AIBC’s farewell with a difference to the outgoing CG

AIBC NSW Chapter officially farewells Consul General of India, Sydney, Mr B.Vanlalvawna.

By Neena Badhwar

It was a farewell with a difference. To a Consul General in Sydney who is humble yet very focused on the job that the Government of India had assigned to him. And equally to his wife Dr. Rosy L Khuma, a doctor by profession, a beautiful and an intelligent host who specialises in public health. Vawnas are proud parents of four children, with one addition of a two-year-old who was born in Australia, as they go away to Azerbaijan to take up the new ambassadorial job there. People remembered how Rosy would cook herself for all her guests when ever the good couple invited them at home.

Described at the farewell by The Australia India Business Council Ltd NSW Chapter (AIBC NSW) as a unique diplomat ”˜an out and about’ Consul General, as past president Sheba Nandkeolyar said about him, “We said to Vawna that we will see you in your office when he said no formality ”˜come any time’ and mostly you won’t find me on the desk as I will be out and about meeting people to do with trade.”

We guess the outgoing Consul General of India, Vanlal Vawna won many hearts besides being busy at his job as Sheba said that that showed his popularity with the number of farewells he got. And then to satisfy all those he came in close contact with, he organized one big farewell himself to say bye to the Sydney community.

Dr Partha Mukherjee AIBC Education Chapter Chair launching AIBCs Internship Program with Mr. Vawna

Finally, finally on the 22nd of January, AIBC’s current executives decided to give their own farewell to Mr. Vawna and his wife Dr. Rosy L. Khuma. And again it was an unusual one in the sense that it was to launch his pet project ”˜AIBC’s Education Chapter Internship Program’ along with a demo video launch of Practera App.

Now that made me curious as one of the older Indian who has lived here for more than forty years. In those days when the first Indian professionals arrived it was easy finding jobs but now when Indians top the skilled migration intake, which includes huge number of Indian international students, the issues and problems are, yet same, but more difficult at present. Matching a professional to the rightful job he or she deserves. The students spend a lot of money to be trained in various professional courses yet unable to find jobs in Australian companies. One sees many students caught in such dilemmas. Mr. Vanlal Vawna also noted this burning issue and wanted to support this project which was put forward by the AIBC and fully supported by him all the way.

“And what best way to give a farewell to give to Vawna who wanted this project to reach fruition,” said Barbara Ward, current President of AIBC NSW Chapter, she said, “We wanted him to launch it before he goes and get his blessings.”

There was a turnout of industry leaders, government and media representatives, AIBC members and guests who attended the farewell.

Barbara Ward welcomed guests and acknowledged the close working relationship and continuous support AIBC received from the Consul General during his tenure in Sydney. She appreciated the ready advice provided by him, whenever needed by the AIBC or herself.

Other VIP speakers included Sheba Nandkeolyar, Past AIBC National Chair, Neville Roach AO and Rohit Pathak, Chairman NASSCOM Australia. All of them highlighted the Consul General’s dedication to promoting trade, investment and business between Australia and India.

Mr. Vanlalvawna spoke about the AIBC’s professionalism and systems in place to take forward the bilateral relationship to its next level. He praised the achievements of AIBC industry Chapters mentioning the Women in Business and Education Chapters and appreciated that AIBC had brought forward the AIBC Apprenticeship Program launch date, so that he could officially launch it. He specially mentioned that as a diplomat he has not seen the like of AIBC in any other country, an organization which is run basically by volunteers to help build up relationship between the two countries.

Dr Partha Mukherjee AIBC Education Chapter Chair, spoke about the Inaugural AIBC Internship Program for Indian international students in Australia. An audio visual presentation explained how the program worked and the benefits to both organisations and students. Also a representative of NIB Health Fund spoke about their entry into India having opened two offices there. And Pallavi Sinha gave the vote of thanks at the end as guests mingled.

Pics by: Harmohan Singh Walia and Neena Badhwar

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