Dinner with Ambassador Dave Sharma
Australian Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma was the special guest at an intimate dinner with leadership of the Zionist Federation of Australia and Zionism Victoria last week.
The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity for Ambassador Sharma to share his experience, insights and to highlight the many significant partnership opportunities that are being developed between Israel and Australia
Sharma has been Australia’s Ambassador to Israel for over three years and was warmly welcomed by ZFA President, Dr Danny Lamm: “Thank you for your work at the Embassy, it feels like you’ve been working there for 20 years, because the value of your contribution far exceeds the three years you have been there.”
The ZFA has particularly benefitted from the support of Dave Sharma and the Australian Embassy working with youth on various gap year and long-term Israel programs. Sharma literally got his hands dirty in the “Clean up Israel” initiative of the Australian Embassy in September 2016, where he was joined by Australian gap year participants. Sharma has generously welcomed members of the Australian parliament and the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce and has worked with many Israeli Members of Knesset on their Australian visits, including notably the recent visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Sharma has done all this with infectious energy and his genuinely committed support of Israel.
Dave Sharma said: “It has been a really positive term and I am sad for it to come to an end. The highlight was the Netanyahu visit, including the reception, and the enthusiasm, not just by politicians and the community, but by the general public too.”
Sharma said that PM Netanyahu and his contingent were genuinely overwhelmed by the warmth with which they were greeted. He spoke of the tremendous impact the Australian Landing Pad, a dedicated space for Australian entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv, has had over the past nine months since its inception.
Sharma reflected that the saddest part for him is not being in Israel to commemorate the centenary of the Australian Light Horse charge as his term finishes in July. Sharma believes this event provides a real opportunity to educate the younger generations about the ties between our two countries.
Zionism Victoria President Sharene Hambur thanked Sharma for: “…always taking the time to speak with us whenever you are in Australia and we look forward to continuing the relationship even when you finish up in Israel and return to “civilian” life in Sydney.”