Australia Awards

Kevin Dayonga: The People's Voice

From the vanishing sun to the prospect of rainwater filling the ocean, his curious mind pondered it all. But it was the mechanics of radio voices that truly captured his attention.

Years later, Kevin’s passion for journalism and advocacy for underrepresented communities to give them a voice, led him to pursue a Master of Combined Studies in Media and Communications and Creative Industries at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, through the Australia Awards Scholarship.

Building Knowledge and Leadership

Funded by Australia Awards PNG, these courses are designed to enhance capacity in STEM education and improve the identification, response, and management of diseases and infections through Health Science.

The awardees were welcomed to the country with a beautiful ceremony featuring indigenous Nunukul Yagera dancers, who acknowledged and gave their consent as traditional owners of the land where the event was taking place, showing deep respect for the rich culture of the Australian Indigenous people.

Everyday People: Dr Irene Semos

“Therefore, I applied for the Australia Awards Scholarship to study a PhD, so that I could do research and contribute to new knowledge in curriculum delivery,” says Dr Irene Semos, lecturer at Divine Word University (DWU) in Madang Province.

The DWU lecturer, from Manus and Bougainville, has a Master of International Public Health and recently obtained a PhD in Public Health from the University of Queensland (UQ) through Australia Awards PNG.

“Each of my parents have PhDs. They are my greatest inspiration.”

Pacific Women join Development Leadership Program

These applicants hail from seven Pacific Island countries which are Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. They are Australia Awards scholars who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential. 

Through the program, each participant will be supported to develop their own leadership style, build key leadership skills and behaviours, and develop regional and country-based networks to help drive positive development change in the Pacific.

Everyday People: Rosemary Imara

Agribusiness is definitely one of the ways we can do that, said Australia Awards alumna, Rosemary Imara.

Rosemary is passionate about helping fellow Papua New Guineans to build better lives for themselves and their communities by making use of the huge potential of agriculture in PNG.

“Papua New Guineans have great potential to transform our land into farmlands and create our own agribusiness,” she said.

Everyday People: Lydia Nenai

Originally from Rigo District in Central Province, Lydia’s interest in climate change started when she joined UNDP in 2012.

She saw first-hand the challenges of identifying different climate change impacts and solutions for different communities and regions.

She applied for an Australia Award on impulse when she was working with the PNG Climate Change Authority, with the full support of her employer.

Invaluable lessons for midwives

But she got more out of the experience than she expected.

“I helped deliver a baby girl and she was named after me!” Jennifer recalls. “We delivered the baby without any complications. It was a clean delivery.”

Monipa, an Australia Awards scholar who recently completed study in 2020 at the University of Goroka (UOG), visited Middle Fly district in 2019 on a midwifery practicum with YWAM Medical Ships.

Scholars embrace innovation during COVID-19

More than 200 long-term Australia Awards scholars from PNG are putting this idea into practice by embracing innovation to continue their studies during COVID-19.

One of those scholars is Wavie Kendino, who was only a few weeks into her Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Master of Commercial Law in Melbourne when the pandemic was declared.

After seven years as a corporate lawyer in PNG, Kendino fully expected new challenges but a global pandemic was not one of them.

New generation of female scholars making their mark

Mosoro, from East Sepik, describes herself as a second-generation Australia Awards scholar – both her parents were awarded Australian government scholarships before her.

Mosoro says her parents and other female mentors inspired her to apply for a Master of Public Health at The University of Melbourne in 2018.

“My goal for taking up the Master of Public Health was to come back to PNG and take part in creating evidence-based public health programs, particularly in sexual reproductive health,” she stated.

Doctor recognised for medical research excellence

A medical practitioner and Australia Awards scholarship alumnus from Simbu Province, Dr Aglua works as a clinical research coordinator at the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Kundiawa General Hospital.

After graduating with a Master’s of Public Health from James Cook University, Queensland, in 2016, Dr Aglua initiated the set-up of a Clinical Research Centre at the Kundiawa General Hospital with the support of the Hospital board and administration.