Australia-India Council Board

Australia-India Council Board Members are appointed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Council's Chair is appointed by the Governor-General of Australia on the nomination of the Minister.

Board Members


Ashok Jacob

Mr Ashok Jacob

Mr Jacob is the Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Ellerston Capital. He is also a Director of Thorney Opportunities Ltd and MRF Ltd (Chennai, India). Mr Jacob holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science from St Joseph's College, Bangalore, India.

Deputy Chair

Mr Barry O’Farrell

Mr Barry O’Farrell

Mr O’Farrell was a member of the New South Wales Parliament from1995 until 2015 and served as the Premier of New South Wales from 2011 until 2014. Mr O’Farrell initiated and led annual trade missions to India to promote and grow economic, cultural and social links between New South Wales and the states of India. In 2012 his government established a Sister State relationship between New South Wales and the Indian state of Maharashtra. In 2013 during a visit to India Mr O’Farrell began work towards a similar agreement with Gujarat at a meeting with then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. In October 2016 Mr O’Farrell was appointed as the Special Envoy for the NSW-India Relationship.


Professor Robin Batterham

Professor Batterham is Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne and a former Chief Scientist of Australia. He has held senior research positions with mining corporation Rio Tinto and is concurrently serving as Chair of the Advisory Panel of the Australia India Strategic Research Fund. Professor Batterham is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering.

Mr Michael Kasprowicz

Michael Kasprowicz has uniquely established himself as a leading business professional specialising in the business of sport.

Following his 19 year career as a professional cricketer, Michael completed his MBA at the University of Queensland and developed Venture India, a consulting company specialising in business with India. He is also on the DFAT appointed Board of the Australia India Council.

Michael is the youngest Director on the independent, skill-based Board of Cricket Australia and has been active in the governance of the national body for the last 7 years. In 2016, Michael served as the interim Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Cricket before returning to the Cricket Australia Board.

Michael combines his experiences as an athlete, Director and administrator of one of Australia’s largest sports to bring a truly unique perspective to the challenges both sporting and non-sporting organisations.

Ms Neema Premji

Non-Executive Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Director of substantial government trading enterprises and several not-for-profit organisations for more than 21 years. Civil Engineer with extensive experience in the infrastructure, water, power, mining and transport sectors and a comprehensive understanding of the Federal, State and Local government planning and administration regimes. Currently Principal of Premji Board Services and previously employed by Exxon, Wesfarmers, Pacific Western and BHP research.

Ms Sheba Nandkeolyar

Ms Nandkeolyar is National Chair of the Australia India Business Council (AIBC) and Founding Chair of the AIBC’s Women in Business Chapter. She is also Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Multiconnexions Pty Ltd. Ms Nandkeolyar holds a Masters of Business Administration from Calcutta University.

Last Updated: 4 September 2018