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.

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

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