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Bond University Helping Develop Future Asia-Pacific Leaders

Bond University has this year welcomed six postgraduate students from developing nations as part of the Federal Government’s Australian Scholarships initiative.

The initiative is designed to build partnerships and increase mutual understanding, knowledge and innovation in the Asia Pacific region, through offering an umbrella of scholarship programs, including the Australian Development Scholarships, and the new AusAID-managed Australian Leadership Awards. Both provide recipients with full tuition scholarships to undertake tertiary studies in Australia in areas relevant to the development needs of the country.

Liberty Chee, from the Philippines, chose to study at Bond University after being awarded an Australian Leadership Award, and commenced her Masters of Global Governance and Regional Politics in January.

“One of the reasons I chose Bond University was because it offered a curriculum that was very different from the courses offered in the Philippines. When I compared the curriculum of other Australian universities I found that they were too similar, and not as advanced. The main attraction to Bond was the fact that the program itself was very unique,” Ms Chee said.

“The University’s reputation as an international campus also appealed to me – half of the students here are from other countries and I am able to meet people from all over the world.

“It is excellent that the Australian Government gives this opportunity to people all over the Asia Pacific. It signals that Australia wants to interact more with neighbouring countries, which I believe is a really positive thing.”

Prior to accepting the scholarship, Ms Chee was teaching French and political science at a tertiary level, a role which she hopes to continue on her return home.

Also hoping to improve their knowledge and skills to become a better teacher is Ariyanti Palupi, from Indonesia, who took up the opportunity to study at Bond University after being awarded an Australian Development Scholarship.

Ms Palupi commenced her Masters of Arts, specialising in teaching Languages Other than English (LOTE), at Bond University in January.

“I’m hoping this experience will allow me to improve myself – I’m a French teacher, and have studied French literature and language, but I need to learn more about the education side of things,” Ms Palupi said.

“This scholarship will allow me to improve myself as a teacher, and in return I’ll be able to help in the teaching of other languages in my country. The knowledge of languages is very important in assisting my country to build connections with other countries in the region.

“I believe this is a very smart initiative of the Australian Government- it gives students in developing countries the chance to do more with their lives and improve themselves, and in turn, their home countries,” she said.

Other scholarship winners attending Bond University this year as part of the Federal Government’s Australian Scholarships initiative are Elah Marie Abangan (Philippines), June Carino (Palau), Antoinette Mokhoabane (Lesotho) and Thushara Samaratunga (Sri Lanka).

Mr Samaratungu, a town planner with the Ministry of Urban Planning in Sri Lanka, is among the first students to enrol in Bond University’s new Masters of Urban Planning. He says there is a severe shortage of qualified urban planners in his home country, and is hoping to use his experience to “make a better living place for Sri Lankan citizens”.

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