Australia's Central Queensland University (CQU) has appointed Dr. Martand Joshi, former honorary consul of India in Melbourne, as its international cultural advisor.
"Dr. Joshi's experience as a diplomat along with his teaching and studies around the world make him the ideal person to raise cultural awareness among CQU staff and students," a university press release quoted CQU Melbourne campus director Darryl Stewart as saying.
CQU is Australia's largest publicly funded regional university. While the main campus of CQU is located in North Rockhampton, Queensland, it also has campuses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast besides an overseas campus in Fiji.
Joshi's new appointment will base him in the university's Sydney and Melbourne campuses.
"More than 8,000 students, representing 40 different nations, who study at CQU Melbourne and Sydney will benefit directly from Dr. Joshi's experience," Stewart said.
"This is the first of the appointments being made to enhance the cultural and educational experience of students studying at CQU international campuses."
On his part, Joshi said that he was looking forward to working with the staff and all international students at CQU.
"I see this as an opportunity to work with a highly reputable organisation that provides a caring and close relationship with their students," he said.
He said that he himself experienced a "culture shock" as an international student when, after completion of his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Bombay (now Mumbai), he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study at Princeton University in New Jersey in the United States.
After gaining his Ph.D from the University of California, he was a lecturer at the University of Georgia and the University of California.
He then moved to Australia in 1970 and joined RMIT (formerly Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) as a lecturer and retired as a professor of geology in 1999.
Apart from his work as an academician, he has also been devoting himself to actively assisting the Indian community in addressing social and religious concerns.
He has been associated with the consulate of India in Melbourne since its inception in 1983 until recently, when he retired as honorary consul of India.
"I am accepting the position of Cultural Advisor to Melbourne and Sydney international campuses of the CQU to assist both staff and students in understanding each other's cultures and to offer appropriate solutions as I see fit to solve any problems," the press release quoted Joshi as telling his well-wishers after his appointment.
"Hopefully this process will enhance the working of the university," he said.