Collection of Latest News

Australian Embassy Welcomes Fifty Balikbayan Scholars

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely welcomed over 50 Filipino recipients of the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships on their return from postgraduate studies at Australia’s top universities.

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“The Australia Awards Scholarships are part of Australia’s contribution to Philippine development. Scholars earn a world-class degree from Australia and return to the Philippines with new ideas and knowledge to spur social and economic reforms,” said Ambassador Gorely.

The Ambassador welcomed the latest batch of returning scholars at the recently concluded Re-Entry Action Plan (REAP) Conference.

REAP is an important feature of the Australia Awards Scholarships in the Philippines. It encourages recipients to apply their Australian education and skills to high-impact projects in their field, industry or community upon their return. The scholars are expected to implement their REAP within a year or two upon their return.

One of Manila’s most successful social enterprises C&C Home and Gifts was created through  scholar Monica Co’s REAP.  C&C, which stands for Creative & Committed, is a community-based livelihood program benefitting stay-at-home mothers.  Monica partnered with women sewers of Samata Village in Las Pinas, and weavers of Cutud in Pampangga, to produce top-of-the-line hand woven baskets, mats and planters.

The socially-centered principles Monica learned from her Master of Management (Marketing) at the University of Melbourne, coupled with the thriving art scene of that city, inspired her to set up C&C Home and Gifts as part of her REAP.

The latest batch of returning scholars joined the roster of Australia Global Alumni that includes former and current cabinet secretaries, heads of government agencies, successful entrepreneurs and national scientists.

Thirty Filipinos Graduate from Joint Australia-Philippine University Program

33 Filipino scholars of the prestigious Australia Awards scholarship program returned to the Philippines after completing post-graduate studies at Australia’s top universities.

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These scholars bring home new knowledge and skills to help drive development. Australia has provided more than 3,500 Filipinos scholarships to study in Australia since the 1950s.

The Australia Awards offer high-achieving individuals in the Philippines the opportunity to develop their leadership potential by studying in Australia and joining an extensive network of fellow change-makers across the world.

The Australia Awards provide recipients internationally recognised qualifications from Australian institutions and the tools to contribute to their workplaces and communities.

The Australian Embassy in the Philippines hosted a welcome ceremony to celebrate the success of the graduates. The ceremony provided recently returned awardees the opportunity to connect with previous scholars to discuss how to best contribute to development in the Philippines using an Australian education. The event was held at the Novotel Manila Araneta Centre in Quezon City from 9 to 10 October 2017.

The Australia Awards is currently accepting applications for its June 2018 intake. Click here for information on our eligibility requirements, priority fields of study, and application procedure.

67 Australia Awards Scholars set to study in Australia

67 emerging leaders from the Philippines are set to take up postgraduate studies at world-renowned universities in Australia, through the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships.

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From 9 to 11 May 2017, the scholars underwent a pre-departure briefing at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Manila. They were briefed on living and studying in Australia, and oriented on the requirements of the program.

The pre-departure briefing included finalising the scholars’ ‘re-entry action plans’. These plans allow Australia Awards scholars to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired in Australia to undertake programs and projects to contribute to development in the Philippines on their return, in their chosen government office, non-profit organisation or community.

“The Australia Awards Scholarships offers you, the next generation of global leaders here in the Philippines, an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development, while engaging with Australian expertise and culture. At the end of your scholarship, you will return with new ideas, knowledge and skills that will enable you to influence reforms in the Philippines as leaders in your chosen field” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorely, said. 

The scholars will be heading to Australia next month to commence their studies in important areas for Philippine development such as economics, trade, infrastructure, education, entrepreneurship, and public policy.

Two dozen of the awardees are from partner government agencies of the Australian Government including the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Civil Service Commission, among others. The rest of the scholars are from the private sector, civil society, other government agencies, media and the academe.

The Australian Government has been supporting the Philippinesbest and the brightest to advance their education in Australian universities since the 1950s. The Australia Awards Scholarships are open to talented Filipinos– regardless of gender, ethnicity or disability – who are passionate about leading positive change in the Philippines.

An Australia Awards recipient receives a full scholarship package including travel and cost of living allowance, tuition and other fees such as health coverage and supplementary tutorial assistance. Upon return, he or she will be invited to be a member of the Global Alumni Network. Visit www.australiaawardsphilippines.org for more details.

Celebrate What’s Great: Philippines-Australia Friendship Day

Filipinos and Australians go way, way back. We started off as trade partners during the 1800s, then war allies during WWII.

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Today, Australia and the Philippines cooperate closely across a range of areas, including defence, counterterrorism, law enforcement, education and development. They’re also our second largest “financer” via the Official Development Assistance for 2016-2017, to the tune of P3 billion.

While we’ve been friends for decades, there hasn’t really been an official event to commemorate our friendship. This is why the Australian Embassy and the Australia Global Alumni in the Philippines decided to hold the first official Philippines – Australia Friendship Day with an outdoor festival on Saturday, 20 May at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater.

“This is a celebration of the longstanding and close friendship between our two countries,” said Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely, “We have strong people-to-people links nurtured through educational and cultural exchanges. So I am very pleased that Australia Global Alumni are leading the celebration of the first Philippines Australia Friendship Day.”

Inspired by Australia’s lively outdoor lifestyle, the festival will feature a free film screening and concert, a food and fashion fair, kid’s games and a traditional Aussie sausage sizzle hosted by alumni and volunteers.

The award-winning Australian family film Paper Planes will screen in the afternoon, followed by a fun paper plane making competition. To cap off the festival, Australian sax duo Half Sound with Erick Calilan and Tusa Montes, indie alternative band Oh! Flamingo, and Filipino rock icons Razorback will perform.

Festival goers will also enjoy a free shuttle service around Bonifacio High Street on Star 8 solar jeepneys. These green public utility vehicles feature innovative Australian technology that modernises the classic Filipino jeep.

“I thank our Filipino friends and my fellow Australians for their warm support of last year’s celebration of 70 years of diplomatic relations,” Ambassador Gorely said.

“One of the outcomes of that was a Presidential Proclamation declaring 22 May of each year as Philippines– Australia Friendship Day so we can celebrate what’s great between our two countries,” she added.

“I invite everyone to join us in celebrating this inaugural friendship day,” said Ambassador Gorely.

The Ambassador launched an online campaign to inspire people across the Philippines to join the celebration by sharing their stories of friendship using the official hashtag #AUPhWeAreMates and #FilAussieDay.

For more information about the first Philippines–Australia Friendship Day celebration, visit www.philippines.embassy.gov.au, like Australia in the Philippines on Facebook and follow @AusAmbPH on Twitter.

Source: http://primer.com.ph/event/2017/05/16/celebrate-whats-great-philippines-australia-friendship-day/

Australia Awards alumni spearhead forum on the impact of ASEAN integration to Filipino entrepreneurs

The Australian alumni community in the Philippines, in partnership with the Australian Embassy in the Philippines and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-Go Negosyo, launched the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Forum last 24 June 2015 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City.

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The forum stemmed from the Re-Entry Action Plans of Australia Awards 2013 intake scholars Katrina Santillan and Jo Anne Loquellano-Cruz, both from the University of Melbourne.

The program served as a platform for sharing best practices and strategies to help Filipino micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) prepare for the ASEAN integration. It also gave the audience an international perspective on doing business with ASEAN counterparts.

Australia Awards alumni Dandy Victa (Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Swinburne University of Technology) and Mydia Lacaba (Master of Commerce, University of New South Wales) shared their experiences on on-line entrepreneurship while local entrepreneurs such as Laura Bertotto of VMV Hypoallergenics and Jay Yuvallos of Interior Basics  talked about expanding their businesses abroad.

Another highlight of the program was the webilogue (video conference) with counterparts from Vietnam and Indonesia about the efforts done by other ASEAN countries for the AEC. (Photo courtesy of Go Negosyo)

Australia Inks Deal with DBM, Asia Pacific College on Government and Academe Scholarships

Carnegie Mellon University in Australia (CMU-A) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Philippine Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Asia Pacific College (APC) for postgraduate study opportunities of government and academe professionals at the university.

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Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely witnessed the MOU signing, which was led by CMU-A Head Prof. Emil Bolongaita, DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Asia Pacific College Chairman Ramon Dimacali.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership that will provide tailored educational experiences for Filipinos and strengthen learning exchange between our countries,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely.

Australia has a long standing partnership with DBM which has included collaboration to improve public financial system initiatives Since 2015, twenty-six DBM personnel have studied in Australia , through the Australia Awards Scholarships, to support the organisation’s change and reform initiatives.

Through the new partnership DBM employees will be able to enhance policy, regulation, and service delivery skills through CMU-A’s Master of Science in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM) and Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) programs.

“We aim to be one of the world's top budget institutions run by  high performing personnel and sustained by an effective succession plan. We are making this possible by cooperating with various outstanding institutions such as the CMU-A,” said Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno.

