Australian Ambassador sends off Filipino Australia Awards scholars

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Mr Steven J. Robinson AO sends off 32 Filipino ‘Australia Awards’ scholars who will commence postgraduate studies in Australian universities by June 2019.

A passion to give back and make a difference in the Philippines. This is the tie that binds thirty-two Filipino scholars who are set to pursue postgraduate studies in Australia’s premier universities through Australia Awards scholarships

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Mr Steven J. Robinson AO  told the scholars “By using the skills you will gain in Australia , you’ll have the potential to make a real difference and contribute to the development of the Philippines.”

On return to the Philippines, scholars will impement a re-entry action plan (REAP). The REAP is a unique feature of the Australia Awards scholarship. It allows scholars to apply their learnings in Australia to meaningful programs that will foster development in their communities.

Maria Cristina Lazo, senior media relations officer of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)  will pursue a Master in Strategic Communications Management at Monash University. She is committed to supporting the PCC upon her return by developing a digital roadmap to increase public awareness of the PCC.  The PCC is a relatively new government agency whose main role is to ensure fair competition in the market for the benefit of consumers and businesses.

“Digital transformation is upon us, and I want my organisation to be at the forefront of those changes. Small and medium enterprises will really benefit if we can generate awareness about the PCC and what the competition law aims to achieve.

Patrick Omar Erestain, municipal administrator of the Municipality of Gubat, Sorsogon will study for a Masters of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development at the University of Newcastle. He’s planning to use the skills and knowledge he gains there to better prepare the Municipality to deal with natural disasters. Gubat is a coastal town at risk of hazards such as floods, tsunamis and landslides.

“My Australian education is not just intended for myself but also for the community where I serve. My mentor told me to go seize the opportunity, make valuable connections, and think about how my learnings from Australia can benefit vulnerable communities like our municipality, and eventually other communities with similar needs,” he said.

Upon their return to the Philippines, the Australia Awards scholars will be a part of a dynamic community of Australian-educated Filipinos through Australia’s Global Alumni network.

“What the Australia Awards provide is a really extensive network of outstanding and dedicated individuals who not only excel academically but also assume leadership roles in their own country upon their return,” said Ambassador Robinson.



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