Jacob Taylor

Jacob is a professional rugby player, a budding anthropologist, and an active advocate for improving cultural intelligence. Jacob has represented Australia for the past four years in his chosen sport of Rugby Sevens (the 20Twenty Cricket of Rugby Union). Alongside rugby, Jacob is fluent in Chinese, having developed a strong association with China through study, work, and sport. In 2010, Jacob completed an Arts Languages degree at Sydney University, receiving the University Medal for his honours thesis in social anthropology entitled ‘Tackling Rugby in China’.

In 2011, Jacob was a delegate at the Australia-China Youth Dialogue, before joining the organising team in 2012. In 2012, Jacob also co-founded the Engaging China Project, a national, youth-driven China-literacy platform designed to ignite the idea of China in Australian high schools. Within academia, Jacob is interested in how the human body and mind play a central role in cultural, social, and political interactions. Jacob is bound for Oxford University to pursue these questions as the 2013 NSW Rhodes Scholar-elect.

Nathan Bracken

Since winning the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award in 2001, Nathan Bracken has continued to receive some of the highest accolades in world cricket throughout his career. Nathan is the second fastest Australian to reach 100 international ODI wickets, equal with other bowling legends Shane Warne and Dennis Lillee.

Nathan’s high profile in cricket also stretches around the world, having appeared on ESPN Asia, commentating with a number of media outlets in India and writing for a number of media outlets in Dubai. He also donates a lot of his time to charity, having worked with Variety Club, Camp Quality, Bonnie Babies Foundation, McGrath Foundation, UNICEF, Women In Need, Ovarian Cancer Australia and Mayumarri.
As The BME Agency’s Director of Sport & Entertainment, Nathan uses his intimate knowledge and experience of the sport and entertainment industry in Australia and internationally to create and manage sport and entertainment related opportunities and relationships across the marketing, events and talent management divisions of the Agency.

Sharath M Gayakwad

Paralympic swimmer, 2012 London Paralympian, won 6 medals at the 2014 Asian Para games incheon, have over 40 international medals and 70 national medals.

Samantha Gash

From a background as a corporate lawyer, Samantha is now an endurance athlete, keynote presenter, author and social entrepreneur. Her thirst for adventure, experience and thrill for life has allowed her to discover what she cares about the most – achieving social change through the vehicle of adventure and running. Samantha has run through some of the most extreme and inhospitable locations on the planet. She has run 379kms non stop across the Simpson Desert for a domestic program with Save the Children. Her most recent adventure had her running 1968kms across South Africa in 32 days, examining access and the connection between feminine hygiene products and education.

In August 2016, Samantha is running close to 4000kms across India to explore the barriers to quality education.

Lisa Sthalekar

An all-rounder who retired from International Cricket in 2013, Lisa made her debut for Australia in 2001 and has been part of four successful World Cup victories, with the last one being held in India, 2013. During her time with the Australian team, she was vice-captain from 2006 – 2008 and had the privilege of captaining her country for a few matches. Lisa is the first player in women’s cricket history to have scored over 1000 runs and taken 100 wickets. At a state level, Lisa made her debut for NSW in 1998 and has been part of winning an incredible 15 WNCL titles out of a possible 17, leading the Breakers to five consecutive titles as Captain. She is the highest all-time wicket-taker in the WNCL, claiming 150 scalps, as well as being the most capped player in the competition. Apart from representing her country and state, Lisa published her autobiography, Shaker, which she launched in India in March 2012.

Off the field, Lisa is still heavily involved in cricket, as a specialist coach with the Australian women’s team and the NSW Breakers. In addition to her coaching, Lisa has joined the ABC Grandstand commentary team for Test and One-Day International Matches this season.
Finally, Lisa is the first female appointed on the Australian Cricketers Association Executive committee, and is co-founder of the Women’s ICL that looks to create opportunity, performance and education through the vehicle of cricket both on and off the field.

Sam Almaliki

Sam Almaliki is the Senior Manager for Community Engagement at Cricket Australia, overseeing the sport’s engagement strategies for female, multicultural, Indigenous and disability communities. In addition to being passionate about Sports Administration, Sam has a deep interest in agriculture. He recently launched Almaliki & Co, a start-up consultancy firm facilitating the trade of agricultural commodities between Australia and Asia. The firm brings together strong industry networks and in-depth cultural understanding to grow and maintain agricultural trade links in the region. Sam serves on numerous Boards and Committees including being a member of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Community Advisory Committee and the Board of the Victorian Chapter of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC). He has previously served as a Commissioner on the New South Wales (NSW) Community Relations Commission (CRC) providing policy advice to the NSW Government on multicultural affairs. Sam has a keen interest in International Relations and Trade particularly in the context of an Asian Century and subsequently is an active member of organisations furthering these causes. These include the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) and the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC).

