Devanand Noel "Dave" Sharma (born 21 December 1975) is an Australian politician and former public servant and diplomat. He is a member of the Liberal Party and was elected to the House of Representatives at the 2019 federal election, representing the New South Wales seat of Wentworth. He previously served as head of the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2010–2012) and as Ambassador to Israel (2013–2017). His appointment to the latter post, at the age of 37, made him one of Australia's youngest ambassadors and the second Australian ambassador of Indian heritage.
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
18 May 2019
|Preceded by||Kerryn Phelps|
|Ambassador of Australia to Israel|
16 May 2013 – 19 June 2017
|Nominated by||Bob Carr|
|Preceded by||Andrea Faulkner|
|Succeeded by||Chris Cannan|
Devanand Noel Sharma
21 December 1975
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Early life and education
Sharma was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1975. His father is a Trinidadian of Indian heritage and his mother was from Sydney. His family moved to Turramurra in Sydney, in 1979. Sharma's mother died of breast cancer, and he was raised by his father.
Sharma studied a Bachelor of Arts at Cambridge University between 1994 and 1997. He initially studied natural sciences but transferred to law in 1995 (his second year) and graduated in law with first class honours. He then returned to Sydney and studied medicine at Sydney Medical School. Following a year of studying medicine, he began working as a public servant for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and completed a master's degree in International Relations through Deakin University.
Sharma began working for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1999 and held posts both in Australia and overseas. From 2004 to 2006 he served as the legal adviser to Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and was then appointed to the Australian Embassy in Washington from 2006 until 2009.
From 2010 to 2012 Sharma was the head of the International Division in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He advised the Prime Minister Julia Gillard during G-20 summits (including as the Prime Minister's sous-sherpa) and East Asia summits and was involved in international diplomatic events which occurred in Australia including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2011 and during US President Barack Obama's visit to Australia in November 2011.
Sharma served as the Assistant Secretary, responsible for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Africa Branch between 2012 and 2013. In November 2012, Sharma led a visit to Abuja, Nigeria and participated in talks with the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser as well as with officials from the Economic Community of West African States.
Sharma was appointed the Ambassador to Israel by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr, on 16 May 2013 replacing Andrea Faulkner. Sharma presented his credentials to Israeli President Shimon Peres on 8 August 2013.
Several sources incorrectly cited Sharma, aged 37, as the youngest person to be appointed as an Australian ambassador. However, at least four others had been appointed at younger ages. He is the second Australian Ambassador of Indian heritage, the first being Peter Varghese.
While in Israel, Sharma and his wife Rachel, visited casualties of the Syrian civil war in the Ziv Medical Center in Zefat. This visit made him the first international representative to visit casualties of the war.
In April 2017, Julie Bishop announced that Chris Cannan would succeed Sharma as Ambassador to Israel in mid-2017. Cannan began his appointment as Ambassador on 19 June 2017.
As of 2018[update] Sharma was chairman of Shekel Brainweigh Ltd, an Israeli technology company. He was reported to be helping a number of other Israeli technology companies to enter the Australian market.
In January 2018, Sharma joined Kelly+Partners Chartered Accountants to lead the Government, Incentives & Innovation team in their Sydney CBD office to provide, among other services, specialist advice on government procurement processes for major projects, procurement and bids.
Following the August 2018 resignation of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, Sharma was selected as the Liberal Party candidate for the resulting Wentworth by-election. In response to criticism from John Hewson, Sharma has stated that the Liberal Party has a "good record" on climate change, and is "doing enough" to meet the Paris Agreement. Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps won the by-election, but Sharma was pre-selected again to run as the Liberal candidate for Wentworth at the 2019 Australian federal election, and won the seat from Phelps.
Sharma was a legal adviser to former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer from 2004-06 at the time of the Australian East Timor spying scandal.
In May 2014 Sharma caused a diplomatic incident by meeting with the Israeli Housing and Construction Minister, Uri Ariel, in Israeli government offices located in occupied East Jerusalem, resulting in a formal complaint from the chief Palestinian UN negotiator to Julie Bishop, the then Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the meeting may be deemed as aiding and abetting … illegal Israeli policies.
After his preselection as the candidate for Wentworth, Sharma apologised for an opinion piece published the previous June in The Sydney Morning Herald where he argued that school infrastructure was underused and teachers worked only three-quarters the hours of a full-time job.
In January 2020, Melissa Parke sued Liberal MP Dave Sharma for defamation over a tweet in which he accused her of anti-semitism and "trafficking in conspiracy theories". She also sued Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, and the West Australian and Herald Sun newspapers over statements that she alleged defamed her. On 8 January 2020 the West Australian published an apology and published an article by Parke. On 26 March 2020, the Herald Sun printed an apology to Parke and published her op-ed entitled Criticism Not Same As Racism. In October 2020, the Federal Court dismissed Parke’s defamation action against Sharma, but 'was entitled to take up an earlier settlement offer from' David Sharma.
