Indian-origin Harinder Sidhu is Australia’s next High Commissioner to India. She will replace the outgoing High Commissioner Patrick Suckling. “India is one of Australia’s closest and most significant partners in the Indo-Pacific region. It is our 10th largest trading partner and our two-way investment is worth over USD 20 billion,” Australian foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop said while announcing the new High Commissioner. Here are five things to know about her.
- Sidhu who has an Indian background had migrated to Australia as a child with her family from Singapore
- Sindhu, a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been also serving as First Assistant Secretary of the Multilateral Policy Division.
- She is known for being the Climate Change negotiator that brought her accolades and attention. As a senior official in the Department of Climate Change for several years she will be important in the conversation with India, which is now a key player on environment issues. It will be watched whether the world can meet the new carbon reduction commitments from last year’s Paris climate change conference and Sidhu’s knowledge would be useful.
- Sidhu is taking over the post at a time when Australia is trying to deepening its relationship with India in both security and economic fields as the country emerges as the fastest growing major economy in the world.
- She has previously served overseas in Moscow and Damascus.