Scholars to Pursue Postgraduate Studies in Australia
Ninety-eight of the “best and the brightest” young Filipino minds were granted Australian Awards scholarships to pursue graduate studies in Australia. The scholars were carefully selected from various private sector organisations and Australia’s partner government institutions.
Prestigious International Scholarships
Wholly funded by the Australian Government, the Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships awarded to individuals who have shown great potential in driving development to their countries and become the bests in their chosen fields. The international program aims to contribute to the advancement of Australia’s partner countries, in accordance with regional and bilateral agreements.
Pre-Departure Briefing for Filipino Scholars
On April 28–30, 2015, the 98 scholars attended a pre-departure briefing at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Ortigas, Pasig. Australian Embassy officials were given the tasks to provide the scholars a background of life in Australia. During the event, Australia Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell extended his congratulations to the new scholars.
“The Australia Awards go to the best, the brightest, and the most deserving applicants coming from the different regions of the Philippines. This is an achievement for which you have worked hard and of which you can be very proud,” stated Ambassador Tweddell.
“I am pleased that there are so many of you who have taken up this chance to make a difference in Philippines. Our Australian alumni in the Philippines have proven time and again that they are bringing their achievements back to their communities to inspire positive change,” he further added.
Re-Entry Action Plan
The Philippine program of the Australian Awards is unique as it features the Re-Entry Action Plan, also known as REAP. Upon completion of the scholarship, Filipino awardees are required to return to the Philippines for at least two years and contribute to the advancement of the country through their REAP. Filipino applicants are required to submit a REAP, detailing how they will utilise the skills they acquire in Australia in developing advancement programs in their workplace, community or sector area.
Returning Scholars Promoting Philippine Growth
An Australia Awards returning scholar Dino Ponsaran helped local government units (LGUs) in creating incentive and investment codes, which subsequently helped develop a business-friendly environment for both foreign and local investors.
Meanwhile, Dandy Victa designed an online-based work-at-home program for disabled individuals. “What inspired me to finish my REAP is my belief that it would really make a difference to the lives of persons with disability. The advent of internet-based jobs gives PWDs the opportunity to find work without looking at their disabilities but at what they can do to help others,” remarked Mr. Victa.
Applications for Australia Awards scholarships are open to Filipinos who wish to pursue postgraduate studies at Australia universities. The scholarship covers study, travel and living expenses in Australia. The application process is open to all eligible citizens, regardless of ethnicity, disability and gender.