Unearthing India – surprising links to Australia

Thursday November 7th 2019:  3.30 pm – 6.30 pm plus drinks

A journey begun in the 1950’s, when Manning and Dymphna Clark arrived in India with their family, continues today on the subject of Australia – Indian relationships at a time of global uncertainty. 

Our forum title of ‘Unearthing India – surprising links to Australia’ reflects accurately how projects and enterprises based on soil and crop health and material flows of ostensibly waste materials are making a difference. These are highly political matters covering social change and issues which bedevil India at a time when prevailing economic strategies repress the under privileged.

 Our speakers are at the front line of these fascinating developments and will cover the subjects of business relationships between our two countries, the political context in which this developing relationship is emerging and key technologies which are making a surprising impact.

The speakers will leave you with a fresh insight into how the Indian-Australian connection of the 1950’s continues and expands today.


The program has the following parts

3.30- 3.45            Introductions and background

3.45 – 4.35          The political and business context of the Australian/Indian relationship

  • Mr Dhruv Deepak (DD) Saxena – Chair Australian Indian Business Forum
  • Ms Annabel Mehta – – President Apnalaya since 2013  (Beamed in direct from India)

4.45 – 5.30          Working at the grass roots level – soil, science and community growth

  • Dr Amardeep Wander – Waste, where is it? The critical and innovative role of waste processing for community development
  • Dr Tapas Biswas – CSIRO: Australian lessons about water use for India’s benefit
  • Mr Kim Russell – Opportunity for business collaboration between Australia and India        

5.30 – 6.00          Discussion

6.00 – 7.00          Professional musicians Geeta Jatania – soloist, Nitya – Guitar, Andrew Purdham – Tabla

and refreshments.

MCH members, concession (Government Support) and full-time students $20

Non-members $30.00

Booking: https://www.trybooking.com/BGIKG


Mr Dhruv Deepak (DD) Saxena DD is Promoter/ Founder of ROBE, a $150 million investment in an oilseed crushing & refining plant in Wagga Wagga, as well as the largest Table Olive plantation and processing business in Griffith NSW and an Oilseeds and Stockfeed Manufacturing Business in Hillston, NSW. He has successfully set up multiple green-field projects, has exceptional entrepreneurial flair and has senior management experience with quality organisations such as Unilever, Thapar Group of Companies (Ballarpur Industries) and was Managing Director of Bakrie International which is a multibillion-dollar company in South East Asia. He was the 2015 Indian Australian Ambassador of the year and the 2016 Non-Resident Indian Entrepreneur of the year for Asia Pacific. In 2018 he was appointed the Chair of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Australia-India Business forum.      
Ms Annabel Mehta – MBE Annabel is President of Apnalaya since 2013, and treasurer for many years before that. Apnalaya or ‘Our Space’ in English, is a non-profit organization, founded in 1973, working with the most marginalized people living in highly under-served slums of Mumbai. Annabel has been recognised and honoured for over 40 years of service to under-privileged communities in India. Much of this has been through her leading role within Apnalaya. In the last 25 years, Apnalaya has particularly focused on the Shivaji Nagar slum community, adjoining the Deonar dumping ground, with a population of around 600,000, many of whom live in very challenging conditions.    Apnalaya works with the urban poor – ENABLING access to basic services, healthcare, education and livelihoods; EMPOWERING them to help themselves; and ENSURING provision of civic entitlements through advocacy with the government. Annabel’s passion for social work and improving the lives of people in the slum communities is evident as she has been working on an entirely voluntary basis at this grassroots organisation. She represents a shining example of the Living Bridge between India and the UK.        
Dr Amadeep WanderWaste, where is it? The critical and innovative role of waste processing for community development. Amardeep is a results focused environment professional with expertise in waste and project management, recycling, environmental reporting, and sustainability. A focus on waste audits recently is providing a critical element to landscape and ocean waste issues. Project Director/International Waste and Marine Litter Consultant.                
Dr Tapas BiswasCSIRO: Australian lessons about water use for India’s benefit Tapas Biswas holds a PhD from the International Rice Research Institute in The Philippines and has worked in the field of water and soil quality for over thirty years in several countries including the USA, China and Israel, and in regions such as South and East Asia, Middle East and the Oceania. He began his career in Australia in early 1996 as a research fellow in Sydney University, and then moved on to working with the Australian Government on water quality issues. He has over 100 publications, a patent “SoluSampler”, and has been invited to deliver lectures in several international fora. Dr Biswas’ contributions in the field of water science has been acknowledged through awards from national and international bodies.  Dr Biswas is currently with the CSIRO as a Senior Research Adviser working on remote monitoring, early warning and forecasting of major international water quality risks such as harmful algal blooms. He is also a senior faculty member with the Australian National University Fenner School, Canberra and the vice-president of the Hydrological society of Canberra.    
Mr Kim Russell – Chairman Stump Jump – Opportunity for business collaboration between Australia and India         Kim Russell has been successfully providing advice in the farm and agribusiness sector for over 15 years. Specialising in farm management, soil health & water efficiency, agronomic decision making and value chains. ​ He has extensive experience in leading farm organisations with a focus on well managed research and development programmes that meet farm, environment and customer needs.​ Specialties: value chains, farm-business, organic waste management, composting, ​GIS Technology, irrigation, soils, agronomy, land capability.                                                                                                                                                                            

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