Over thirty-five industry experts from various sectors of energy, transport, and infrastructure attended the networking event, providing an opportunity for the SARIC participants to engage and learn from accomplished professionals in the field. Amongst the attendees, were representatives from prominent private and public organizations such as the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, TradeStart, Canaria Technologies, Engineers Australia, Suncorp Group, Wagner Group, and Energy Queensland. Ms. Fiona Simpson, member of the Queensland Parliament, graced the event, and SARIC participants found it to be immensely valuable in terms of knowledge and networking opportunities. This successful event has set the tone for future networking events both in Australia and South Asia, enabling the sharing of best practices, knowledge exchange and relationship building between Australian experts and South Asian infrastructure community.
The first networking event for the South Asia Regional Infrastructure Connectivity (SARIC) initiative took place in Brisbane on the 10th of March 2023, marking a momentous occasion for the program. Hosted by the University of Sunshine Coast (UniSC), the event was designed to promote gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI) in the infrastructure sector. Keynote speakers, Ms. Teresa Dyson and Ms. Farheen Khurrum delivered insightful speeches on the topic at the event. The networking event was linked to the first SARIC training- Building Blocks for Inclusive Regional Infrastructure (BBIRI). The first SARIC training was attended by twenty-two participants from the government and private sectors of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Speaking on the importance of the event, Shivani Manaktala, Team Lead at SARIC Training & Networking Services (TNS), expressed her gratitude towards the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for funding this strategic program and UniSC for organizing the networking event. She believes that this event will significantly contribute towards achieving SARIC’s overarching goal of enhancing economic linkages and promoting economic development in the region by leveraging Australian expertise. Supreet Khosla, Networking Lead at SARIC Training & Networking Services (TNS), emphasized the program’s commitment to ensuring equal benefits for all participants and the importance of building a sustainable network between South Asian experts and Australian experts from the sector. She further stated that the event had provided the direction for SARIC’s networking efforts and that more initiatives are in the pipeline.