The  partnership between CMU-A and Asia Pacific College (APC) will also focus on the professional development of APC’s faculty and create meaningful linkages between academic peers.

According to APC’s chairman, Mr. Ramon Dimacali, the MOU will also focus on joint research and training activities and collaboration on design and delivery of courses on business intelligence, data analytics, security and digital transformation. “We shall jointly pursue funding opportunities, including the Australia Awards program of the Australian Government, as appropriate,” he added.

APC is borne out of the educational collaboration between IBM Philippines and SM Foundation. It is the training center of the country’s BPO industry and developed the IT-enabled curriculum for Senior High School. In 2017, CHED recognised APC as a Center of Development in Computer Engineering.

Carnegie Mellon University ranked number 1 in the School of Computer Science and number 1 in Information and Technology Management according to the 2014 and 2016 US News and World Report.

Australian Government supports development of Davao City’s Transport Plan

The Australian Government recently assisted Davao City’s efforts to improve its Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Management Plan (CTTMP) for 2018-2022 with a benchmarking mission to to Brisbane and Gold Coast. Six (6) key officials from Davao City went to the two bustling Australian cities to meet their counterparts and learn how they are meeting the transport and traffic challenges of their communities.

In photo: Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (center) together with the city’s benchmarking team headed by Atty. Tristan Dwight P. Domingo, Asst. City Administrator; P/Supt Dionisio C. Abude (Ret), Department Head, City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO); Atty. Joseph Dominic S. Felizarta, Department Head, City Engineer’s Office (CEO); Ivan C. Cortez Department Head, City Planning and Development Office; Gina Santos, Project Evaluation Officer II,  City Planning and Development Office; Rowena Henedine D. Narajos, Information Technology Officer II, City Information Technology Center/Office. Also joining them were Atty. Zuleika Lopez, Davao City’s City Administrator; Mr. Nelson Salangsang, Manager of International Projects, Queensland University of Technology representative; and Ms. Theresa Sarona, Mindanao Engagement Manager, Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program – Philippines (AAAEP-P).

Mayor Sara Duterte expressed her gratitude to the Australian Government for assisting the city in enhancing its transport and traffic management plan. The benchmarking participants, who are back in Davao City, are in the process of improving the city’s plan using their key learnings from the mission.

“The benchmarking mission enabled the team to identify the depth and scope ofthetransport plan. Through the mission, we learned how transport plans are implemented, and we saw firsthand how it has improved the lives of Australians. Our learnings gave us a template, which we can utilise in creating and enhancing our own plan,” said Atty. Tristan Dwight P. Domingo, Davao City assistant city administrator and team leader of the benchmarking mission.

Brisbane, which has the same population as Davao City, has implemented transport systems such as integrated transport ticketing between buses, trains and ferry services, and specialised busways and bikeways. One of the benchmarking participants, Engineer Gina R. Santos a project evaluation officer from Davao’s City Planning and Development Office, was particularly impressed with Brisbane’s strategy for accelerated procurement of buses and ferries to improve Brisbane City Council public transport. “Brisbane is successful in their transport implementation because they have a very good transport plan and they have the ATAP (Australian Transport Assessment and Planning) framework that guides them on the standards of planning,” she said. Inspired by Brisbane’s success, Engineer Santos said their meetings and data gathering are now guided by their learnings from Brisbane’s transport plan and strategic principles.

During the mission, the team also met with the Queensland Police Service-Traffic Enforcement.  According to Engineer Santos, she was impressed by how the Queensland Police capture and use traffic and enforcement data to improve community safety, road safety measures, and traffic management. “Their priority is not just apprehension, but more importantly, safety of the road users and public,” she said.

Meanwhile, Engineer Ivan Cortez who is the department head of Davao’s City Planning and Development Office, noted that the benchmarking mission helped him realise that active transport – such as walking and cycling – should be given full consideration in any infrastructure development and redevelopment. “Land usezoning is key in providing for an environment that makes active and public transport effective and efficient,” he said. Upon their return to Davao, his team conducted a review of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Davao City to see how they canincorporate spatial strategies that will promote active transport in Davao City.

Davao City’s benchmarking team was composed of department heads from the City Transport and Traffic Management Office, City Engineer’s Office and the CityPlanning and Development Office. While in Australia, the team conducted site visits of Brisbane’s and Gold Coast’s public transport system and met with senior city council officials responsible for transport planning and traffic management as well as private sector participants implementing traffic systems.

The benchmarking program was designed and conducted through the Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program Philippines (AAAEP-P) in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology.

Filipino public servants receive prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships

Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Dr David Dutton welcomed 34 Filipino scholars of the prestigious Australia Awards program on their return to the Philippines after having completed post-graduate studies at Australia's top universities.

Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Dr David Dutton welcomed 34 Filipino scholars of the prestigious Australia Awards program on their return to the Philippines after having completed post-graduate studies at Australia's top universities.

“The Australia Awards provides opportunities for the Philippines’ best and brightest to advance their education at Australia’s world-class universities and, upon their return, contribute to the growth and stability of the Philippines,” Dr Dutton said.

Dr Dutton congratulated the returning scholars at the REAP (Re-Entry Action Plan) Conference held recently in Davao City.

Australia Awards scholars are required to return to the Philippines upon completion of their post-graduate studies with a Re-Entry Action Plan or REAP.  “The REAP is an innovative mechanism of the scholarship program in the Philippines to ensure awardees are able to use what they have learned to initiate genuine positive changes in their workplaces and in society”, said Dr Dutton.

Scholars are expected to execute their REAPs within a year of arrival at their respective government agencies and local governments, or their chosen private companies and civil society organisations.

Of the 34 returning scholars, 13 are from government agencies, including from the Departments of Education, Interior and Local Government, and the Office of the Ombudsman; while the remaining are from the academe, private sector, and civil society.

Previous returning scholars have since gone on to make a difference in the organisations and sectors where their REAPs have been implemented. In 2013, Australia Awards scholar Wilmita Lyn Gupit was able to enhance the government’s policy on recruitment and promotion. Gupit’s REAP allowed her to serve as an external evaluator of the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Competency Based Recruitment and Promotion Policy’s pilot run. The results of the evaluation are crucial inputs to the recruitment manual for the replication of competency-based processes and procedures, which the CSC is planning to roll out to the regions and other government agencies soon.

The Australia Awards is a prestigious international scholarships program equipping emerging leaders with skills and world-class education to build a better future, not just for themselves, but also for their home countries.

The Australia Awards REAP conference is a 3-day event held annually to welcome back scholars and to finalise details of their REAP with their mentors or supervisors. This year’s conference was held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City from 9 to 11 September.

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Philippine-Australian Alumni Association gives underprivileged kids a chance at education

Feb 11, 2013 - The Philippine Australian Alumni Association, Inc. (PA3i), an organisation of scholars and graduates from Australia’s premier academic institutions, recently donated over Php500,000 to World Vision Philippines.

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PA3i gives back. Officers of the PA3i, led by its current national president Sim Marfori, hand over the proceeds of PaaralRUN benefit marathon to Director Filomena Portales, public engagement director, World Vision Philippines.

PA3i’s donation to World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Program will help around 30 underprivileged Filipino children residing in a poor community in Cavite to four years of education. It will also provide skills training and livelihood assistance as well as give the selected children improved health care, better nutrition, and safer water and sanitation, . The donated funds were proceeds from PaaralRUN: Run for a Brighter Future, a benefit run that PA3i organised in September 2012.

“Recognising how privileged we are for the opportunity of having Australian education, PA3i is committed to ‘pay it forward’ by helping the less fortunate Filipino children have access to education. PaaralRUN has given us the chance to give back, and we are more empowered to continue using our resources, capabilities and education to contribute to the development of our nation,” said Sim Marfori, national president, PA3i.

Over 400 hundred runners joined the 3K, 5K and 10K marathons held at Roxas Boulevard, Manila in September 2012. Simultaneous runs were also held in Baguio, Los Banos, Cebu, Bohol, Davao, Iligan, Cagayan De Oro, Caraga, and Cotabato.

Aside from the runners who supported the event’s cause, Australian universities–including University of Newcastle, Curtin University, Charles Darwin University, and University of Melbourne–also supported the project.

“We, Filipinos, are known for our ‘bayanihan’ spirit, and we are grateful for the support that we received from both the Filipino and Australian communities in making PaaralRUN a success. Through our combined efforts, we are now on our way to achieving our goal of giving opportunities for education and making a difference in the lives of Filipino children,” Marfori added.END

Australia launches local scholarships for Filipino high achievers

The Australian Government is expanding its support to strengthen Filipinos’ professional excellence with the launch of local post-graduate scholarships to be taken in top Philippine universities.

“The Australian Government regards scholarships as a key demonstration of our commitment to Philippine and regional education excellence. Scholarships have been an integral part of Australia’s aid program to the Philippines for over 50 years and will continue to be an important part of the relationship between the two countries,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.

