In 2013, the Australia India Institute’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program achieved an unprecedented level of intellectual, policy, personal and practical engagement between Indians and Australians.
Beginning in 2011, the program has brought a bright array of mid-career Indian professionals and academics to spend eight weeks each at the Institute, based at the University of Melbourne’s historic Parkville campus. Here they have been able to advance their thinking on issues of critical importance to India and the world at large, while accessing the extensive expertise on such issues available in Australia.
For Australians, the presence of these emerging Indian leaders provides deep insights into the momentous scale of change – economic, political and social – which is taking place in contemporary India. The fellows give a public lecture on their research at the Institute’s gracious Victorian-era offices on Barry Street. They immerse themselves in
Australia’s dynamic multicultural society, and meet world-ranking Australian scholars and writers,
and influential political leaders and bureaucrats whose knowledge adds value and perspective to their research. In Victoria, the Australian state of which Melbourne is the capital, they find enormous interest from within the State government, as well as society more generally, in forging ever closer relations with their homeland.
The essays contained in this volume capture some of the excitement of this endeavour. It is clear from these thoughtful papers that the engagement it embodies has been fruitful for all involved. The Emerging Leaders Fellowship is but one of many programs and activities run by the Australia India Institute which are bridging the gap between India and Australia, as befits the relationship between two of the Indo-Pacific region’s great democracies.