Cultural collaboration an important component of Australia India business linkages
A seven member senior heritage delegation from AusHeritage is in India as part of the Australia Business Week in India. In partnership with AusTrade, AusHeritage members are interacting with Indian heritage peak bodies in Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur from January 12-16, 2015. In addition to meetings with Archaeological Survey of India, National Museum, INTACH, School of Planning and Architecture (New Delhi) and Chatrapathi Shivaji Museum (Mumbai), a workshop was also held at the City Palace in Jaipur focussed on the World Heritage listed Rajasthan Hill Forts. AusHeritage is Australia’s international cultural heritage network. The Australian delegation includes the Chairman of AusHeritage Vinod Daniel, Deputy Chairman Roger Beeston and heritage specialists Kevin Sumption, Geoffrey Down, Robyn Riddett, Sue Hodges and Keir Reeves.
“AusHeritage has been working closely with India on several cultural heritage projects over the last 15 years and I am delighted that AusTrade in organising this Business week in India has identified Cultural Heritage Service collaboration as a key stream within the business discussions between Australia and India, said Mr Vinod Daniel, Chairman of AusHeritage. He added that with contribution to Corporate Social Responsibility being mandated as a requirement for Indian companies, the cultural heritage sector in India stands in good stead to benefit.
The Senior Australian Trade Commissioner Ms Nicola Watkinson said that the 450 member Australian business delegation, led by Australia’s Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, was the largest business delegation to India and was delighted that Cultural Heritage Services collaboration was an important focus of the week.
Mr Roger Beeston, Director of RBA Conservation Architects, having been a regular visitor to India for over 30 years and currently involved in several heritage building conservation projects there, noted the significant escalation of potential collaborations in the sector which will inevitably ensue from this AusTrade initiative.
Mr Kevin Sumption, Director the National Maritime Museum expressed his keenness to work more closely with Indian Museums and exploring opportunities for Indian museum professionals to travel to Australia.
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai
Through support from the Australia-India Council (AIC), AusHeritage members have worked on many projects in India including providing assistance for designing an international exhibition gallery for the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai, developing a charter for conservation of buildings for the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture, Capacity building for Museums in Assam, Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Delhi, Conservation assistance for the J C Bose House in Kolkata, and Development of a conservation management plan for the Kamaraj Memorial House in Virudhunagar. In 2000, thirty three cultural artefacts from Erode were repatriated from Australia to the Government Museum in Chennai.
AusHeritage has memorandums of understanding with INTACH and the Madras Christian College. During 2015, AusHeritage would be assisting Dr Ambedkar Museum Trust (Nagpur) in redevelopment of the Museum in Chicholi Village as well as facilitating professional exchanges between Australian and Indian heritage practitioners.
Highlights of events during the Australian Business Week can be viewed at http://www.austrade.gov.au/australia-business-week-in-india