The Australian High Commission hosted a pre-departure briefing today for 42 Fijians who will study in Australia on Australia Award Scholarships in 2015.
The Awardees will study at various Australian universities for Bachelors Degree, Graduate Diploma and Masters qualifications in Agricultural Science, Agribusiness, Biomedical Science, Business and Human Resource Management, Commerce, Economic Policy, Engineering, Environment, Geographic Information Science, Governance, Inclusive and Special Education, International Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health, Learning Sciences and Technology, Science, Social Work, Project Management, and Urban Development.
The Australia Awards Scholarships funded by the Australian Government will contribute to the long term development needs of Australia’s partner countries, in line with bilateral and regional agreements.
In 2014, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade invested AUD$362.2 million in Australia Awards globally, enabling over 4,400 recipients from more than 100 countries to undertake study, research and professional development.
Counsellor for Bilateral Development Cooperation Joanne Choe commended Awardees on their selection and encouraged them to apply their learning towards Fiji’s development.
“Hopefully you are full of excitement and anticipation for the adventure that’s to come. We know that you will do very well and come back to do amazing things to contribute to your workplace, your country and your country’s development,” Ms Choe said.
Australian Awardee Sameer Chand, 26, of the Reserve Bank of Fiji looks forward to pursuing his passion for financial inclusion through a Masters of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Queensland.
“My Masters has a public policy element to it and it’s so important to have very simple and to-the-point policies – policies that eliminate financial barriers,” Chand said.
“Being a youth and understanding the challenges we face, I really want to focus on how youth can get access to finance and then start being entrepreneurial,” he added.
The Australian Government has committed around FJD$5 million for new scholarships as part of its development assistance in Fiji for 2014-2015. It is therefore critical that employment agencies – public and private sectors – factor these skills into their future human resource planning.