The In-Country Scholarship Program (ICSP) complements the Australia Awards, which supported over 2,000 Filipinos to undertake post-graduate studies in Australia’s leading universities over the past two decades. ICSP provides professional development opportunities for Filipinos who are unable to study in Australia because of work or family demands. It will also provide more options for people with disabilities who have particular care requirements.

“The In-Country Scholarship Program, while delivered in the Philippines, has the same objective as the Australia Awards – to develop leaders and build stronger institutions that can drive development in the Philippines,” Ambassador Tweddell said.

“It allows Filipino high-achievers, whether individually or as members of their respective organisations, to pursue and achieve professional excellence. They can lead change and support the Philippine Government’s agenda on good governance by helping improve efficiency of government and non-government programs.”

The first batch of 50 awardees of ICSP were selected from a targeted group of Philippine organisations operating in the conflict affected areas in Mindanao to pursue diplomas or masters degrees in education, social protection, disaster risk reduction, climate change, infrastructure development and governance. The scholars attended their pre-scholarship orientation in Davao City and were joined by Australian Embassy Counsellor (Development Cooperation), Katie Whitting.

The ICSP will be managed by the Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility and will be piloted in six partner academic institutions: University of the Philippines, Asian Institute of Management, Asian Social Institute, Ateneo de Davao University, Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology and the University of Southeastern Philippines. The ICSP will cover full tuition and miscellaneous fees, living allowance, book allowance and research funds.

Australia is a long-standing development partner of the Philippines and one of the country’s largest bilateral grant aid donors. In 2012-13, Australia will provide Php5.5 billion in development assistance to the Philippines.

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Australian Embassy Counsellor Katie Whitting (3rd row, centre) with the 2012 In-Country Scholarship Program awardees during the launching ceremony.

First graduate of Australia’s in-country scholarship program hopes to promote peace in Mindanao

May 14, 2013 - Tu Alfonso, the first of the 100 awardees of Australia's in-country scholarship program (ICSP) to graduate, received his Master in Development Management at the Asian Institute for Management (AIM) in Makati City. Tu (center) is joined by his women colleague

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Tu Alfonso, the first of the 100 awardees of Australia's in-country scholarship program (ICSP) to graduate, received his Master in Development Management at the Asian Institute for Management (AIM) in Makati City. Tu (center) is joined by his women colleague

“Most of the victims of the war are the Moro, and it’s painful to just watch my brothers and sisters suffer and not do anything. Eight years ago, I helped form the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD); I did it because of  the oppression, because of the depressed families…” Tu shared.

Tu is currently the National Vice President for Internal Affairs of UNYPAD, a nationwide Moro-led youth organisation based in Mindanao. As the Vice President, he handles programs such as conflict management and rehabilitation. When Tu first heard of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in-country scholarship program (ICSP) from his colleagues at UNYPAD, he knew right away that his organisation will benefit from the educational opportunity.

“Mindanao is deprived of good education, and for the Bangsamoro to receive a scholarship–it’s a big opportunity. I immediately thought that I could use continuing education for our programs in UNYPAD; that’s what inspired me to get into the program and continue my studies.”

The Australian Government’s in-country scholarship program (ICSP) was launched in the Philippines in 2012 to complement the Australia Awards in providing additional educational opportunities to Filipinos, and support individuals, who are leaders and reformers, through posgraduate studies in Philippine academic institutions.

Recognising the need for additional aid in Mindanao, the Australian Government provided  scholarships to 100 eligible individuals from conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. Tu was awarded a slot, and he took up Master in Development Management at the Asian Institute for Management (AIM) in Makati City. For 11 months, Tu committed himself to academic work and intensive training in Manila.

“My life as an ICSP scholar had been a challenging but rewarding experience. I had to deal with my new life in the city, which is different from my life in the community. I also dealt with classmates from different backgrounds, religions, expertise and professions. I even had classmates from the military; I won’t forget the time when I was able to share my experiences as a war victim with them–that’s the beauty of the bridging leadership program that I experienced in AIM.”

Tu added: “I faced the challenges head on because, for me, receiving the diploma is very important–it’s a rare opportunity for Mindanaoans. My diploma is a symbol that I finished the program, that I surivived the challenge; my diploma gives me strength. ”

Tu received his diploma last February when he finished his master’s degree at AIM. He was the first of the 100 ICSP scholars who graduated. Tu did not let his educational opportunity go to waste; he devoted his thesis in strengthening UNYPAD as an organisation, particularly in programs on sustaining peace management and attaining peace and development in conflict-affected areas.

“This educational opportunity is not just for me, it’s for the community. The value of UNYPAD’s programs is reflected in its impact on the community, and if our programs are strengthened, the community will defitnely benefit from it,” said Tu. “Our ulitmate goal is to unite the Bangsamoro Filipino youth because they are our hope, our future who can transform our nation.”

“I encourage my colleagues in UNYPAD and in other organisations to continue their education. It’s important for the Bangsamoro youth to be prepared, to have the right skills and knowledge, and to be empowered with quality education so that we will be in the best position to make positive transformations.”

Filipino scholars of prestigious Australia Awards return to contribute positive change

Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Dr David Dutton welcomed 34 Filipino scholars of the prestigious Australia Awards program on their return to the Philippines after having completed post-graduate studies at Australia's top universities.

Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Dr David Dutton welcomed 34 Filipino scholars of the prestigious Australia Awards program on their return to the Philippines after having completed post-graduate studies at Australia's top universities.

“The Australia Awards provides opportunities for the Philippines’ best and brightest to advance their education at Australia’s world-class universities and, upon their return, contribute to the growth and stability of the Philippines,” Dr Dutton said.

Dr Dutton congratulated the returning scholars at the REAP (Re-Entry Action Plan) Conference held recently in Davao City.

Australia Awards scholars are required to return to the Philippines upon completion of their post-graduate studies with a Re-Entry Action Plan or REAP.  “The REAP is an innovative mechanism of the scholarship program in the Philippines to ensure awardees are able to use what they have learned to initiate genuine positive changes in their workplaces and in society”, said Dr Dutton.

Scholars are expected to execute their REAPs within a year of arrival at their respective government agencies and local governments, or their chosen private companies and civil society organisations.

Of the 34 returning scholars, 13 are from government agencies, including from the Departments of Education, Interior and Local Government, and the Office of the Ombudsman; while the remaining are from the academe, private sector, and civil society.

Previous returning scholars have since gone on to make a difference in the organisations and sectors where their REAPs have been implemented. In 2013, Australia Awards scholar Wilmita Lyn Gupit was able to enhance the government’s policy on recruitment and promotion. Gupit’s REAP allowed her to serve as an external evaluator of the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Competency Based Recruitment and Promotion Policy’s pilot run. The results of the evaluation are crucial inputs to the recruitment manual for the replication of competency-based processes and procedures, which the CSC is planning to roll out to the regions and other government agencies soon.

The Australia Awards is a prestigious international scholarships program equipping emerging leaders with skills and world-class education to build a better future, not just for themselves, but also for their home countries.

The Australia Awards REAP conference is a 3-day event held annually to welcome back scholars and to finalise details of their REAP with their mentors or supervisors. This year’s conference was held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City from 9 to 11 September.

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Filipino scholars to drive development initiatives in government agencies

"Filipino recipients of Australian postgraduate scholarships have successfully completed their studies and are returning to drive and re-energize development initiatives in their home government agencies, including the Departments of Education, Interior and Local Government, and the Civil Service Commission. "

Filipino recipients of Australian postgraduate scholarships have successfully completed their studies and are returning to drive and re-energize development initiatives in their home government agencies, including the Departments of Education, Interior and Local Government, and the Civil Service Commission.

As part of the condition of their scholarships, recipients are required to complete a “Re-Entry Action Plan” (REAP) using their Australian education.

The REAP is a unique feature of the scholarship program, which aims to enable Australia Awards scholars to develop and implement meaningful development programs upon their return to the Philippines.

The vast majority of the returning scholars are from the government sector, including 15 agencies with mandates directly linked to achieving the shared development priorities of the Australian and Philippine governments.

The Filipino scholars attended various Australian universities to complete postgraduate studies in the fields of education, governance, environment, finance, and human resource management, among others, in Australia’s premier academic institutions. Australia is home to 8 of the top 100 academic institutions in the world.

Speaking to the returning scholars during the recent REAP Conference, Geoff King, the Australian Embassy’s Counsellor for Governance and Disaster Risk Reduction, highlighted the importance of the REAPs: “The re-entry action plans are important because they help you put into practice what you have learned and they help your agencies benefit in specific ways.”

King said the REAP is an innovative initiative, and “the Philippines is recognised in our global scholarship program as the leading entity in the implementation of REAPs.”

Addressing the scholars, King said “From now on we consider you ambassadors for the Australian scholarship program here in the Philippines, and I have no doubt you’re going to go on and do amazing things with the skills and knowledge you learned through the Australia Awards Scholarships.”


