Australia supports the professional development of local scholars pursuing development work in the Bangsamoro region

ICSP Stories



Alumni of the In-Country Scholarship Program (ICSP) met virtually to talk about leadership and grit as part of their professional development learning sessions.

Forty alumni of the In-Country Local Scholarship Program (ICSP) gathered virtually for a discussion on leadership, grit and resiliency dubbed as “Leading with Grisiliency.” The session is part of the professional development support of the Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program to its alumni. The webinar was held to help enhance the abilities of alumni in navigating day-to-day challenges, especially during the pandemic.

ICSP provides local scholarship opportunities to Filipinos who are unable to pursue post-graduate studies in Australia due to personal and work reasons. It aims to establish a core of Filipino professionals engaged in development work specifically in the Bangsamoro region.

“The Australian Embassy in the Philippines is continuously working with our partners in building the competencies and capacities of leaders who play an integral role in our country’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. Our ICSP alumni are key leaders in the Bangsamoro region. We are committed to supporting them as they make a difference in their communities during this unprecedented time,” said Rollie Dela Cruz, Portfolio Manager, Political/Economic, Australian Embassy in the Philippines.

The session focused on developing leadership and enabling competencies among the ICSP alumni to help them pursue tasks and development work in their communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Using tools such as the Adversity Quotient (AQ) and Grit Gauge, the participants assessed themselves and developed new perspectives on how to apply grit and resiliency both in their personal and professional journeys.

Zuhaina Abubacar, one of the participants, shared how the session was useful in improving her work performance. “I constantly struggle to achieve perfect outputs at work, which leads to frequent procrastination. The session made me realise that this mindset is a hardwired pattern. It’s not permanent, and I could rewire it. If I could improve upon this pattern, then I can improve my entire career.”

Another participant, Saliha Macacuna-Hadji Nasser, also recognised the relevance of the session. "Adversities and challenges in life are inevitable, but I can keep on going and strive harder to achieve my goals. The session helped me to see the importance of leading a life with grisiliency,” she said.

AQ is a scientifically robust and widely used method for measuring and strengthening human resilience. Simultaneously, the Grit Gauge examines how one invests efforts to make good things happen and move towards goal completion. The session was led by James Hargove of Viventis Search Asia Inc., a talent consulting firm leading proponent of AQ and grit in the ASEAN region.