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With the twin objectives of promoting awareness of the potential of the Indian market amongst Australian business people and promoting Indian awareness of trade and investment opportunities in Australia, the Council supported activities aimed at making bilateral trade opportunities better known and understood in both countries.
The Council-funded Australia-India Business Exchange Program seeks to provide young Indian and Australian business executives with first-hand knowledge and experience of each country's business, economic and social environment and technological infrastructure, and to develop bilateral business contact. The second exchange visit under the program took place during 1998-99 when Ms Jemma Dacre, of the Perth company Textiles for Nomads, worked in India as part of a collaborative textile industry project to assist the development of interior furnishing and upholstery textiles. Ms Dacre's visit brought together Australian wool production and design capabilities with Indian manufacturing expertise and pointed the way to further areas for collaboration between the Australian and Indian textile industries.
The Council agreed during 1998-99 to provide funding to the Australia-India Business Council for a third series of business exchanges, to take place in 1999-2000.
|Australian schoolteachers visiting India as part of a Council-funded Australia-India teacher exchange program explore the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri.|
The objective of the Council's education program is to raise the level of knowledge of India, and of Australia's relations with India, at the primary and secondary levels in Australian schools.
To further encourage the study of India in Australian schools, the Council agreed to provide funding to the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) for the 1998-99 Australia-India teacher exchange program, part of a series of such programs designed to give Australian teachers and educational administrators a working familiarity with India.
An important innovation of the 1998-99 AEF exchange was that as well as a visit to India by eighteen Australian teachers the project included a visit to Australia by six Indian teachers. Both visits were successful in fostering greater mutual understanding in the two countries' school systems.
Also under the education program, the Council provided funding to La Trobe University for the development of a Year 12 Hindi syllabus for Australian schools, following on from the earlier development, with AIC funding assistance, of a Year 11 Hindi syllabus.