On Thursday 12 May 2016, His Excellency Mr Andrew Ford, Australian High Commissioner to Tonga will welcome more than 50 alumni members to an Australia Alumni Networking Event. Among those expected to attend will be Ministers of the Crown, members of the clergy, heads of departments and non-government representatives. The event is a re-affirmation of Australia’s ongoing support for scholarships and alumni activities in Tonga. The event will also mark the recent launch of an Australian Global Alumni Association.
Up to 30 new awards are being offered to Tongans to study in Australia and the Pacific in 2017. Students will be selected through a competitive process managed by the Australian High Commission in consultation with the Government of Tonga.
In the past 20 years, over 400 Tongan students have received a scholarship from the Australian Government to undertake long term higher education in Australia and the Pacific region. Many others have funded themselves to undertake studies in Australia. 107 students are currently on award.
The Australian Government is committed to supporting education, training and the development of marketable skills to assist Pacific Islanders to lead more productive lives. Thriving communities and societies, diverse as they may be, have one thing in common – a skilled, qualified and capable workforce. Australia’s investments in Australia Awards and the Australia Pacific Technical College are providing opportunities for people from across the Pacific, and helping drive economic growth in the region.
The Australian Government regards the scholarships programs as a very important development cooperation modality of Australia’s aid program. It complements other aspects of Australia’s engagement with Tonga, including our support to skills development in Tonga, and links to Pacific labour mobility including through the Seasonal Workers Program.
For more information on Australian Government’s Support on Australia Awards, please contact Telusa Tu’I’onetoa or Asi Vanisi, ph: 23244, or email Telusa.FotuTuionetoa@dfat.gov.au or Asi.Vanisi@dfat.gov.au