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 . Visit for further information on the scholarship program.