An organisation of Bangladeshi students, staff, and alumni of the University of Western Australia (UWA) gave a warm welcome reception to the recently appointed Bangladeshi-born Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Amit Chakma.
On the occasion, Professor Amit Chakma was presented with an honorary crest and a sash scarf by the UWA Society of Bangladeshi Culture (USBC) on 21 November, said a press release from the UWA Bangladeshi Community.
The event was held at the Leederville Town Hall auditorium in Perth, the capital city of Western Australia.
During the event, Prof Amit Chakma distributed prizes amongst the winners of the Annual Sports Competition-2020, arranged by the University of Western Australia's Bangladeshi Community.
The event began with a rendition of the national anthems of Bangladesh and Australia by the younger community members.
During his remarks, Prof Amit Chakma shared various aspects of his life with the audience and said, "You consider me the masterpiece of the country but I believe you are all very talented."
Referring to himself as a believer in fate, he said "I put all my best efforts in doing the things I did. Applying one's best effort is the key to any success."
During the next phase of the event, the younger community members and adolescents showcased Bangladeshi heritage through a performance of patriotic songs and tribal dances, recitation of poems, etc.
Requested by the audience, Professor Amit Chakma and Mrs Chakma performed a chakma song, which was one of the most memorable moments of the event.
Professor Amit Chakma has been the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia (UWA) since July 2020. He remains the only native Bangladeshi to assume a leadership role of this stature.
He was born in the Rangmati district in Bangladesh on 25 April, 1959. He passed his HSC examination from the renowned Dhaka College in Bangladesh.
He then received a scholarship from the Algerian government to study Natural Gas Process Engineering at Algerian Petroleum Institute in Algeria. In 1982, he graduated top of his class.
He then moved to Canada and achieved a Master of Applied Science and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1984 and 1987 respectively.
Professor Amit Chakma taught Chemical Engineering at the University of Calgary from 1988 to 1996, at which point he moved to the University of Regina as a Dean of Engineering.
He then served as Regina's Vice-President for Research from 1999 to 2001. During his time at the University of Regina, Professor Amit Chakma was featured in "Canada's Top 40 under 40" list.
Professor Amit Chakma became the Vice-President, Academic and Provost at the University of Waterloo in 2001. On July 1, 2009, he took charge as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Ontario – a renowned educational institute in Canada and continued to serve the university until 2019.