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69 Filipino Awardees Set for Study in Australia
The second batch of 2012 Australia Awards-Development Awards scholars from the Philippines is set to leave in June 2012 to take up post-graduate studies in top Australian universities.
In 2012, 136 Filipinos received Australia Awards-Development Awards scholarships – the first batch of 67 left for Australia in January this year and the second batch of 69 leaving in June. The Philippines is the fourth largest recipient of Australia Awards-Development Awards scholarships.
“The Australia Awards are a cornerstone of Australia-Philippines relations and provide a lasting contribution to Philippine development through education. Australia is strongly committed to supporting the best and brightest individuals to realise their potential to work with governments and communities, with each other, and with Australia, to meet regional and global development challenges,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Bill Tweddell, said.
Ambassador Tweddell also noted that the awardees will be studying in world class universities in Australia. The 2011-12 World University Rankings show that eight Australian universities are among the 100 most prestigious universities in world.
Awardees were selected under ‘targeted’ and ‘open’ categories. The targeted category awardees come from Australia’s key partner agencies delivering priority development initiatives on basic education, social protection/welfare, peace and development, public financial management, disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, and organisational development, among others. These scholars have been identified by their agencies as key change agents and are expected to contribute to organisational development upon return. ‘Open category’ awards are offered to high-achieving individuals from both the public and private sector interested to pursue development-related post-graduate studies in Australia.
“The 69 Filipinos awarded scholarships in this round are an impressive and diverse group of scholars,” Ambassador Tweddell said. “I am confident that they will perform well in their studies and contribute to the development of the Philippines on their return.”
The awardees recently attended a three-day pre-departure briefing to help them prepare for their student life in Australia. The scholars also defined their re-entry action plans, which include programs or projects that they will implement when they return, to put into practice what they learned from their studies in Australia.
Filipino alumni become part of the Philippines-Australia Alumni Association, Inc, the umbrella organisation for scholars and graduates of formal degree and training programs offered by Australian universities and training institutions.
Over 2,000 Filipinos have been awarded Australian Government scholarships since the 1960s. Past Australian Government scholars have made significant contributions in their respective fields, including: Dr Juan Pulhin, a multi-awarded scientist and professor at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB), who was the lead author of the Fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (shared with former USA Vice-President Al Gore). Dr Pulhin obtained his PhD in Geographical Science in 1997 from the Australian National University, and he is currently the Dean of the UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources.
For more information about Australia Awards-Development Awards, visit www.ausaid.gov.au.
Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Minister Counsellor Octavia Borthwick (3rd row, centre) with the 2012 Australia Awards-Development Awards scholarship awardees during their pre-departure briefing.