Australian Ambassador Visits AMHSI

On December 16, Australian Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, visited AMHSI’s campus in Hod HaSharon.  

First up, the ambassador performed wonderfully in a difficult interview with Bialik students, Jonah Wise and Elana Forbes, at our campus radio station. The ambassador shared what an ambassador does (acts as a country’s representative to relate Ausralian policies and to interpret a country’s political, economic, and social situations), how he chose a career in public service after a year of medical school, his work in organizing US President, Barack Obama’s visit to Australia, his belief in social media as a tool for diplomacy, and Australia’s response to the recent terrorist attack in Sydney.

Following the interview, Jonah and Elana led the ambassador back to the synagogue where Bialik students had the opportunity to hear the ambassador speak.  He touched on many of the same issues before opening up the session to Q&A.  The students asked difficult questions and were curious to hear the ambassador’s perspective on the past summer’s war, Australia’s view on the present Israeli-Palestinian situation, and what it’s like to live life in a Jewish country as a non-Jew.

The ambassador was highly impressed by the students and wrote up a summary of their visit on his Facebook page!

See below for a few pictures from the event and a transcript of the radio interview!

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[Beginning of interview]

Hi I am Jonah.

I’m Elana.

And we are students from Bialik college in Melbourne currently studying at Alexander Muss High School in Israel.

Students:

We are here with Dr. Dave Sharma, Australian ambassador to Israel. Thank you so much for coming and agreeing to the interview.

Dave:

It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

Students:

So, we just want to find out a little bit about yourself.

Dave:

Of course, I’ve been…ambassador to Israel now for the past 18 months. It’s the best [post] I’ve ever had, it’s a great country, as you are discovering on your trip here, and it’s also a very important relationship for Australia. I’m relatively young for an Australian ambassador; I’m 38, and I’ve been in Foreign Ministry for the last 15-16 years. So I’ve come to this through a career in Foreign Service, and have also served overseas previously in Washington DC and Papa New Guinea.

Students:

What you do in your role as an ambassador and did you always want to be a diplomat?

Dave:

The role of an ambassador varies; basically it means I’m Australia’s representative here in Israel. So I’m a spokesperson for government policies and an advocate for Australian government interests, and sort of the eyes and ears here for the Australian government in Israel to tell them what’s happening in Israel that matters to Australians; it might be politically, it might be economically, socially or culturally. So it’s kind of like I’m running a field office for a major multinational except it’s a government role in the private sector. I’ve always wanted to be a diplomat, I think, I actually studied medicine for a year, so for a while there I wanted to be a doctor, I think when I was studying medicine I realized I had an interest in world affairs that I wasn’t going to satisfy by being a doctor, it was always going to be a hobby rather than a profession, and I’d rather it to become a profession. So it wasn’t something I thought I’d do when I was growing up, but when I got to about 20 or 21 I sort of was attracted to this path as a way of living, working overseas and learning a bit more about the world.

To read the rest of the transcript, click here.

To read the article published on J-Wire, click here.

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