Academically, he has a background in Law. He is passionate about the on-going cultural, political and economic engagement of Australians with their Asian neighbours and friends. He is a devoted student and observer of India’s history and culture and its on-going remarkable economic and political development.

Surendra Poonia

Major Surendra Poonia graduated from the Armed Forces Medical College, and was the first from his village to become an army officer and a doctor. He broke all the long distance races record held at AFMC, Pune, and after obtaining his MBBS degree was commissioned in the Indian Army in Aug 2001. He later served with the Para Special Forces for 5 years in Jammu and Kashmir and in the UN Peace Keeping Mission at DRC (Congo) for 1-year managing international peace missions.

In 2008, he was selected for the President’s Bodyguard, and served under two Presidents of India -Smt Pratibha Devi Singh Patil and Shri Pranab Mukherjee. In 2010, Major Poonia became the first Indian sportsman to win three medals in the World Medical Games at Croatia. Subsequently, in 2011 at Las-Palmas, Spain, he won 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. In 2012 he won 2 gold medals and 5 silver medals in Antalya, Turkey, becoming the first athlete to win consecutive gold medals in the Power Lifting event for 3 years in a row.

From July 2008 to Sept 2012, Dr Surendra Poonia was one of the core team member involved in implementing ‘Roshni’ – a green innovative concept. Today, he is a sportsperson, a fitness expert, a social worker, a youth icon and a speaker combining his experience as a soldier, a paratrooper and a medical doctor. On Jan 26, 2012, he was felicitated by ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ (VSM) by The Honourable President of Republic of India for his ‘Distinguished Service of an Exceptional Order’ in field of Sports. Awarded ‘Most Entertaining Sportsman of the year’-Male by Reliance Big FM in 2013. Awarded 4 times by ‘Chief of Army Staff Commendation’ medal by The Chief of Indian Army for meritorious service .

Hakimmudin Habibulla

Hakim, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant at Winning Matters Consulting Pvt. Ltd., is an Olympian swimmer (2000 Sydney Olympic Games) with over 20 years of experience in the Indian sporting domain. Beyond his illustrious sporting career, he has worked closely with Government, Industry, Public Sector, NGOs, International/National Sporting events, High Performance Sports Centres, and Elite Athletes and Teams in India and beyond in areas ranging from Policy to Programs towards enabling Participation and Performance.

Hakim, an engineer by education, returned to the Indian sports domain in 2006, after a five year stint with Tata Consultancy Services Limited, to explore ways in which he could contribute to realise India’s sporting potential. Prior to starting Winning Matters Consulting, Hakim was the co-Founder and Director at GoSports (India) Pvt. Ltd. (2006-2010) and also the Founder Trustee of GoSportsFoundation (2008-2011).

Hakim has chaired and spoken at various prestigious Sports Conferences including FICCI’s Global Sports Summits ‘TURF’ and “Delhi 2010: The Games and the Commonwealth” (An initiative of The Times of India and South Asia Research Foundation). During the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, He was a part of the elite panel of experts on Times Now, India’s top English news channel.

Jacob Taylor

Jacob is a professional rugby player, a budding anthropologist, and an active advocate for improving cultural intelligence. Jacob has represented Australia for the past four years in his chosen sport of Rugby Sevens (the 20Twenty Cricket of Rugby Union). Alongside rugby, Jacob is fluent in Chinese, having developed a strong association with China through study, work, and sport. In 2010, Jacob completed an Arts Languages degree at Sydney University, receiving the University Medal for his honours thesis in social anthropology entitled ‘Tackling Rugby in China’.

In 2011, Jacob was a delegate at the Australia-China Youth Dialogue, before joining the organising team in 2012. In 2012, Jacob also co-founded the Engaging China Project, a national, youth-driven China-literacy platform designed to ignite the idea of China in Australian high schools. Within academia, Jacob is interested in how the human body and mind play a central role in cultural, social, and political interactions. Jacob is bound for Oxford University to pursue these questions as the 2013 NSW Rhodes Scholar-elect.

Nathan Bracken

Since winning the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award in 2001, Nathan Bracken has continued to receive some of the highest accolades in world cricket throughout his career. Nathan is the second fastest Australian to reach 100 international ODI wickets, equal with other bowling legends Shane Warne and Dennis Lillee.

Nathan’s high profile in cricket also stretches around the world, having appeared on ESPN Asia, commentating with a number of media outlets in India and writing for a number of media outlets in Dubai. He also donates a lot of his time to charity, having worked with Variety Club, Camp Quality, Bonnie Babies Foundation, McGrath Foundation, UNICEF, Women In Need, Ovarian Cancer Australia and Mayumarri.
As The BME Agency’s Director of Sport & Entertainment, Nathan uses his intimate knowledge and experience of the sport and entertainment industry in Australia and internationally to create and manage sport and entertainment related opportunities and relationships across the marketing, events and talent management divisions of the Agency.