Advisory Board

The Centre’s Advisory Board provides advice on engagement with India, drawing on its demonstrated sectoral expertise and experience collaborating with government, business, investment, the arts, education and policy stakeholders.

Advisory Board Chair, Swati Dave
Swati Dave

Swati Dave is an experienced CEO and non-executive Director with an established track record of successfully leading and transforming businesses covering domestic and international markets.

She was most recently the Managing Director and CEO at Export Finance Australia from 2017 to 2022, where she successfully led a significant business and cultural transformation to make the organisation more impactful and inclusive.

Swati has over 30 years of banking and financial sector experience across a number of sectors, including infrastructure, natural resources, energy and utilities, renewable energy and property. She has held senior roles at National Australia Bank, Deutsche Bank, AMP Henderson Global Investors, Bankers Trust and Westpac.

Swati currently serves as Deputy Chair on the Asia Society Australia Board and as a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority Board; and is an independent member of the QIC Global Infrastructure Investment Committee. She previously served as an Advisory Board member on the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, as a Director of State Super, Australian Hearing, Great Western Bancorp, Inc. (USA) and the NAB Wealth Responsible Entity Boards.

Board Members

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Adam Gilchrist AM
Former Australian cricket captain, Australian cricket commentator

Adam Gilchrist AM is an Australian cricket commentator and former captain of the Australia national cricket team. Adam is the Global brand Ambassador for the University of Wollongong and a Goodwill Ambassador for World Vision Australia, where he has worked with the organisation to provide life-saving equipment to health centres across India, ensuring fast and safe access to COVID-19 vaccines in the local communities.

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Amit Singh
Managing Partner, Mandala Partners

Amit Singh is Managing Partner for the economics and strategy advisory firm, Mandala. He was previously Managing Director at Accenture and Global Head of Economic Policy for Uber in San Francisco. Amit previously served as a Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister. Amit was a founding director of Responsible Technology Australia (now Reset Tech Australia). Recently, he was appointed by the Federal Government to undertake a review into myGov and government digital services. In 2021, Amit was named on the list 40 under 40 Asian-Australians.

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Amrit Gill
Creative Program Lead, City of Melbourne

Amrit Gill joined the City of Melbourne as their Creative Program Lead in February 2023. She was most recently Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
Amrit previously worked at the Australia Council for the Arts as Director of International Development, leading on international strategic investment across artforms, implementation of the agency’s first international arts strategy, expanding engagement and investment in Asia and global First Nations exchange.

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Catriona Jackson
Board Director

Catriona Jackson is a highly experienced advocate for higher education and has extensive experience in the policy making process, most recently as Chief Executive and a Board Director of Universities Australia, the peak body representing Australia’s university sector. Prior to this appointment, she served as UA’s Deputy Chief Executive leading the policy team in developing sectoral policy. Catriona was previously CEO of Science and Technology Australia, Director Communications at ANU and Media Advisor for the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Catriona serves on a range of government and other boards, focussed on education trade in our region, and has a special interest in women’s empowerment and equal opportunity through education.

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Florence Drummond
Executive Director, Development Partner Institute

Florence Drummond is the Executive Director of Development Partner Institute a global organisation focused on collaborative impact for sustainable development in the minerals value chain. With over a decade working in the minerals industry across Australia, her leadership with establishing IWIMRA has taken her across the globe to connect and build relationships with key stakeholders and rights holders across the minerals value chain. Her dynamic leadership has also positioned her to represent in forums such as UNESCAP and APEC as well as leading edge industry forums shaping the collective efforts towards the energy transition. Florence also holds board positions across a number of organisations including an ASX listed company in the minerals sector.

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Gunjan Pagare
Executive Manager, Commonwealth Bank

Gunjan Pagare is Executive Manager of Community Investment at the Commonwealth Bank, leading the Next Chapter program, committed to helping end financial abuse in the context of domestic and family violence. His social impact work has been focussed on supporting customers & communities in vulnerable circumstances and included delivering the Financial Independence Hub as a long term secondee at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand. Gunjan was previously Regional Sales Manager, Priority Banking and Capital Markets for Standard Chartered Bank in New Delhi. He was a finalist in the Australia India Business and Community Alliance Business Leader of the Year awards in 2022 and a Australian Human Rights Awards finalist in 2019.

Helen Nugent
Helen Nugent AC
Independent Chairman, Ausgrid

Dr Helen Nugent AC has been a Chairman and company director for over 30 years in sectors as diverse as financial services, energy, health, the arts, disability and education. Helen is currently Chairman of Ausgrid; Senior Independent Director of TPG Telecom; and a Non-Executive Director of IAG. She is also Chairman of the Order of Australia Association Foundation, Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and a member of the National Portrait Gallery Foundation and the Australia Olympic Foundation. Helen previously served as Chair of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and in 2022, was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. She has a PhD in Indian history, and previously taught Indian history and culture at the University of Queensland.

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The Hon. Martin Hamilton-Smith
Former SA Minister for Trade and Investment

After a 23 year career as an officer in the Australian Defence Force, Martin Hamilton-Smith served in the South Australian Parliament as the Member for Waite for 22 years, as Minister for Tourism and innovation in the Kerin Liberal Government, as Leader of the Opposition and as an independent MP and Minister for Investment and Trade, Defence and Space Industries, Health Industries, Small Business, and Veterans’ Affairs in the Weatherill Labor Government. He is the Director of The Australia Sovereign Capability Alliance, National Chairman of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment Association, Board member and trustee of SA Resources Fund and a member of the Ex Service Organisations Round Table.

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Mitu Bhowmick Lange AM
Founding Director, Mind Blowing Films

Mitu Bhowmick Lange is an Indian-Australian filmmaker, film producer and founder-director of Mind-Blowing Films, a film distribution company specialising in distribution of Indian and local content to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papa New Guinea. She is the founder and director of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and has provided line production services for a number of Hindi films including Salaam Namaste, Chak De India and Love Aaj Kal. Mitu was awarded Jill Robb Screen Leadership Award for 2017 from Film Victoria. She is a board of member at WIFT Australia, a board member at Film Victoria and the Natalie Miller Fellowship.

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Sammy Kumar
CEO, Sayers Group

Sammy Kumar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sayers Group. Sammy is a business leader with over 35 years’ experience in Management Consulting, Mergers and Acquisitions, Risk Management, Strategy, Technology and Ventures. Sammy’s work includes significant experience in many overseas markets including the US, Canada, South America and Asia Pacific. He has advised companies in a number of sectors including Financial Services, Telecommunications, Technology services, Private Equity and Venture Capital. During his time at PwC he started, led and grew businesses both in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region managing revenues of over $1 billion. Sammy is a committed member of the broader community, serving on the Boards of the RCH & RCH Foundation. He is also a board member of Melbourne and Olympic Park Trust.

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Jan Adams AO PSM (ex officio)
Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Jan Adams AO PSM was appointed Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1 July 2022. Prior to this, Ms Adams was Australia’s Ambassador to Japan from November 2020 to June 2022 and before that Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2016 to 2019. In 2016, Ms Adams was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to international relations through the advancement of Australia's diplomatic and free trade relationships. In 2007, she was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) for outstanding public service in pursuing Australia's international objectives on trade and the environment.