first Australia-India Leaders’ Virtual Summit on 4 June, 2020 concluded on a historic high with the two Prime Ministers elevating the Australia-India relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership level. Nine agreements were signed/announced during the summit. Links below for more information:

·       List of the documents announced/signed during India - Australia Virtual Summit

·       Joint statement on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Australia

·       Opening remarks by Australian Prime Minister at the Virtual Summit

·       High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell's OpEd published in Hindustan Times

Australia supports Bhutan in its COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery

Extending support to Bhutan in its fight against COVID-19, the Australian Government has supplied medical equipment in response to the Royal Government of Bhutan’s request for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The medical supplies, which include protective clothing, sanitising liquid and protective masks, reached Bhutan today, and will support Bhutan’s implementation of its COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.                                                                                                                                               

Australia’s Ambassador to Bhutan, His Excellency the Hon Barry O’Farrell AO, said “Australia stands alongside Bhutan in the fight against COVID-19. We are working with the Royal Government to support health workers, and the community, to access the necessary equipment to minimise the spread of infection.” Read more.

Industry Insights for Australian businesses

Austrade is working closely with the network of government departments and industry agencies to help Australian businesses overcome complex and fast-evolving COVID-19–related challenges. Their website is updated regularly to provide industry insights by sectors for Australian Exporters. Link: 

Foreign Missions in New Delhi celebrate their commitment to universality of human rights

Our High Commission has joined 34 diplomatic missions in New Delhi to reaffirm Australia’s strong commitment to promoting the universality of human rights and to stand alongside global LGBTI communities. Read More..

Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon Senator Simon Birmingham concludes his visit to India

Minister Birmingham led a delegation of over 100 Australian delegates as part of the Australia India Business Exchange and also met his Indian counterparts. Sharing some highlights from his program in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Foreign Minister announces new Australian High Commissioner to India

Senator the Hon Marise Payne announced the appointment of The Hon Barry O’Farrell AO as Australia’s next High Commissioner to India. Mr O’Farrell will also have non-resident accreditation to Bhutan. Minister Payne also thanked the outgoing High Commissioner Ms Harinder Sidhu for her significant contribution to advancing Australia’s interests in India since 2016. Link to the Media Release

Australia confers Order of Australia honour to Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, invested Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw as an Honorary Member within the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division. Dr Mazumdar-Shaw - an Australian Global Alumni Ambassador - is also recognised for her sustained and significant contribution to industry academia collaboration between Australia and India. The ceremony was attended by representatives from Indian and Australian business, the diplomatic corps, and family, friends and peers of Dr Mazumdar-Shaw. Dr Mazumdar-Shaw is the fourth Indian citizen to be awarded Australia’s highest civilian honour. This follows the conferment of Superstar batsman Sachin Tendulkar in 2012, Former Attorney General of India, Soli Jehangir Sorabjee in 2006 and Mother Teresa of Kolkata (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) in 1982. Link to the Media Release

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women Senator the Hon Marise Payne's concludes her visit to India

Senator the Hon Marise Payne met with key leaders in the Indian Government and took part in the Raisina Dialogue, a major regional strategic affairs conference in New Delhi.  Link to the Media Release

Australian artist David Hooke creates a mural in Varanasi to spread awareness in India about the global crisis on litter and pollution

Australian artist David Hooke, well-known for designing socially & environmentally engaged works, was in India to create a mural as part of the Varanasi Art Project. David’s large-scale mural in Varanasi was designed to spread awareness about the global crisis of litter and pollution.

Australian classical guitarists Grigoryan Brothers return to enthral audiences in India

Celebrated Australian classical guitarists Grigoryan Brothers treated audiences in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata to some spellbinding performances. A mix of classical, jazz and contemporary music, their performances were applauded by a full house in all three cities.  

Australia to Return Historic Indian Artefacts

The Australian Government will return three culturally significant artefacts during the Prime Minister’s visit to India in January 2020. The artefacts, which were held by the National Gallery of Australia (Gallery), were purchased in good faith, but extensive research undertaken by the Gallery has led to its decision to voluntarily return these artefacts to India. Link to the Media Release

Australian Minister for Education The Hon Dan Tehan MP to visit India from 19 to 21 November

Australian Education Minister The Hon Dan Tehan MP will be on a three-day visit to India from 19 to 21 November to tap new business opportunities in the country's education sector and showcase Australia's education and research sector. Minister Tehan will meet with the Indian Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, engage Indian education and research stakeholders, and attend local events in support of the Australian education and research sector. Link to the Media Release

Australia launches the Global Talent program as part of Australia’s Skilled Migration Program

High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu launched the Global Talent program in New Delhi as part of Australia’s Skilled Migration Program. This program provides opportunities for Australia and India to work together to facilitate business, transfer skills, promote innovation, and create job opportunities.