Dave Sharma has been criticized for a number of share purchases. On 17 March 2020, he purchased a parcel of Qantas shares. The next day the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced a $715 million relief package for the aviation industry. On 30 June 2020, Dave Sharma purchased CSL shares. A couple of months later, on 7 September, the Prime Minister announced a $1.7 billion supply and production agreement between the Australian Government and pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and CSL. And then in November, the PM revealed a vaccine manufacturing plant at a cost of $800 million would be established in Melbourne.
On International Women's Day 2021, Sharma was criticized for handing out flowers to women. This move was considered tone deaf by some, and was magnified in the press due to its proximity to the 2021 Australian Parliament House sexual assault allegations.
- "It won't be a clash of dynasties for Wentworth". Brisbane Times. 26 August 2018.
- "Dave Sharma: Australian Ambassador to Israel" (CV). Tel Aviv, Israel: Australian Embassy in Israel. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. June 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2012. Direct download (Word 2003)
- "Ambassador to Israel". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australian Government. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Australia's youngest Ambassador is of Indian Heritage". Indian Herald. Australia. 29 May 2013. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Clennell, Andrew; Caisley, Olivia (24 August 2018). "Locals send a message: stop the fighting and govern". The Australian. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- Davies, Anne (25 September 2018). "Wentworth byelection: Dave Sharma and his battle to make voters forget Turnbull". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- Murray, Oliver (23 May 2013). "Building ties and sharing knowledge Dave Sharma Australia's new ambassador to Israel". North Shore Times. North Shore Region, New South Wales: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Indian-origin Australian appointed envoy to Israel". The Times of India. India: India Times. 2 June 2013. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Bhandari, Neena (3 June 2015). "The 'novelty' of being an Australian diplomat of Indian heritage". The Indian Diaspora. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
- "Our man in Tel Aviv". J-Wire. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Meet our man in Tel Aviv – progress report". J-Wire. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- Marles, Richard (30 October 2012). "Statements on Indulgence: Australia's Seat on the United Nations Security Council". Hansard. Canberra: Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
- "Senior officials visit Abuja" (PDF). Aussie News (5). Abuja: Australian High Commission in Nigeria. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. February 2013. p. 7. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
- Carr, Bob (16 May 2013). "Ambassador to Israel" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 11 February 2014.
- Herb, Keinon (16 May 2013). "Diplomat Dave Sharma named as new Aussie envoy". The Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem, Israel: Palestine Post Ltd. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Australia appoints new ambassador to Israel". J-Wire. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Getting to know you..." J-Wire. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Jeffrey, James (25 October 2018). "Strewth: Magnificence's end". The Australian. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
- "Australian ambassador visits Syrian patients in Israeli hospital". J-Wire. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Ambassador to Israel" (Press release). Australian Government. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- @@AusAmbIsrael (19 June 2017). "Our new ambassador, Chris Cannan, has hit the ground running" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Shekel Brainweigh". OnMarket. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- Redrup, Yolanda (19 November 2018). "Dave Sharma's Shekel Brainweigh readies to list despite listed tech declines". Australian Financial Review (19 November 2018). Fairfax Network. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original on 25 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- Mizen, Ronald; Patrick, Aaron (31 August 2018). "Malcolm Turnbull formally resigns, forces byelection". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- Smith, Alexandra (13 September 2018). "Morrison overruled as Sharma wins Wentworth preselection". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
- Davies, Anne (10 October 2018). "Dave Sharma says Liberals 'doing enough' on climate after Hewson attack". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- Alice Workman (5 November 2018). "Kerryn Phelps Is Now Officially The Member For Wentworth". Buzzfeed.
- Henriques-Gomes, Luke (1 December 2018). "Dave Sharma to run for Wentworth as polls predict setback for Coalition in NSW". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Kylar Loussikian; Samantha Hutchinson (29 January 2019). "Liberal rebel in stand-off over Sharma domain name". Fairfax Media. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- "Did Wentworth's Dave Sharma have anything to do with the Witness K case?". Crikey. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
- Daniel Flitton (17 May 2014). "Bishop rebuked over envoy's East Jerusalem visit". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- Davidson, Helen (19 September 2018). "Liberal Wentworth candidate Dave Sharma says sorry after 'denigrating' teachers". Guardian Australia.
- Cockburn, Paige (26 September 2018). "Wentworth candidates accuse Dave Sharma's team of removing campaign posters". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- Witbourn, Michaela. "Former Labor MP sues Liberal MP Dave Sharma for defamation over tweet". The Sydney Morning Herald. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Parke, Melissa. "Melissa Parke support for Palestinian Rights is not anti-Semitic". ohn Menadue - Pearls and Irritations. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- Park, Melissa. "Criticism Not Same As Racism". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- ZLATKIS, EVAN. "Parke defamation action against Sharma dropped". The Australian Jewish News. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- "Liberal MP Dave Sharma marks International Women's Day by giving flowers to female commuters". the Guardian. 8 March 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
| Australian Ambassador to Israel
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Wentworth
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