Scholars were carefully selected from Australia’s partner government institutions and from a diverse range of private sector organisations.  A pre-departure briefing was held on 28-30 April 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Ortigas.  Australian Embassy officials took turns to orient the scholars about life in Australia.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Bill Tweddell, congratulated the new scholars during the event. “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,” he remarked.

“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,” the Ambassador added.
Australia Awards Scholarships employ a unique approach so that acquired knowledge in Australia is applied by scholars back home.  Returning scholars implement a development program, also called a re-entry action plan or REAP, in their workplace or communities.

Dandy Victa’s REAP allowed him to design an internet-based work-at-home program for persons with disabilities. “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,” says Mr Victa.

Judeza Pingoy helped incorporate gender concerns in the male-dominated sectors of infrastructure and construction. She helped develop a Gender and Development Guidebook in Davao del Norte.  The provincial government prioritised the rehabilitation of roads leading to health centres so women can have better access to medical care.

Australia Awards Scholarships are available to individuals who wish to pursue postgraduate qualification (Masters Degree) at Australian universities. It covers awardees travel, study, and living expenses in Australia.  Applications for the program’s 2016 intake are accepted until 30 April 2015. The deadline for the submission of English proficiency results is on to 31 May provided that applicants submit their application and other requirements by the close of the application period. The application process is open and competitive, providing equal opportunity to all eligible citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity and disability.
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