Speaking on behalf of the government sector, Civil Service Commission Chairman Francisco Duque III encouraged the scholars to stay committed and passionate as they finish their REAPs and make significant development contributions to the Philippines.

“We hope that this REAP conference will not only give you the tools you need to execute your REAP, but also help you renew your commitment to the goals of the scholarship program and develop your passion for driving development in the Philippines,” he said.

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Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships funded by the Australian Government. They offer the next generation of global leaders high-quality education and professional development experiences that enable them to contribute to the development of their countries.


Applications for Australia Awards Scholarships 2015 intake will open on February 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014. For more information on Australia Awards Scholarships visit www.australiaawardsphilippines.org or email the Australia Awards Secretariat at secretariat@australiaawardsphilippines.org.

Australian government scholars monitor progress of their development programs

10-11 April 2013, Davao City – Fifty-four Filipino awardees, who completed postgraduate studies in Australia, together with their mentors, recently met for a workshop to discuss the progress of their re-entry action plans (REAPs); these are the development programs that they had committed to implement upon their return to the Philippines. The REAP progress workshop, which was held from 10-11 April 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City, had been a venue for the awardees to fine tune the implementation of their REAPs and customise it based on their organisation’s current situation.

The supervisors of the awardees, who have been guiding the scholars from the conceptualization to the implementation of their REAPs, were also in the workshop to provide direction on the output and outcome of the development programs.

“The supervisors play a crucial role in the program as much as the awardees; and we acknowledge their support and commitment in ensuring that the development impact of the awardees’ REAPs is in line with the needs of their organisations. We look forward to seeing all the programs coming together and responding to Philippine development goals,” said Peter Carreon, program officer, AusAID.

During the workshop, the awardees and their supervisors were guided on how to monitor the progress of their REAP, develop tools on gauging REAP status, learn from risks, hindering factors and best practices, and develop REAP success stories and document its impact. The workshop also paved the way for the scholars to renew their commitment to contribute to a more resilient Philippines.

According to Sheila Penafiel, an awardee from the Provincial Government of Guimaras, the tools she had learned from the REAP progress workshop were helpful in gauging the next steps of her REAP implementation. Sheila’s REAP focuses on developing a Job Description Handbook that will clearly define work assignments in the Human Resource Management Section of the Provincial Administrator’s Office and the Provincial Engineering Office; and will ultimately improve the service delivery of the province.

“The REAP progress workshop was timely and relevant; it energized and inspired me to be proactive and positive, helping me to get back on track in doing my REAP. The monitoring tools we learned allowed me to gauge the next steps I need to take in developing the handbook, and the event has made the process of finishing my REAP more meaningful,” said Sheila.

The participants of the REAP progress workshop were awardees from the government sector and partner organisations with mandates supporting the mutual priorities of Australia and the Philippines as reflected in the Statement of Commitment for the Australia-Philippines Development Cooperation Strategy.

10-11 April 2013, Davao City – Fifty-four Filipino awardees, who completed postgraduate studies in Australia, together with their mentors, recently met for a workshop to discuss the progress of their re-entry action plans (REAPs); these are the development programs that they had committed to implement upon their return to the Philippines. The REAP progress workshop, which was held from 10-11 April 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City, had been a venue for the awardees to fine tune the implementation of their REAPs and customise it based on their organisation’s current situation. 10-11 April 2013, Davao City – Fifty-four Filipino awardees, who completed postgraduate studies in Australia, together with their mentors, recently met for a workshop to discuss the progress of their re-entry action plans (REAPs); these are the development programs that they had committed to implement upon their return to the Philippines. The REAP progress workshop, which was held from 10-11 April 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City, had been a venue for the awardees to fine tune the implementation of their REAPs and customise it based on their organisation’s current situation.                                       Australian government scholars monitor progress of their development programs1.jpeg Australian government scholars monitor progress of their development programs2.jpeg

Photos above show (L) Awardees from DepEd, guided by their mentor, record the progress of their re-entry action plans online; (R) Sheila Penafiel, a scholar from the Provincial Government of Guimaras, renews her commitment to contribute to Philippine development through her REAP.

The Australian Embassy welcomed 52 Filipino graduates of the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships program at a homecoming event in Davao City

Fifty-two Filipino graduates of the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships program recently returned to the Philippines after completing postgraduate degrees at highly regarded Australian academic institutions.

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Australian Embassy Charge d’Affaires David Dutton said, “the Philippines’ scholars are among the best and brightest in the Asia-Pacific region. It is our hope that through the Australia Awards Scholarships program, the scholars will return home and contribute to economic and social growth, inspired by the new ideas and fresh perspectives they’ve gained in Australia.”

The Australian Embassy welcomed the returning scholars at a homecoming event at the SEDA Hotel in Davao City on 18-20 August 2015. The three-day event also served as a venue for the scholars to develop their Re-Entry Action Plans (REAPs).

The REAPs are innovative projects that Australia Award scholars implement at their respective government agencies or their chosen beneficiaries, usually non-government organisations, within a year of their return. “The REAP is a unique mechanism of the Australia Awards Scholarships program in the Philippines enabling scholars to bring their achievements and learning back to the country to build and inspire positive change”, said Dutton.

The batch of scholars this year aim to make a difference through their REAPs through stimulating sustainable economic growth in their regions, building community resilience to disasters, developing strategic leadership in local governments, enhancing public schools’ curriculum, and promoting meritocracy in the bureaucracy.

The Australia Awards Scholarships program is funded by the Australian Government and offers the next generation of global leaders the opportunity to enhance their skills and build professional people-to-people networks for long-term development outcomes. For more information, visit www.australiaawardsphilippines.org

Australia supports training for Philippine Government Leaders

Top officials from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) completed a leadership and management skills training course with support from the Australian Government. Sixty-eight NEDA executives - from undersecretaries to regional directors - undertook a customized program for government leaders. It was delivered by the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Civil Service Institute based on a course designed by the Australian Government.

Sixty-eight NEDA executives - from undersecretaries to regional directors - undertook a customized program for government leaders. It was delivered by the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) Civil Service Institute based on a course designed by the Australian Government.

NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Australian Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley opened the training program.

“Australia is proud to once again partner with the CSC and NEDA on this initiative. Over the years, we have supported Philippine Government initiatives to upskill and strengthen the civil service through capacity building and organisational development. The impact has been long term and continue to benefit the Philippine bureaucracy,” said Kimberley.

“We are particularly pleased to deliver this training to NEDA, as the lead government agency driving inclusive growth and development in the Philippines. We recognize that NEDA’s leadership is critical in progressing some of the game-changing initiatives of the Philippine Government. We hope that the tools the agency’s executives learn from this training will help them lead and inspire people at all levels, and deliver on the impressive agenda of AmBisyon Natin 2040.”

Secretary Pernia affirmed the value of training provided by Australia in achieving AmBisyon Natin 2040. In his message to the participating NEDA executives, the Secretary said “We work together to ensure that our development goals are achieved efficiently and effectively. I hope that the training will not only affirm your personal values as a leader, but also inspire you to carry on the good work that we have started as we pursue our Vision towards a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay para sa lahat (strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life for all).”

In 2017, the Australian Government funded the customisation of Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers to 7 Habits of Highly Effective Government Leaders. This customisation made the course more relevant to the Philippine public sector and allowed for local production of materials. The Australian government also funded the certification of trainers and facilitators from the CSC.

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Civil Service Commission's IiP Accreditation

The Philippine Civil Service Commission’s Regional Offices of Cordillera Administrative Region, No. I, No. II, No. IV, No. V, No. VIII, No. IX, No. X, No. XII, and Caraga Region have achieved Investors in People Accreditation in the awarding ceremony held during the 4thIiP Concourse held at the Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas on June 16, 2015.

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The Civil Service Commission now as a whole organisation is Investors in People accredited. This indicates that the Commission has high standards in managing people and that people management practices are directly contributing to achieving organisational ambitions and objectives.

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Honorable Robert Martinez, Acting Chairman, Honorable Ariel Ronquillo, Assistant Commissioner and Atty. Helene Grace Ramos, Director IV together with the Regional Directors were present to receive the IiP Plaque of Accreditation.

“The assessors were again impressed with Civil Service Commission’s good practice in leading and managing change.  It has succeeded in creating a workforce that is committed to its success and vision by providing very clear alignment and practices that increase engagement and encourage good performance,” said IiP Assessor Janet Webster.

Civil Service Commission's IiP Accreditation3.JPGFacility Director Milalin Javellana of the Philippine-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF) congratulated, their core partner organization, the Civil Service Commission for achieving the Investors in People Accreditation during the awarding ceremony of the 4th IiP Concourse at the Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas.

The support of Philippine-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF)—Program of Australian Government’s Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), not only for providing funding assistance to the Commission to achieve this accreditation, but also in the work they have done in helping the Commission in their transformation journey and the potential benefit this will bring to the government and people of the Philippines.

