Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen is the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and a senior member of the Labor Government’s ministry. He was first elected to the Australian Parliament in October 2004.

Since taking up the immigration portfolio in September 2010, Chris’s responsibilities have intersected economic, social policy and national security matters. He has overseen significant changes to Australia’s student visa program and reforms to the skilled migration program to better position the Australian economy into the future.Chris also played a key role in bringing innovative solutions to irregular maritime arrival issues including the establishment of a Regional Cooperation Framework with other countries in the region. Chris was elevated to Cabinet as Minister for Human Services in June 2009 and also served as Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law; Assistant Treasurer; and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs. During that time he maintained responsibility and a personal commitment to policies that will continue to develop Australia as a financial services hub.

He enacted the largest reform agenda to consumer and competition policy in Australia in decades through the criminalisation of cartel conduct; reducing barriers of entry for foreign investment; and empowering consumers through the introduction of a national unfair contract terms law and a component pricing regime. Immediately before being elected to Parliament, Chris was chief-of-staff to Carl Scully, then New South Wales Minister for Roads, Housing and Leader of the House. This followed his time as Mayor of Fairfield and President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. Chris holds a Bachelor ofEconomics from the University of Sydney.

Dr Indu Shahani

Indu Shahani, Principal of H.R. College of Commerce & Economics was appointed Sheriff of Mumbai on Jan. 5, 2008 and is now serving in her third term.The Sheriff of Mumbai is an honorary post and is a link between the citizens and the Government, providing an opportunity to make a difference within the communities of Mumbai.

Dr. Indu Shahani’s nomination to Boards of large National and Global Companies has provided the impetus to the platform for significant collaboration between Industry and Academia, as well as bringing diversity to the Boards of these Corporations given the width of her experience.

Martin Ferguson

Martin was born in Sydney in 1953 and was educated at St Patrick’s, Strathfield. He has a Bachelor of Economics degree (Hons) from Sydney University. Martin was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Batman in 1996 and served continuously as a Shadow Minister until the election of the Labor Government on 3 December 2007. His portfolios included Employment and Training (March 1996-August 1997); Employment and Training, Population and Immigration and Assistant to the Leader on Multicultural Affairs (August 1997-October 1998); Employment, Training and Population (October 1998 to 3 October 1999); Regional Development, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Services and Population (October1999-November 2001); Regional and Urban Development, Transport andInfrastructure (November 2001-August 2002); Regional Development, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism (August 2002-July 2003); Urban and Regional Development, Transport and Infrastructure (July 2003-October 2004); Primary Industries, Resources and Tourism (October 2004-June 2005); Primary Industries, Resources, Forestry and Tourism (June 2005-December 2006) and Transport, Roads and Tourism (December 2006- December 2007).

Previously, Martin was President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) after working for the Federated Miscellaneous Workers’ Union of Australia since 1975. As president of the ACTU, Martin was a member of advisory councils and foundations including the Social Security Review, the Economic Planning Advisory Council, the National Labour Consultative Council and the Advance Australia Foundation. Martin was also a member of the ILO Governing Body from 1990 to 1996. Martin and his wifePatricia have two children. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 1996.

Barry O’Farrell

Barry O’Farrell was sworn in as the 43rd Premier of NSW on 28 March 2011. Barry was born in Melbourne. His father’s army career saw the family move to Darwin where Barry completed his schooling. In 1980 he graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Australian History and Aboriginal Studies. Barry has a strong background in public policy having worked in the field at both State and Federal levels. Immediately prior to his election to Parliament he was State Director of the NSW Liberal Party.

Barry has been a member of the Liberal Party since 1980 and was first elected to the NSW Parliament as the Member for Northcott in 1995. He has been the Member for Ku-ring-gai since 1999. He served as Leader of the Opposition between 2007 and 2011. As well as Premier, Barry is the Minister for Western Sydney. Barry leads a Government which is focused on returning quality services to the people of NSW, building and renovating the State’s infrastructure and maintaining a strong Budget position. Barry is married to Rosemary and they have two sons. He is active in his local community, is a keen bushwalker and supporter of the Wests Tigers

T.K.A. Nair

Shri T. K. A. Nair, Adviser to the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, was Principal Secretary to Prime Minister till he took over his present assignment on 3rd October 2011. Before joining the Prime Minister as Principal Secretary in May,2004 he was Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board, Govt. of India.Shri Nair has to his credit an unblemished record of distinguished service spanning over four and a half decades with the State Governments of Punjab and Kerala and the Government of India. He was born on the Punjab cadre of the Indian Administrative Service and in the hierarchy of the Punjab

Shri Nair has to his credit an unblemished record of distinguished service spanning over four and a half decades with the State Governments of Punjab and Kerala and the Government of India. He was born on the Punjab cadre of the Indian Administrative Service and in the hierarchy of the Punjab administration he held several important positions including those of the Managing Director,Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation and Principal Secretary, Department of Industries.

Before joining as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Shri Nair was actively associated with several governmental and non-governmental organisations including Lead India and the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Thiruvananthapuram and several corporates.

Shri Nair has been the recipient of several awards including the Rotary Sake of Honour Award, Global Organisation of Person of Indian Origin Honour Role, K.P.S. Menon Award 2009, Swami Vivekananda National Award – 2011 and Bharat Ratna Gulzarilal Nanda Bharat Sevak Award – 2011.

John W.H. Denton

John W.H. Denton is a Partner and the Chief Executive Officer of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, a premium independent law firm based in Australia.

John is a global leader in three arenas; a legal expert in the areas of government, workplace relations, and international trade and investment; a national business leader, and an international adviser on global policy. His advice is sought by the nation’s most prominent corporations and by governments and international bodies alike.

