Alumni Stories

Shining a Light on Sustainability

If life is a novel, Australia Awards scholar Jeffrey Tarayao’s childhood is a Dickensian tale of poverty amidst wealth. After being born in a hospital charity ward, he was brought home to a 42 square meter house—the driver’s quarters in a rich family’s home where his father worked. For the next 28 years, he lived in that small space, barely big enough for his family of five, attending an exclusive all-boys’ private school as one of the benefits granted by his father’s employer.

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Reaching the Next Generation

Australia Awards Alumna Sabrina Ongkiko seeks to reform the educational system with stakeholder engagement. It was a light bulb moment for Sabrina Ongkiko when someone asked her if she wanted to be a teacher. “That was when I started thinking about it. Looking back, I realised that I was in education all those years. I was the kind of child who played teacher with her playmates. I even went as far as buying a record book so I could record their quizzes,” she said. She also took charge of their family library, lending out books to friends and going after errant borrowers.

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Putting the “Human” Back in Health Care

Dr. Raffy Marfori shares his thoughts on how the health care system needs to evolve with people’s needs. Three years after earning his Master of Public Health from the University of Melbourne in 2015, Dr. Jose Rafael “Raffy” A. Marfori, together with like-minded colleagues, is setting up a company in Manila called “health&human”, which specialises in primary care.

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Enhancing Governance through a Values Program

Mark Malitan talks about the importance of values in good governance. “I believe that values can really solve the problems that we have in society,” said Mark. “We need to know our foundational values: patriotism, integrity, excellence, and spirituality. This is now the thrust of the Civil Service—promoting the public service values of a civil servant.”

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A Global Perspective on Local Products: Australia Awards alumna Monica Co weaves new stories for Philippine handmade products

Before Monica Camille Co, co-founder of social enterprise C&C Home and Gifts, went on her Australia Awards journey to study Marketing at the University of Melbourne, the millennial was at a loss with which career path to take. “My college degree was Management Economics, and I was working as a personal banker.”

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Defending the Rights of Muslim Filipino Women: Shari’ah bar passer Amanah Lao is ready to fight for Muslim Filipinas’ rights in court.

In today’s world, how does one apply the concept of human rights to something religious, such as Shari’ah law? This is a challenge that Amanah Busran Lao will be facing in her work.

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