DILG cluster leaders trained nationwide, called to develop action plans to support Byaheng Pinoy

Some 169 Cluster Leaders of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) from provinces and cities in the Philippines have undergone 6-day leadership training workshops in Davao City, Cebu City, Tagaytay City and Baguio City, respectively, with the assistance of AusAID.

The Department has developed the objectives and results framework for this intervention, in collaboration with the Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility, a 5-year facility by AusAID to assist key partner organisations of the Philippine Government develop organisational competencies and capacities.

 

Workplace development objectives and Byaheng Pinoy outcomes

In the case of DILG, the key objective is to enhance the leadership competencies of Cluster Leaders in DILG Provincial Offices, following the implementation of the Department’s Rationalisation Plan (RatPlan) in sub-national offices. Cluster structures were created under the RatPlan to deliver more effectively services to local government units (LGUs) to support the Department’s Byaheng Pinoy: Tapat na Palakad, Bayang Maunlad program.

The Byaheng Pinoy program has four outcomes areas, namely, (1) empowered and accountable LGUs; (2) competitive and business-friendly LGUs; (3) disaster-resilient LGUs; and (4) conflict-free and safe communities. All Cluster Leader-participants to the leadership training are currently developing re-entry action plans (REAPs) in support of any of the four outcome areas, in collaboration with cluster members and under the auspices of the Regional and Provincial Directors of DILG.

Another objective of the human resource and organisational development intervention for DILG is for Cluster Leaders to help improve organisational standards, systems and processes, particularly in relation to the effective operations of clusters in the field. The intended outcome is for Cluster Leaders to contribute to improved local governance and development in local government units (LGUs).

Cluster leadership competencies deepened

During the leadership training workshops, Cluster Leaders applied inclusive and non-judgmental language, methodologies and tools to discover their “natural gifts” or leadership strengths, including individual and team-based assets.

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The idea was to appreciate the collective leadership capital of Cluster Leaders and members, including local stakeholders, in order to co-own and co-create new ways of doing things in response to complex issues in the field and to produce new social arrangements in the community. In so doing, the Cluster Leaders and members are able to emerge their roles, competencies and accountabilities based on their collective strengths.

Among the leadership competencies emphasized was analysing complex issues in the community by using ‘causal loops’ out of stories and positions of various stakeholders. Cluster Leaders also mapped and analysed stakeholders to broaden alliances and manage resistance through communication, collaboration and ‘bridging leadership’ tools.

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Shared visioning was done through logical and creative methodologies, supplemented with a team learning exercise, where humble inquiry methodologies were applied by Cluster Leaders to broaden their vision.  Team learning exposed them to respect the contributions outside the team and to incorporate inputs to expand co-ownership.

Finally, a case clinic was done in the last day of the training.  A member of the geographical group presented a case involving a community dilemma or complex issue and other members acted as process consultants, using all methodologies and tools of Theory U covered in the 6-day leadership training workshop.

Live cases of local transformation, bridging leadership featured

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Emphasising the importance of co-sensing, co-ownership and co-creating in the community, three live cases were also presented in the four batches of leadership training. For the Visayas/Bicol and Mindanao batches, Romy Teruel of the Provincial Government of Bohol shared the LGU’s experiences in making Bohol insurgent-free. The provincial government built trust in insurgency-challenged barangays by mobilising volunteers and engaging local and national stakeholders such as local NGOs/POs, faith-based groups, the military, national agencies and local departments, to develop and implement a holistic anti-poverty program.

For the NCR and Region IVA batch, Sonia Lorenzo, former mayor of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija shared the transformation of the LGU from a fifth class to second class municipality by building trust and winning opponents and opposers to the LGU’s side through a consultative, program-based approach. Similar with the experience of Bohol’s volunteers, San Isidro mobilised and trained barangay health workers (BHWs) and local youth scholars to generate community profiles of local needs, particularly on health, education and agriculture.  These became the bases for program delivery, implementation and monitoring.

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The multi-stakeholder engagement produced positive results. San Isidro farmers were able to more than double the agriculture yield, which also contributed to increased local income for the LGU. The municipality also worked with the Land Bank to enter into a public-private partnership in developing a local water system to deliver inexpensive, safe drinking water to the municipality, the first LGU in the province to do so. It has also transformed the community to enter into social insurance under PhilHealth, with counterparting funds contributed by the families and the municipality. San Isidro has since been recognized as ‘best practice’ by PhilHealth and has been asked to assist other LGUs to replicate this success.

For the final batch of leadership training, the clean air transformation in San Fernando City, La Union was presented. By converting from 2-stroke to 4-stroke engines, tricycles contributed to transforming ambient air quality from unhealthy to fair. The city government provided financing to support the tricycle engine conversion program.

Apart from the live cased presented by key LGU officials, a video of Cebu’s Bantay Banay was also shown documenting a bottoms-up movement by an NGO and local communities to win the support of the city government to address violence against women and children.

Coaching, technical assistance and post-leadership training support pushed

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The AusAID assistance to DILG also includes post-leadership training support, particularly coaching Cluster Leaders in the workplace; conduct of cluster-building activities with cluster members who are municipal local government operating officers; purposive discussions with Cluster Leaders, Regional and Provincial Directors on REAP commitments, competency-based job descriptions, and feedback on change management and enabling conditions. Other outputs of the assistance include developing competency-based job descriptions for Cluster Leaders; Change Management Plan; and Sustainability Action Plan for DILG.

The coaches, also known as process consultants, have also undergone the 6-day leadership development workshop with Cluster Leaders to experience co-sensing, co-ownership and co-creating, and to foster trust-building and openness.  The tools and processes have been experienced during the leadership workshop in an environment of humble inquiry, team learning and collective wisdom—not through argumentation, expertise and authority or power.

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The technical assistance, among others, includes assisting the DILG develop competency-based job descriptions by generating field-level data from Cluster Leaders and assist in surfacing appropriate mechanisms and enabling conditions (i.e. budget, policy, communication and performance management, among others) in the field.

The HROD intervention for DILG started in December 2011 and will be completed in June 2012. Devconsult, Inc. in association with OCCI is the learning service provider for this intervention.

Australia and the Philippines making a difference in civil service performance management

July 17-18, 2013 Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines – Over 1,000 human resource (HR) and organisational development (OD) practitioners and experts from both government and private sectors contributed to a stronger civil service for the Philippines.

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The Philippines Human Resources Symposium 2013 – “Performance Management: Strategies and Breakthroughs” served as a venue to understand and discuss performance management systems and to share best practices in its implementation. The Symposium recognised the importance of human resource development in building public institutions founded on good governance and in bringing about social change and reform.

As the Philippine government’s central human resource institution, the Civil Service Commission led a fully-booked learning session with the goal of strengthening and empowering the Philippine government’s current pool of human resources.

“The Civil Service Commission has always placed a premium on work performance and we believe that the HR Summit will provide valuable inputs in helping HR practitioners come up with the most effective methods in managing performance. Effective performance management relates directly with employee accountability and with accountability comes responsive, efficient and committed public service,” said Chairman Francisco Duque.

Recognizing the significant contribution of the HR Symposium in promoting effective public institutions, Australia supported the event through its flagship initiative on human resource management and development, and organisational development in the Philippines.

“The Australian Government is pleased to be a partner of the Philippine Government, through the Civil Service Commission, in strengthening and empowering its human resource and organisational development practitioners and experts,” said Elaine Ward, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Acting Minister Counsellor.

“Human resource and organization development is key to driving reform and social change. Australia is supporting the Philippine Government to enhance its ability to strengthen the culture of excellence, performance and accountability in the civil service.” she added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been a partner of the Philippine government since the 1950s with development programs focusing on individual performance through scholarships. In the recent years, as part of the evolution of improving systems and human capacity for development, the Australian Government has shifted its focus to building institutions for reform and change.

In 2012, the Australian Government and the Philippine Government signed a Statement of Commitment for which the two countries agreed to work on areas of common interest. From 2012-2017 Australia’s development cooperation program in the Philippines will focus on improving  education, promoting peace and stability, enhancing services delivery with local governments, and helping reduce the country’s risks from natural disasters and climate change.

Australia continues to make a real difference by working with the Philippines to support the foundations for accountable transparent effective and inclusive governance.

24 scholars set to leave for Australia

Twenty-four future leaders and change agents from the Philippines were awarded the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships, the international development scholarship program of the Australian Government. The Filipino awardees are set to leave for Australia in June 2013 to pursue postgraduate studies in Australia’s premier universities.

Twenty-four future leaders and change agents from the Philippines were awarded the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships, the international development scholarship program of the Australian Government. The Filipino awardees are set to leave for Australia in June 2013 to pursue postgraduate studies in Australia’s premier universities.

