Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaking with Australia Awards recipients at an Australian alumni event at the Residence
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with Australia Award recipients at an Australian alumni event at the Residence
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently met with 15 Sri Lankan Australia Awards Scholarship recipients at a reception in Colombo where she congratulated them on their contributions to the development of Sri Lanka since returning from Australia.
The Minister joined the Australia Awards Alumni for an informal meeting at the Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka where she was participating in CHOGM. She heard from the Alumni about their experiences, achievements and challenges while studying in Australia under Australian Government-funded scholarships.
Since graduating from Australian universities, many Australia Awards Alumni now hold senior positions in the Government of Sri Lanka. They are applying their new skills and knowledge to roles that include cooperation on people smuggling, promoting employment opportunities and strengthening the public sector—areas directly linked to Sri Lanka’s and Australia’s national interests.
The Minister welcomed the recent establishment of a formal alumni association for those Sri Lankans who have received an Australia Award. The Australia Awards Alumni Association aims to strengthen links between returned scholars, support the professional and personal development of alumni and continue to build people-to-people links with Australia.
The Australia Awards are the Australian Government’s prestigious scholarships and fellowships which build knowledge, education and enduring ties between Australia and its neighbours. The Australia Awards create a global network of leaders committed to social development and economic growth with strong links to Australia.
The Australian Government has provided nearly 1000 scholarships to Sri Lankans to study in Australia since the Colombo Plan of the 1950s. Next year, 30 Sri Lankans will commence studies under an Australia Award scholarship at one of Australia’s world class institutions.