Innovative international partnership between India and Australia launched

High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu launched the Indo-Australian Centre for Advanced Studies at the Chandigarh University today, a joint initiative with the University of Canberra. This centre will create a bridge between our two countries, allowing Australian and Indian students to better understand each other & forge strong people-to-people links.

Australia announces 2020 New Colombo Plan India Mobility Grants

The Australian Government is pleased to announce that 1607 Australian university students will undertake study and work-based experiences in India as part of the 2020 New Colombo Plan Mobility Program. The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government, providing Australian students opportunities to gain the cross-cultural awareness and experiences that are vital to today’s globally connected workforce.

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women Senator the Hon Marise Payne's address at the United States Studies Centre

Senator the Hon Marise Payne said 'Quad', which brings together four major democracies - Australia, the United States, Japan and India - to support rules, norms and regional resilience. She added, 'Australia will continue working positively with existing international and regional architecture such as ASEAN and the East Asia Summit to ensure we can together address regional security challenges more effectively.'

Australia & India: Partners in a future with innovation

Australia's Chief Innovation Officer Sarah Pearson was in India recently to observe India's innovation landscape. As part of her visit, she met with government counterparts and spoke at the CyFy conference in New Delhi. In Hyderabad, she visited innovation hubs, start-up incubators and met with researchers working on agricultural productivity. She also announced the first five winners of funding under WE Hub Hyderabad Community Slate program for women-led social enterprises, in collaboration with the Australian Consulate-General in Chennai as part of their Direct Aid Program.

Twenty-year-old Anjali was the Australian High Commissioner to India for a day

Acting Girls Takeover Ambassador Anjali from Lucknow took over from High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu for a day to mark the International Day of the Girl on 11 October. She began her day engaging with eminent people on discussions around gender equality at the Residence. She also addressed an all staff meeting and hosted a friendly soccer match at the High Commission with our Direct Aid Partner CEQUIN (Centre for Equity and Inclusion).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison's address at the 2019 Lowy Lecture

Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined his vision for Australia’s place in the world at the 2019 Lowy Lecture. He also announced that he would be visiting India in January at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Another step in cementing India as a top tier partner for Australia. Link to the Speech :

Australia-India Council Grants announced

Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women has announced 11 recipients of this year’s Australia India Council (AIC) award grants. These projects will help in deepening our engagement & relationship with India and also promote a better understanding between our two countries.

Link to the Media Release: 

RCEP & the opportunities for India (OpEd by Australia’s High Commissioner to India, H.E. Harinder Sidhu)

“The Indian economy is developing rapidly and becoming more globally oriented. RCEP has the potential to drive further domestic economic reform and the economic growth that is needed to fulfil the vision of India becoming a USD 5 trillion economy,” says High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu, in an op-ed in Business Standard. Click Here to read the full OpEd. 

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia concludes his India trip bolstering ties in the resources sector

Australia’s Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan was in India from 26-29 August 2019. The Minister travelled to three-Indian cities – Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai – where he met with ministerial counterparts and resource industry leaders.
Link to Minister's release:

University of Melbourne launches new India strategy

High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu hosted the launch of University of Melbourne’s five year India strategy –‘Engaging with India 2020-2024 – highlighting collaboration in health, water, law, cultural arts and postgraduate teaching and learning’. The strategy aims to address key global challenges and deliver mutual benefits for both countries. Education is a key component of Australia’s India Economic Strategy 2035. 

Link to High Commissioner's remarks at the Workshop on The Future of Electoral Democracy in India and Australia

Australian Minister of Defence speech at the Indo-Pacific Conference, Western Australia

Australian Minister of Defence Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC delivered a keynote speech at the WA Indo-Pacific Defence Conference highlighting Australia’s vision for the Indo Pacific to remain free, open & inclusive. Addressing the conference she said, "To do this we must strengthen our partnerships, increase our presence, build collaboration & invest in defence capability." Read More...

Australia: Improving health outcomes for under-served communities in rural Rajasthan

The e-Doctor Clinic - a pioneering initiative by Smile Foundation & Karma Healthcare - was funded under the Australian Government's Business Partnerships Platform - India window. The project was recently launched by our Economic Counsellor Timothy Kendall and aims to bring quality healthcare to under-served communities in Rajasthan through digital technology. BPP is a flagship initiative of the Australian Government that supports partnerships with businesses to deliver sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, while also ensuring commercial returns for business.