“We are delighted with the quality of awardees from the Philippines; aside from being the best and the brightest in their respective fields, their passion to spark change in the Philippines is inspiring. Australia Awards Scholarships will give the awardees the opportunity to hone their skills and competencies so they can further contribute to Philippine development,” says Erika Montero-Geronimo, program manager, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australian Aid.

The Filipino awardees, who came from both the public and private sectors, are expected to return to the Philippines after their postgraduate programs to implement their re-entry action plans (REAP).  REAP is a unique feature of the Philippine program, which enables awardees to use their Australian education to implement development programs in the Philippines upon their return.

Some of the notable REAPs of returning awardees include the E-barangay Accounting System in the City’s Accountant’s Office of Davao, developed by Eric Gabia, an awardee from the City Government of Davao; and the Happy Fish Kids, an after-school care centre in a remote fishing village in Davao Oriental, organised by Roy Ponce, an awardee from Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology.

Since the 1950s thousands of Filipinos have been awarded the Australia Awards Scholarships and have implemented development programs in their communities or workplaces. The Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australian Aid, has been assisting the Philippines through Australia Awards Scholarships, which is considered a development tool to help improve the human resource base of the Philippines.

To prepare the 24 awardees for student life in Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australian Aid organised a three-day pre-departure briefing where the awardees further defined their REAPs. The 24 awardees will bring the number of 2013 Australia Awards Scholarships recipients from the Philippines to 129.


For more information on Australia Awards Scholarships, visit www.australiaawardsphilippines.org.

CSC cited for Communication Management Practice

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) went head to head with some of the nation's biggest corporations and advertising agencies for the highest honors at the 13th Philippines Quill Awards and was recognized for its entry in Communication Strategies for Customer Relations under the Communication Management category. The Commission's entry was submitted by Public Assistance and Information Office (PAIO) in October 2014.

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BLMI officers and staff undergo strategic planning in Davao City

Consistent with its commitment to the GPH-MILF Peace Process and the development of people in the proposed Bangsamoro new region, the Australian Government through the Philippines Australia Human Resource Organizational Development Facility (PAHRODF) organized and facilitated a Strategic Planning Workshop for officers and staff of the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) at Microtel Inn, Davao City from April 14 to 16, 2015.

The 20 participants headed by Executive Director Sheikh Mahmod Ahmad were mostly members of the BLMI Steering Committee, and the rest are volunteers that came from Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Basilan, Zamboanga City and Davao Region.

The PAHRODF has been helping the people of Mindanao since 2005 through capacitating human resources and enhancing their competence in managing organizations like BLMI. On November 19, 2014, the Facility conducted needs assessment of BLMI at its training center located at Crossing Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

On December 23, of the same year, the Facility presented its gathered data during the November 19 activity at BLMI to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) headed by Chairman Mohagher Iqbal.

A joint PAHRODF-BLMI planning activity was made on January 12-13, 2015, and all their engagements’ outputs were submitted to the Australia‘s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on March 21. All these undertakings are contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the PAHRODF and BLMI.

During the brief opening program at 2pm on April 14 at MICROTEL, Mr. Warren Hoye, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Manila expressed the Australian Government’s continuing support to the GPH-MILF Peace Process and enhancing the competence and capacity of BLMI personnel. Australia is a member of the International Contact Group (ICG) that is overseeing the flow of the peace process between the GPH and the MILF.

The workshops were very challenging, but so enjoyable. The participants were grouped into four groups who seriously and meticulously did their assignments to come up with good outputs.

Mr. Roberto Bastillo from the Asian Institute of Management, the main facilitator was very articulate and clear on his presentations and supplemental suggestions that everyone admired and appreciated him so much. She was assisted by an equally intelligent, Ms. China Balagat, the Training Manager. The engagements were worth remembering as inputs from both facilitators as well as the outputs from the participants are valuable to the operation of the training institute.

Senior PAHRODF officers who arranged and managed the workshops were headed by Ms. Milalin S. Javellana, Facility Director and Ms. Ma. Theresa B.  Sarona, HRD Adviser.

The participants with the all-out support of the facilitators and the team from PAHRODF came up with a revised but brief Vision and Mission for BLMI. The BLMI goals and the strategies were also set and shall be submitted to the BLMI’s Board of Directors and the Oversight Committee for their review, comment and consideration.

When asked about what is next of line of activities for BLMI, Ms. Balagat said that they found it necessary for BLMI to develop training modules to make it more effective and efficient in its operations but this however is not yet final and subject to the outcome and approval of the workshops’ outputs.

On the second day, BTC Chairman Mohagher Iqbal dropped by the workshops session hall and made some suggestions to improve the vision-mission to make them suitable to the mandate and thrusts of the BLMI. He also briefed the participants on the current status of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), now in congress for deliberations.

 

Source: http://luwaran.net/index.php/welcome/item/913-blmi-officers-and-staff-undergo-strategic-planning-in-davao-city

University in South Cotabato reaps benefits of Australia Awards Scholarships

December 19, 2012 – The Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) in South Cotabato, Mindanao is now enjoying the benefits of having faculty members who completed their postgraduate studies in Australia’s top universities. From 2010 to 2012, NDMU’s College of Education, one of the leading teacher education institutions in Mindanao, has produced topnotchers in the Philippine Licensure Examination for Teachers.

December 19, 2012 – The Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) in South Cotabato, Mindanao is now enjoying the benefits of having faculty members who completed their postgraduate studies in Australia’s top universities. From 2010 to 2012, NDMU’s College of Education, one of the leading teacher education institutions in Mindanao, has produced topnotchers in the Philippine Licensure Examination for Teachers.

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In the recent 2012 Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED) licensure exam, two NDMU education graduates garnered the highest rank (1st place), and another two successfully placed in the top 10 (6th and 9th place).

Dr. Noemi Silva, academic vice-president of NDMU’s College of Education, attributes these milestones to the Australian education received by its faculty members. Since 2005, 13 faculty members from NDMU have received scholarship grants from Australia Awards Scholarships.

“Our professors and instructors who were trained and educated in Australia have been instrumental in facilitating the professional development of the NDMU faculty and in achieving NDMU’s goal of producing globally competent teachers,” said Dr. Silva.

Australia Awards Scholarships, the Australian Government’s scholarship program, offer at least 120 scholarships slots each year to eligible Filipino professionals to pursue postgraduate studies in Australia’s premiere universities. Application for the next batch of Australia Awards for 2014 will be open from 01 February 2013 to 30 April 2013. Interested parties may contact the Philippine Australia Awards Scholarships Secretariat at secretariat@australiaawards.ph . Visit www.australiaawardsphilippines.org for further information on the scholarship program.

Australian Government scholars collaborate to improve programs for Philippine development

December 13, 2012 –Fifteen Filipino recipients of the 2013 Australia Awards Scholarships aim to make a difference and use their Australian education to help address, find solutions and new approaches to development challenges in the Philippines, particularly in the areas of disaster risk reduction management, human resource and organisational development, governance and basic education.

Australia Awards Scholarships is the Australian Government’s scholarship program that aims to develop leadership, build partnerships and enduring linkages between Australia and its partner developing countries, including the Philippines. The program allows awardees to further hone their skills and competencies in Australia’s premier learning and research institutions and equip them to take on more significant and more challenging roles in their countries’ development.

The Filipino scholars recently met to discuss the potential outcomes of their re-entry action plans (REAP) with fellow scholars, representatives from AusAID and the Philippine-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (HRODF). The meeting, held at Oben Hall in Saint Pedro Poveda College, was the first REAP peer-critiquing initiative organized by HRODF.

REAP is a unique feature of the Australian Government scholarships in the Philippines that gives returning scholars the opportunity to apply what they have learned in Australia. Through this feature, scholars create and implement meaningful programs that contribute to Philippine development.

Christianne Santos, one of the 2013 scholars who will take up Masters in Social Work at the University of Melbourne, agreed that their REAP peer critiquing session has been helpful. “The comments and inputs I received on my REAP, which came from different people with different backgrounds and experiences, have challenged me to improve my program to make it more viable and effective in achieving desired development results.”  Inspired by her years of socio-civic work as social action office staff of Saint Pedro Poveda College and as co-founder of the youth program Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid, Christianne’s REAP focuses on providing sustainable educational opportunities to less fortunate Filipino children.

“It was inspiring to hear what my peers are committed to do. After learning about what my fellow scholars would do when they get back, I realized that we are all chosen for a reason–in our own little ways, we are doing our part to spark positive change in our country,” Christianne added.

A total of fifteen REAPs were presented during the event with topics ranging from good governance and basic education to environment protection and agricultural innovations.

Australia Awards Scholarships, the Australian Government’s scholarship program, offer at least 120 scholarships slots each year to eligible Filipino professionals to pursue postgraduate studies in Australia’s premiere universities. Application for the next batch of Australia Awards for 2014 will be open from 01 February 2013 to 30 April 2013. Interested parties may contact the Philippine Australia Awards Scholarships Secretariat at secretariat@australiaawards.ph . Visit www.australiaawardsphilippines.org for further information on the scholarship program.

