When Rudra Kumar Nepal reached Canberra as a Nepalese Ambassador to Australia in 2012, it was, in his own words “a home-coming experience” for him.
In 1993, nearly 25 years ago, Mr. Nepal arrived in Canberra to pursue his diploma in International Relations under the Australian Sponsored Training Scholarship (ASTAS) program. He was one of the first batches of students to underatke the program launched by the Australian National University.
At the time he had not imagined that he would one day return as an Ambassador for Australia.
Reliving his academic experience, he remembers being new to the Australian academics, even computers, and how much the experience benefitted him in the long run.
“I graduated with a diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade; so both foreign affairs and trade components were there. It was very helpful in the later part of my career” said Mr. Nepal.
As a diplomat, Mr. Nepal found the relationship between Australia and Nepal to be very positive.
In April 2015, he recalls, when earthquake ‘Gorkha’ hit Nepal, the Australian government and its people provided invaluable support. As the Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Nepal coordinated with the Australian Government, organizations and Nepalese communities in Australia to provide relief to those affected.
“There exists a people-to-people link between these two countries” said Mr. Nepal.
Australian education has attracted many Nepalese students, and in turn, the Nepalese community in Australia has contributed wonderfully to the prosperity of Australia as well.
“I tried to encourage them to strengthen the strong link between Australia and Nepal. Government to government links are excellent, we have no problems. We have also worked for each other in international forums” Mr. Nepal said.
Mr. Nepal sees the contribution that Australia Awards has made in Nepal as a drive for ‘human resource development’, as Australia Awards scholars pursue degrees in Australia and come back to Nepal to contribute to national development.
Mr. Nepal also thanks the Australian government for its remarkable support in community forestry, health, education and enterprise development in Nepal.
Serving to the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Foreign Service in various capacities overseas, Mr. Nepal retired recently.
An energetic Ambassador full of ideas and experience, Mr. Nepal said, “I am retired, yet I am not tired!”
Photo Credit: Australia Awards Nepal
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