Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR100421 Australia Celebrates Filipino Development Scholars


World-class academic standards, exposure to a multi-cultural environment, networking opportunities, life in another country and, best of all, the opportunity to contribute to Philippines’ development.

These experiences and achievements were celebrated by over 300 Filipino recipients of Australia Awards scholarships in a recognition ceremony on 21 April at the SMX Convention Centre in SM Mall of Asia. This is the first time the Australian Government held such an event for returned scholars from the Philippines.

With the theme “Scholars: Frontrunners of Change in Organisations and Communities”, the event recognised the hard work and academic excellence of Filipinos who have studied in Australia, and who have now returned to apply their learning in their workplaces and communities.

“Australia Awards scholarships demonstrate Australia’s commitment to supporting development in the Philippines, and to promoting greater mutual understanding and cooperation,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith said.

“Scholarships have been an integral part of Australia’s aid program to the Philippines for 50 years and will continue to be an important part of the relationship between the two countries,” he said.

The Philippines is one of Australia’s major development partners, particularly in education. The Philippines is the fourth largest recipient of Australian scholarships. Every year, Australia provides long-term, post-graduate awards to around 100 Filipino scholars.

“An Australian scholarship allows high achievers in the Philippines to extend their education, strengthen their leadership skills, build networks and develop strategies to address the development challenges in the Philippines,” Ambassador Smith said.

“Australia’s scholarship program reflects the fundamental principle underpinning our development partnership with the Philippines – education has the power to transform lives. Education is the engine room of ideas. It builds the fabric of societies, promotes development and fosters the growth of strong institutions.”

Reflecting Australia’s strong commitment to Filipino scholars, representatives from 13 leading Australian universities joined the celebration in Manila to recognise the accomplishments of their Filipino students.

“On behalf of the Australian Government I warmly congratulate these returned scholars, now equipped with a world class international education and a wealth of new experiences. They represent a new breed of leaders who will shepherd change in their institutions and influence social and economic policy reform for improved development outcomes in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region,” Ambassador Smith said.

For further information about Australia Awards scholarship opportunities visit