Australia helps upskill more Bangsamoro project managers for peace and development

A training program supported by the Australian Government has given vital skills to the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) officers as they prepare to foster peace and development in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao.

Thirty (30) BDA officers, mostly project managers, attended a four-day intensive training on project development and management held on 15 to 18 February 2016 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City. The program focused on enabling project managers implement their peace and development projects effectively. Representatives from Queensland University of Technology and the University of Mindanao facilitated the training.

“Australia has been a long-term supporter of peace in Mindanao. The Australian Government is glad to partner with BDA during the transition period and beyond,” said Milalin Javellana, Facility Director of Philippines-Australian Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF), during the closing ceremony. 

“This training a response to a priority need identified in the human resource development plan of BDA and is hoped to enhance projects in the communities they serve,” she explained.

The Australian Government, through PAHRODF, is supporting BDA’s capacity development process as part of its commitment to support the peace and development agenda in Mindanao.

This is the second batch of trainees from the BDA. The first training run produced a Guidebook for Project Development and Management which contain tips, tools and templates to help BDA staff improve their project development and management practices.

BDA is the development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with primary mandate of determining, leading and managing relief, rehabilitation and development projects in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao (CAAM).

In addition to this mandate, the MILF-Central Committee (MILF-CC) issued a resolution in 2014 stating that the BDA shall also be the development manager and coordinator of the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP). The BDP maps out the short and medium-term vision and strategy for the recovery and development of the Bangsamoro including the delivery and upgrade of basic services in their communities. The plan was developed by the BDA together with the support and assistance of other development partners.

Top Australian university QUT strengthens transformative partnership with Philippine universities

One of Australia’s leading universities, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has signed partnership agreements with nine Philippine universities to formalise an already transformative collaboration on the field of education, particularly in teacher training, educational leadership, curriculum and research capacity development.

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One of Australia’s leading universities, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has signed partnership agreements with nine Philippine universities to formalise an already transformative collaboration on the field of education, particularly in teacher training, educational leadership, curriculum and research capacity development.

The nine partner universities are De La Salle University, Mindanao State University, Philippine Normal University, University of the East, University of Mindanao, University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, University of Santo Tomas, and University of Southeastern Philippines.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, who witnessed the MoU signing, said “the MOU signing between QUT and the nine prestigious Philippine universities here today is a testament to a mutually-beneficial partnership. It is our great hope that both Australians and Filipinos will reap the gains of this transformative program.”

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake travelled to Manila to sign the partnership agreements in a move that will formalize and strengthen ties between QUT and the universities.

Professor Coaldrake said that program had identified universities as critical partners having a key role to play in ensuring that the new generation of teachers continue to promote ‘inclusive teaching and learning’.

The formal partnerships stem from an earlier public sector linkages program on inclusive education that QUT implemented with the Philippine Department of Education and National Council for Disability Affairs.

QUT has actively collaborated with the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission for Higher Education to deliver professional development programs for their staff as well as higher education institution staff in support of the Philippines’ Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda.

The agreements will also see QUT undertake capacity building activities with the universities in areas of governance, disaster management, trade and industry and organisational development.

QUT’s collaboration with the local universities was facilitated by Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF) through its Institutional Partnerships Program. The Facility brokers academic collaborations between Australian and Philippine universities to provide tailor-made and contextually-relevant educational experiences for partner government organisations, including the DepEd.

Australia is the largest bilateral donor to the education sector, including in support of reforms related to the Department of Education’s K to 12 initiative through the PhP 6 billion (A$150 million) Basic Education Sector Transformation or BEST Program.


Photo caption:
(To follow from Nelson)

(Hi-res image available at : http://www.philippines.embassy.gov.au/mnla/Speech150304.html)

Note to editors:   Media enquiries on QUT’s partnership agreements maybe addressed to:  Rose Trapnell, QUT media team leader, 07 3138 2361 or 0407 585 901, rose.trapnell@qut.edu.au

Australia hands over HR and OD learning materials to PHL Government

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorely, recently led the ceremonial handover of human resource and organisational development (HR/OD) knowledge products to the Philippine Government, which also marked the culmination of the Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF).

PAHRODF is the Australian Government’s flagship program for supporting human resource management, organisational development, and institutional change in the Philippines. The program, which ran from 2010 to 2017, supported 38 organisations including key Philippine public service agencies such as the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Department of Education (DepEd) among others. Through PAHRODF’s support, these partner government agencies were able to strengthen HR management in their organisations that it significantly contributed to improving effectiveness and efficiency in delivering services to Filipinos.

“The Australian Government is proud of our accomplishments under PAHRODF. The Facility and its predecessor, the Human Resources Development Facility, have always been pioneers here in the Philippines. Australia was the first international development partner that had a strong focus on human resources and organisational development. I believe we are still also the development partner that has the strongest focus on this area of work and is the partner of choice in this field,” said Ambassador Gorely.

Meanwhile, in his keynote speech during the handover ceremony, Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) underscored PAHRODF’s contribution to the Philippine long term vision.

“The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 provides for the strengthening of the civil service, enhancement of labor capacities and improvement of service delivery, with human capital development, specifically, higher education, serving as an accelerator of innovation and inclusive economic prosperity.  The Duterte Administration’s Six-Point Peace and Development agenda, on the other hand, emphasizes the need to strengthen government development institutions and mechanisms to increase their responsiveness to issues faced by the country today. Through the PAHRODF, I believe we have begun the process of building confidence right where it matters: in the government’s most valuable assets - its institutions and the civil servants,” he said.

One of PAHRODF’s key contributions to the Philippine Government is its support to the Civil Service Commission’s PRIME-HRM* which will help transform the entire bureaucracy’s human resource from being transactional to strategic as it provides the standard against which all government agencies measure their HR systems. Other notable PAHRODF interventions include developing competency-based HR systems for recruitment and promotion; learning and development; strategic planning; performance management; coaching and mentoring; and management and leadership development.

All of the learnings from these interventions were documented in various knowledge products that were handed over to the Philippine Government as resource in continuing its mission of strengthening human resource and organisational development in government institutions.

“The guidebooks and manuals will help carry on the reforms we have initiated. I trust that they will continue to encourage and inspire others to adopt strategic human resource management in their own organisations. I have no doubt that the system improvements and the learnings gained through the Facility will continue,” said Ambassador Gorely.

Speaking on behalf of the Philippine Government, Undersecretary Renato Solidum of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recognised the value of PAHRODF’s support and the significant role of its knowledge products in sustaining the gains of the Facility.

“Our partnerships with PAHRODF have tremendously improved our capacities to fulfill our mandates, our competencies to make our work more effective, efficient and of high quality, and our readiness for change to make us more adaptive and relevant to the demands of the times. The Knowledge Management products and documents that have been turned over to us, would serve as guides for us to continue to improve our HR and OD systems and process, and for other organisations to apply,” he said.

For the past seven years, PAHRODF has produced 240 knowledge products, implemented over 135 HR/OD interventions, and trained over 3,000 intervention participants from its partner agencies.

 

 

*Program to Institutionalise Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM)

BDA gears up for transition, implementation of the Bangsamoro Development Plan

The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) is preparing for its role as the hub for development and as the donor coordinator during the transition process for conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. As part of the BDA’s capacity development initiatives, twenty (20) officers, including project managers and members of the board, attended a five-day intensive training workshop on Project Development and Management (PDM) on 22-26 June 2015 at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City. The Australian Government, through the Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF), is supporting BDA’s capacity development process in line with its commitment to support the peace and development agenda in Mindanao.

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The program on PDM focused on enabling the project managers to fulfil their role effectively and was conducted by facilitators from Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in collaboration with the University of Mindanao.

Mr. Warren Hoye, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy said that “the Australian Government is glad to partner with BDA during the transition period and beyond.  The project development and management training is a response to a priority need identified in the human resource development plan of BDA and is hoped to enhance projects in the communities they serve towards lasting peace in Mindanao.”

As a result of the training program on PDM, BDA produced a Guidebook for Project Development and Management.  The guidebook contains tips, tools and templates that will help the BDA development workers and staff improve their project development and management practices. During the program’s closing ceremony, Dr Saffrullah Dipatuan, Chairperson of the BDA’s Board of Directors, acknowledged the role of its development partners, including the Australian government, in its efforts to strengthen the enabling environment for peace and development in Mindanao.

Australia has been a long-term supporter of peace in Mindanao. Australia’s aid programs in Mindanao include contributions to the Mindanao Trust Fund, support to the peace process, and programs to improve the delivery of education in the region.

BDA has been playing a role in implementing donor-funded development projects. The organization has been working with a number of international donors including the World Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Australian government.