AustralianSuper to invest up to USD 1 billion in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund

AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund has announced that it will invest up to USD 1 billion in the National Invesment and Infrastructure Fund. Another step towards building stronger economic links with under the India Economic Strategy.

Australia-India finalise a new veterinary health protocol

In another positive development in the Australia-India agriculture and animal husbandry sector, Australia and India recently finalised a new veterinary health protocol for the export of Australian breeder sheep to India. Australian sheep will be part of a sheep breeding program for wool development, an initiative under India’s National Livestock Mission. It is expected that the first sheep will arrive in India in September-October 2019 for settling at the Uttarakhand State Wool Development Board.   

Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) Annual Engagement in India

The Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) supports 23 diverse projects in India, which contribute towards key development outcomes. The program also strengthens delivery of public services in the areas of economic empowerment, inclusive development for person with disabilities and women, education and health. Our teams recently visited a few project sites in TamilNadu, WestBengal and UttarPradesh. ANCP Partners also met in Chennai for an Annual Partners Meet to exchange project knowledge and learning. Here are a few snapshots.

Training delivered in Australia to boost Indian biosecurity capability and bilateral ties

Five Indian officials from the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare travelled to Australia in June 2019 to participate in specialised training that could help boost India’s agricultural exports. The training focused on the use of biosecurity treatments, particularly on in-transit cold treatment for the export of horticultural products, including table grapes.

Address to Asialink and Bloomberg “Where we live” By Prime Minister The Hon Scott Morrison MP 

Prime Minister, The Hon Scott Morrison MP, delivered a major foreign policy address at Asialink, in the lead-up to the 14th G20 Summit. Link to the address.

International Yoga Day celebrated by Australian High Commission staff

Members of the High Commission in Delhi along with interns from NGO Asha Society attended a yoga session organised by India’s Ministry of External Affairs to commemorate the International Yoga Day.

High Commissioner’s address to the Indian Association of Foreign Correspondents

High commissioner Harinder Sidhu in her interaction with members of the Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents(IAFAC) described India as a leader and a powerhouse. She said, "India and Australia have developed mutual trust over the past decade to work together on strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region. The two countries could now work together to strengthen the economic order in the region". Read More..

Australian warship HMAS Toowoomba's visit to Chennai

Australian warship HMAS Toowoomba was in Chennai as part of Australia's commitment to engage with Indo-Pacific nations and to promote regional maritime security and cooperation. Toowoomba participated in ‘Exercise La Perouse’ in the Bay of Bengal to enhance interoperability, build partner capacity and strengthen the professional relationships with regional nations. The Australian Navy and Indian Navy also faced off in a friendly game of volleyball while in Chennai.

FFA supports development of women’s football across India

Representatives from Football Federation Australia were in India recently to support the development of women’s football across India. Adelaide United Captain Emma Checker and Junior Matildas Head Coach Rae Dower conducted professional development workshops for female Indian coaches, led a series of football clinics for girls and boys’ teams and met with the Indian U-17 women’s national team, who will represent their country on home soil in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020.  

Ode of Remembrance to ANZAC soldiers across India

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, and Australia’s Consul-General's in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai paid their respects to martyrs who lost their lives in service to their country. Anzac Day, commemorated on 25 April, marks the anniversary of the first major military action by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) in 1915 during the First World War. Approximately 16,000 Indian troops fought alongside the ANZACs in Gallipoli and around 1,600 lost their lives. Over 8,700 troops from Australia and 2,779 from New Zealand died in that conflict, marking both nations’ greatest loss of life in a single battle.

Commencement of the five year subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa

Applications to sponsor a parent for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa will be open from 17 April 2019. Once a sponsorship application has been approved, a sponsored parent will be able to apply for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. Applications for the visa are intended to open from 1 July 2019. For more information including sponsor eligibility criteria, number of places available and costs, please visit the Home Affairs website.

Australian Government's response to the India Economic Strategy

The Australian Government has endorsed the India Economic Strategy, including 10 short-term and 10 long-term priority recommendations and has agreed to an initial implementation plan across government. Here are some important links for more information:

India Economic Strategy Released

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull released Australia’s India Economic Strategy in Brisbane. The strategy, led by former DFAT Secretary Peter Varghese, is an ambitious plan to grow the economic partnership between India and Australia out to 2035.

Media release: India Economic Strategy | Full report is available at

Capturing India’s economic transformation (video link or watch below)


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