Only a while ago, Australia was in the news for stray attacks on Indians living and working there. Now, an Australian citizen of Indian origin, Aiysha Sagar, has been officially appointed the brand ambassador of the Gold Coast.
The capital of Queensland is incidentally also where Aiysha had her first brush with fame as a singer. “I’d filmed my music videos on a beach there. The councillors were very impressed with the pictures. I was introduced to the mayor of Gold Coast, Tom Tate, who immediately asked me to be the ambassador,” she says.
The singer adds, “He was impressed with my educational background, my three degrees in accounting, law and financial planning as well as my profile.” The pictures, shot about 10 months ago, were part of the promotional material for Aiysha’s album. They were selected by the Gold Coast authorities this May and will be used for the city’s promotional campaign next month.
Did an Indian model with the Australian flag painted on her topless chest get unfavourable reactions? “Absolutely not,” says Aiysha, “Some viewers were conservative, but they were simply voicing their opinion. And I wasn’t even nude. I was wearing bikini pants with body art and most of the comments were very positive.”
Aiysha grew up in the Gold Coast and Brisbane. “I am a proud Australian and a proud Indian. My mother is from Chandigarh and father from Bengal,” she says. Aiysha who has five music albums so far, is currently in India to promote herself. “I’ve done over 300 live concerts in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Canada and India. I have had a few offers from Bollywood, which my manager is working on right now,” she claims.