Former Ambassador to Israel David Sharma will give his first formal address to the community since the completion of his term at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies AGM on August 15.
The youngest person to be appointed an Australian ambassador, and the second Australian ambassador of Indian heritage, Sharma was appointed Canberra’s representative in Israel in 2013.
While there, he and his wife Rachel visited the Ziv Medical Centre in Sfatl, making him the first international representative to visit casualties of the Syrian civil war. He also distinguished himself by visiting the sites of terrorist attacks and making emphatic statements which condemned the incidents.
The day after the attack on the Sarona shopping centre in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016, he took his staff there as “a gesture of solidarity with the people of Israel. We wanted to say that if you are not afraid, we are not afraid. We received amazing and heartfelt responses from the Israelis, but we did not do it for the responses. We wanted to do something meaningful.”
Prior to his appointment, Sharma held a number of senior positions in government, including as head of the International Division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2010 until 2012, and at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC from 2006 to 2009.
In an interview with Ynet last month, he spoke of some of his greatest achievements as Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, including the burgeoning Australia-Israel trade relationship. “We also succeeded in advancing the hi-tech relations between the two countries, despite the massive distance – a 20-hour flight and 15,000 kilometres,” he said. “Australian start-ups are coming to Israel to get to know the local market, as do Australian investors. Today, 14 Israeli companies are on the Australian Stock Exchange. When I arrived in Israel, four Australian delegations visited a year; this year, there were 14.”
The Board of Deputies AGM will be held on Tuesday 15 August at 7:30pm in Darlinghurst. Inquiries: 9360 1600.