Australian Embassy announces inaugural Alumni Grants Scheme Recipients
22 October 2014
Four innovative projects spearheaded by Australian alumni have been awarded funding support under the Australian Embassy’s inaugural Alumni Grants Scheme (AGS).
Launched in June 2014, the AGS enables Australian alumni to harness their expertise towards projects that contribute to growth and prosperity of the Philippines, particularly in sectors that have been identified as priority areas for cooperation by the Australian and Philippine Governments. These sectors include: education; emergency management; governance; environment; and entrepreneurship.
These initiatives seek to create opportunities for public-private partnerships and development advocacies, as well as to recognise significant contributions made by Australian alumni to Philippine society and in their chosen professions.
“Australia recognises the important role that alumni play as innovators, change-makers, and partners in development,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell. “I have always said that our alumni are life-long ambassadors for Australia and the proposals we have received for the AGS is a clear demonstration of the calibre of Australian-educated Filipinos, and the outstanding creativity and generous spirit of our alumni.”
“We are proud of our alumni who have not only grown and advanced their education credentials at Australia’s world-class universities, but are now giving back to their home country by sharing their talent and time.” said Anthony Weymouth, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner of the Australian Embassy.
The 2014 projects, which will each receive funding support of up to PHP 500,000.00, are aimed at contributing to the economic empowerment of women farmers in Nueva Vizcaya; assessing disaster risk and climate change vulnerability in Cauayan City; promoting sustainable volunteer-tourism in Luzon and Visayas; and transformative math and science education in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte.
The project teams are composed of:
- Alumni from the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, Deakin University-Rusden, and Polytechnic West, who have developed a farm-to-market project, which hopes to stimulate entrepreneurship and yield economic benefits for women farmers in Nueva Vizcaya. The project will provide training for 250 women farmers on efficient and productive food processing and marketing techniques;
- Alumni from the Australian National University, University of South Australia, University of Queensland and in-country short-term courses, who will produce a city-level disaster risk and climate change vulnerability assessment report. The report will serve as the main reference of the Cauayan City in Isabela for integration into a Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The team is composed of top level and middle managers from the government sector.
- Alumni from universities in Melbourne - Monash University, University of Melbourne, and Swinburne University of Technology - who have banded together to form Pushpin Movement, which aims to promote responsible and sustainable volunteer tourism in the Philippines. The group will target volunteers from Australian schools and institutions and connect them with Philippine communities and projects supported by fellow scholars, making travel to the Philippines not only fun, but more meaningful; and
- Alumni from Curtin University and Monash University, whose project aims to transform math and science education through innovative delivery and culturally-inclusive teacher-training and instructional materials. The group, made up of five professors from the University of Mindanao, will implement their project in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte.
There are over 10,000 Filipino alumni of Australian universities and institutions, with 3,000 alumni from the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarship program alone. Australian alumni continue to make a valuable contribution to a wide range of sectors in Philippine society, including in business, education and government, science and technology, medicine and health sciences, the arts and media.
Australian Embassy Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Anthony Weymouth congratulates Australian alumni Guillermo Bonghanoy, Belinda Esguerra, Carla Magalona, Ann Marie Cunanan, Miday Umali, Lucita Dela Pena, and Gresal Tapulao at the inaugural Alumni Grants Scheme awarding ceremony. Also joining him are Erika Geronimo of the Australian Embassy and the Philippines Australia Human Resource Organisational Facility's Milalin Javellana, Kina Santillan, Ricky Lozari and Jen Nicholas.