John is one of three Prime Ministerial representatives on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC); Chair of ABAC’s Finance and Economics Working Group; Chair of the Business Council of Australia’s (BCA) Global Engagement Taskforce; board member of Asialink and Asia Society; Chairman (emeritus) of the Experts Group on Trade and Investment in Indonesia and a founding member of the Australia-China CEO Roundtable meetings.

John is one of two originating members of the B20, the business reference group of the G20 and is a member of the Australian B20 Leadership Group. He is also a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) G20 CEO Advisory Group, the primary body for establishing the direction of business input within the G20 process.

John was a member of the Australian Government advisory panel overseeing the development of the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper. He was on the Government’s Cabinet sub-committee for the White Paper review process published in October 2012 and later a member of the Strategic Advisory Board advising the Government on implementation and emerging policy issues.

John was a government-appointed panel member of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness and has been Chairman of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Australia for more than a decade.

He is a former diplomat, has a double degree in Arts and Law, and is a Harvard Business School alumnus.

He is recognised as one of the best labour law practitioners in the Asia Pacific by Asialaw Leading Lawyers Survey and one of Australia’s best government and trade lawyers in the Best Lawyers peer survey.

Alan Tudge

Alan Tudge was first elected to the federal seat of Aston in August 2010 and was appointed to the role of Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister following the 2013 election.

Prior to entering parliament, Alan spent most of his career in business, including several years with the Boston Consulting Group in Australia, Malaysia and New York, and running his own advisory business.

He was also Senior Adviser to former Education Minister Brendan Nelson and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

He also spent several years as the Deputy Director of Noel Pearson’s Cape York Institute where he oversaw the design of the welfare reform program, which is now being implemented and seen as a model for the rest of Australia. His experience with Cape York began in 2000 where he was the first corporate secondee into remote Indigenous Australia. Jawon which has now sent 1000 secondees from Australia’s leading companies.

Alan has had a long term commitment to improving our education systems. As well as his work in parliament,Alan is a co-founder of Teach for Australia, a national non-profit which supports top graduates into disadvantaged schools.

Alan and his family are activity involved in the local community, including as Chairman of the Knox Red Shield appeal, Patron of the Knox Cancer Council Relay for Life, involvement in his local church, local Lions and honorary Rotarian. He is a proud supporter and sponsor of numerous sporting clubs and other non-profits.

He was born and educated in the eastern outskirts of Melbourne where his parents were new immigrants to Australia. His first jobs included apple and potato picking, factory laboring, bar work and sales assistant at Myer Dandenong.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts from Melbourne University (where he was Student President) and an MBA from Harvard University.

He is a keen sportsman and proud North Melbourne supporter.

He lives in Wantirna South with his wife, Teri, and their two daughters.

Dr. Venu Vasudevan

A native of Kerala and a medical doctor by training, Dr. Venu Vasudevan joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1990.

He has served the Tourism and Culture sectors in a variety of capacities. It was during his tenure as Director, Kerala Tourism, and later as Secretary, Department of Tourism, that Kerala transformed its market positioning and built up a strong private-public partnership, culminating in Kerala being recognised by the National Geographic Traveler as one of the 50 ‘must-see’ destinations of the world. Kerala Travel Mart, the biggest international travel mart in India, is his brainchild. He served the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and played a pivotal role in formulating the ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

While working in the tourism sector, a key interest area was the interface between cultural heritage and tourism, that led him to invest personal time in exploring spaces for genuine interaction between the visitor and the cultural legacy of Kerala.

Two projects designed by him have won international awards instituted by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). ‘Utsavam’, a project to revive the traditional art forms of Kerala and provide income streams to artistes, won the PATA Gold Award 2008. ‘A Day with the sters’, a guided tour of Kerala Kalamandalam, a school for performing arts, won ‘honourable mention’ in 2005. During his tenure as Secretary, Cultural Affairs, he was instrumental in setting up a new museum, ‘Keralam’. He played a key role in the improvement and upgradations of the museums and archives of Kerala.

He spent 8 years in the Culture sector, serving the Central and State governments in various capacities. He was Director General of National Museum from January 2013 to May 2015. Vice Chancellor, National Museum Institute; Joint Secretary in charge of Akademi’s, Libraries, Archives and Museums.

Actively pursuing his passion for theatre, he is an actor in the theatre group ‘Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre’. With parts in four recent productions, Venu has been touring with the group within the country.

Mr Sumant Batra

Sumant is a corporate and policy lawyer of global eminence, writer and columnist. He has authored various papers, and contributes articles to a number of publications including newspapers. His other initiatives include setting up of creative enterprises which include The Taj Colloquium, Kumaon Literary Festival, a boutique hotel and a museum.

He is a senior international consultant to IMF, World Bank Group and OECD, has worked extensively on policy matters in Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and South Asia. Rated as India’s No. 1 insolvency lawyer by Legal 500, his contributions to reforms in Indian insolvency system are well-recognised.

Sumant has held leadership positions in prestigious multi-lateral, global and national organisations. He is a frequent speaker at various international and domestic conferences. He is an avid collector of retro-curious. He has founded a number of initiatives to preserve and promote Indian heritage in the field of art through a not for profit body, NHP Centre founded by him.

More about him can be found on

Sundeep Sahni

Sundeep has over nine years’ experience as an entrepreneur and leader. Before joining Ola as Head of New Initiatives, Sundeep was the Co-founder and Managing Director of Lazada Indonesia. His work has taken him around the world, ranging from New York and London to Egypt and countries in South East Asia. He is an alumnus of INSEAD and Boston College, USA. He is also a Certified Financial Analyst.