FORTY Solomon Islands students will study in universities both in Australia and the Pacific region in 2018 under Australia Awards Scholarships.
The Australia Awards program provides successful applicants with the skills and knowledge to drive change and influence economic and social development in Solomon Islands.
The awards covers travel, health insurance, living allowances, tuition fees and university costs.
Award recipients will be undertaking undergraduate and postgraduate studies in various fields including health, education, gender equality, economics, law, engineering, fisheries, environment, agriculture, information technology and statistics.
Congratulating the successful students, Australia High Commissioner Roderick Brazier said ‘Increasing the number of women in leadership positions is very important and we are proud that half of the scholarships awarded for 2018 are for women.’
“The scholarships are an important part of Australia’s partnership with Solomon Islands as it provides opportunities for Solomon Islanders to receive a quality education and to build skills, leadership, knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the whole country,” Mr Brazier said.
Meanwhile, as part of the 2018 Australia Awards intake, Richard Molea has been announced as the Ed Smith Memorial Prize recipient.
The prize honours the life and work of Ed Smith, an Australian High Commission officer who passed away while serving in the Solomon Islands in 2014.
The Prize assists an outstanding Australia Award recipient each year to develop leadership and professional skills in the fields of education, fisheries or agriculture – areas which Ed was passionate about.
Richard is a Senior Program Coordinator in the Water Resource Management Division of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification.
He is studying a Master of Integrated Water Management at the University of Queensland.
In receiving the award, Mr Molea said he was honoured and humbled to accept the award.
“Receiving the award means a lot to me and reminds me to be a dedicated public servant to contribute to the social and economic development of our country.
“Your generosity inspires and motivates me to help others and give back to the community.”
Solomon Islanders who have studied in Australia in the past are encouraged to join the Solomon Islands Australia Alumni Association, through their facebook page.
The Association provides an opportunity to network with other graduates and Australians living in Solomon Islands.
Applications for the 2019 Australia Awards intake will open in February 2018.