BDA is the development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with the primary mandate of determining, leading and managing relief, rehabilitation and development projects in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao (CAAM). In addition to this mandate, the MILF-Central Committee (MILF-CC) issued a resolution in 2014, stating that the BDA shall also be the development manager and coordinator of the Bangsamoro Development Plan. The BDP is the blueprint that maps out the short and medium-term vision and strategy for the recovery and development of the Bangsamoro including the delivery and upgrade of basic services in communities during and beyond the transition period (from ARMM to Bangsamoro government). The plan was developed by the BDA together with the support and assistance of development partners.

DLSU-UoN Graduation Speech - by Lady Hanifah Mindalano

To the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Amanda Gorely; University of Newcastle Pro Vice-Chancellor for International and Advancement Mrs. Winnie Eley; DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido; College of Business Dean Dr. Brian Gozun; Faculty of Business and Law Assistant Dean Dr. Tony Drew; DLSU Commerical Law Department Chair Atty. Antonio Ligon; CHED Chairperson Hon. Patricia Licuanan; DLSU Alumni Association Dr. Derrick Yu; administrators, university fellows, faculty and graduates, friends and family, good afternoon.

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I am extremely honoured to be speaking in front of you in this very important occasion. While to many graduates, this culminates a chapter of their lives, to our batch, this is a continuation of what we have begun from DLSU to UON, Australia. We’re just taking a breather from the fun and challenges that we have faced and survived in our Australia Awards journey. This is our much-deserved reward and today, we celebrate it.

Now when I was asked to give a speech in this ceremony, I said YES without hesitation. I knew I had a lot of stories to share. But I was warned I only had ten minutes to speak, ten minutes to fit more than a year of wonderful adventure. I panicked for a second, how could I possibly pull this off? Then I remembered our training at the Uni: we read 10-15 academic journals, each with 20-50 pages at least. That’s around 20 thousand words, all for one essay where we had to argue our points using only 300 words. In my mind, I heard my friends in Australia say “You’d be alright, mate!” I reckon they’re right.

So I took a step back and walked down memory lane. Out of the many reasons I had for applying in this program, three motivations stood out: 1.) my frustrations 2.) my lack of experience and 3.) I was heartbroken.

I was frustrated with the incessant power interruptions in my city accompanied by lack of water supply. I was frustrated we have no internet connection. I had to travel two to three hours to Iligan or Cagayan de Oro just to send an email with attachment or upload documents for my application. I was frustrated that even when the law allowed me to introduce changes in my office, I can still be hamstrung by people’s resistance to cultural change.

This brings me to my second motivation: lack of experience. I wanted to spur change in our organization but I did not have the technical know-how, much less the exposure to bring it into being. Hence, I decided to dive into my own obliviousness and braved a program I had no solid background in.

Number 3, I was heartbroken. Heartbroken because we had too many talents in my community who could be making massive waves and remarkable contributions to our country but they were stuck in thankless jobs, watching days pass them by. They didn’t have much choice, they couldn’t leave their families and there were not a lot of opportunities in my hometown. It was heartbreaking because I couldn’t do anything about it. And when I told my family I wanted to find employment somewhere else because there was nothing for me there, they suggested I settle down because I was already beyond the age of raising a family. Apparently to them, marriage was the answer to my problem.

Fast forward, I applied for the scholarship, interviewed, got in, Alhamulillah (thank God). I attended Monday to Friday classes in DLSU and underwent legal exercises on conflict management, honed our skills in research, classroom presentations, studied industrial relations. It was overwhelming at first but we had speedy wifi connection everywhere, access to the library and approachable professors. Back that up with support from our respective mentors and our generous and patient family in PAHRODF who readily responded to our concerns, we were very encouraged to push through our endeavors.

Two months later, we were in Australia. There I caught sight of the Sydney Opera House for the very first time. I knew that DFAT and the immigration officers will have to forcibly drag me out of Australia because I instantly fell in love with the country. We were immediately given a tour of the Uni, libraries open 24hours, high end facilities, infinite access to international academic journals, books and other sources, amazing study spaces, friendly and helpful librarians and professors who are available for consultations via phone call, text message, Skype or by appointment in their office. It was impressive how all these were provided to us by the program.

But it wasn’t all study and work of course. There were heaps of fun involved and since we only had a year to spend there, we made sure every second counted. We travelled a lot. We visited and took tons of selfies in the breathtaking beaches of Australia, the stunning mountains, spectacular views, listened about their history, reveled in their beautiful arts and memorial museums, picnicked and jogged in their picturesque parks and botanical gardens, marveled at the bluest of skies, made friends with the warm outgoing Aussies and relished the multi-cultural ambiance that it offered. Not to mention, their four seasons.  Winter was my favorite. The first time I experienced fresh snow fall was in Hobart, Tasmania. In case you’re wondering, yes, the first thng I did was make snow angel. I had snowball fight with friends, some weren’t playing nicely. We made a snowman, it was nothing like Olaf. Our hands were frozen beneath our gloves but we let our happiness rage on. We let it go. The cold never bothered us anyway. We were pleased with the traffic-free public transport, the amiable bus drivers, wide open roads, systemic rubbish disposal, I could go on and on with this list but I reckon, the most important takeaway from the experience is how the scholarship addressed my frustrations, my lack of experience, and my broken heart. The main reasons that propelled me to embark upon this venture.

From my Australia Awards journey, I learned that I needed to experience those frustrations to kick me out of my comfort zone and actually think about what I could do to remedy the situation. I needed to think outside the box and this program gave me the environment to do just that. My lack of knowledge in HRM was not going to be an excuse to exempt myself from becoming a part of the solution. Had I insisted on this as my limitation, I probably would have pulled back early on and still not know what I can be capable of doing as a willing partner for development. If it wasn’t for this scholarship, I would not have met passionate change makers and brilliant HR managers, my classmates. Some practically wrote the book on Organizational Behaviour, others know Training and Development like the back of their hands, while the rest are seasoned HR practitioners and consultants. I have been blessed to be in the midst of such incredible group of leaders and critical thinkers.

In this program I also realized I needed to allow my heart to break because nation building isn’t for the faint-hearted. There will be many times that despite hard work, you will not achieve the results you hoped for and that’s alright. Change takes time. I’m anticipating there will be roadblocks in the implementation of our REAP. The ultimate challenge is to stay on track and never lose sight of our goal.

When I left Australia, it shattered my heart into pieces. I cried buckets at the airport. I cried some more when I arrived home with a candle-lit dinner waiting for me. I was welcomed with eight days of black out. I had to climb on top of our roof to get signal and connect with friends both overseas and in the Philippines. I was back in the dark ages. I could easily sneak under a rock and forget the rest of the world but I’ve already been through several heartbreaks in Australia, I think I’d be alright. I just need to keep going. And that’s exactly my message to every one of my batch mates. For us to keep going. It’s easier said than done but there’s no other way to remedy our frustrations than to do something about it ourselves. We have been so fortunate to be supported by our government and Australia in our endeavor to pursue further studies. It’s time we pay it forward. Let our DLSU-UON education serve as pathway to attaining excellence in public service and upgrading ourselves to become more useful components of our society.

And so in behalf of my batch mates, I would like express my sincerest gradtitude to the Australia Awards Scholarship, De La Salle University, PAHRODF, University of Newcastle, our mentors…and all those involved in making this once in a lifetime opportunity a reality. We hope to meet, if not surpass your expectations, in our commitment to become active partners for change and development. To my batch mates, my friends, my family, thank you so much for everything.

My heartfelt congratulations! We finally made it! Now let’s get things going!

Filipino Australia alumni shine in international confabs

We proudly commend two Australia Awards scholars who were invited to present their studies in the Philippine Update Conference 2016 held at the Australian National University in Canberra last 02-03 September 2016 with the theme Sustaining the Momentum for Change Beyond 2016.

Alongside celebrated academicians and researchers, their research papers were selected amongvarious submissions, owing to their significance and relevance in the economic and socio-cultural development landscape of the Philippines today. Raymond Marvic Baguilat, graduate of Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne, presented a paper on Balancing Indigenous People’s Rights and Mining : An Analysis of Mining under the Aquino Administration and the Way Forward. On the other hand, Maximo Macalipes, Jr., an alumni with a Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Swinburne University of Technology – Melbourne, gave a presentation on the Participation of Muslim Women to the Socio-Economic and Political Development of Davao City. Kudos to our Filipino Global Alumni for a job well done!

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On a similar note, we are proud of Filipino Australia Awards scholars who received Highly Commended Awards for their research presentations at the 2016 International Conference on Building Resilience on 7-9 September 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. Muriel Naguit, a PhD student at the Research School of Earth Sciences of Australian National University, has been commended for her research on earthquake hazards. Muriel's research is supervised by Phil Cummins, and aims to understand the risks in southeast Asia caused by large earthquakes.  Similarly, Luigi Toda, Master of Environmental Management and Development, representing Crawford/ANU and his former organization, The Oscar M. Lopez Center,   bagged the same award with his paper presentation entitled ""LiDAR-based flood mapping for agricultural resilience and food security“.  Congratulations, Muriel and Luigi!