Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR160210: Returning Australian scholars continue legacy of the #First70Years, set to push development agenda in the country

Returning Australian scholars continue legacy of the #First70Years, set to push development agenda in the country


Twenty-nine Filipinos, all recent graduates of Australian universities, were welcomed by the Australian Embassy during a 3-day conference held on 9 to 11 February 2016 in Davao City.

The scholars are recipients of the prestigious Australia Awards program awarded each year by the Australian Government.  Since the 1950s more than 2,000 of the best and brightest Filipinos have been given the opportunity under the program to gain internationally-recognised qualification from an Australian institution.

“This year, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of Australia-Philippines bilateral relations,” said Richard Rodgers, Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Manila. “This long legacy of cooperation is bolstered by our remarkable partnership in education, which started in the 1950s with Filipino scholars under the original Colombo Plan studying in Australia to be future leaders.   This legacy is now being carried on through the Australia Awards.”

The conference is not only a homecoming ceremony but also a venue for the scholars to put the finishing touches to their re-entry action plans (REAPs).  A unique feature of the Australia Awards program, the REAPs are innovative projects spearheaded by the scholars to be implemented in their chosen community or organisation.   The projects apply the knowledge and skills gained by the awardees while studying and living in Australia, and contribute to the development of the Philippines.

One such project is revolutionising how future educators are learning today.   Val Quimno, Assistant Professor at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), has designed a technology-based approach to the delivery of USeP’s Master of Education in Instructional Leadership (MEIL) program.

Quimno’s concept for a graduate-level program allowed students living far from USeP’s campus in Davao City to collaborate, interact, and learn outside a traditional classroom through an online platform.  

“I kept thinking of my experiences in Australia and wanted to replicate them,” shares the Australia Awards scholar.   Quimno earned a Master in eLearning at the University of Technology in Sydney in 2006 and a Doctorate in Information Technology at the University of New South Wales in 2015.

The Australian alumnus has grander plans now that he has completed his PhD program. “Together with my fellow Australia Awards scholars, we plan to align our REAPs for greater impact in our organisations and the development of the country,” said Quimno.

Applications for Masters and PhD programs commencing in January 2017 are now open. For a list of our eligibility requirements and priority fields of study, please visit  #



Twenty-nine returning Australia scholars continue #First70Years legacy.  Australian Embassy Counsellor Richard Rodgers (center) joins returning Australia Awards scholars in a conference held in Davao on February 9 to 11.  During the conference, the scholars finalized their development-oriented re-entry action plans (REAPs), a unique feature of the Australia Awards.