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New Australia Awards Scholarships

Australia has built further on its investment of over five decades in Laos’ human resource development needs with the award of 30 new tertiary scholarships.

Australia’s visiting Minister for Defence, the Hon Marise Payne, and Lao Minister for Education and Sports, H.E. Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, today congratulated the 30 young Lao men and women selected in 2017 to study in Australia under Australia Awards scholarships at an official conferral ceremony in Vientiane.

Australia Awards scholarships allow high achieving Lao women and men from the public and private sectors to undertake specialised, mostly higher degree courses at Australian universities.

The 30 awardees – 15 women and 15 men – will study subjects as diverse as IT, education, pharmaceutical science, environment, disabilities studies, engineering and international development.

Australia’s Ambassador to the Lao PDR, John Williams, said the 30 scholars, who will begin their studies in 2018, will join a prestigious group of over 1,200 Lao citizens who have studied in Australia under the Australia Awards program, and returned to Laos with world-leading tertiary qualifications. 

Williams said through study and research, the Australia Awards recipients would develop the skills and knowledge to drive positive change on their return to Laos, and help build enduring people-to-people links with Australia.

“Learning through the Australia Awards will open up professional development opportunities and provide an excellent platform for the recipient’s future careers,” the Ambassador said.

“These scholarships will also help develop professional networks of contact and greater two-way understanding between our two countries.”

“These Australia Awards scholarships carry extra significance this year, as we celebrate the 65th anniversary of Laos-Australia diplomatic relations,” Ambassador Williams said.

He said each of the 30 Lao awardees had demonstrated academic excellence, and had undergone a highly competitive and rigorous selection process to earn a scholarship.

Ms Chayphet Phanthakesone, a Prosthetist and Orthoptist Supervisor from Champasack Rehabilitation Centre and one of the awardees, plans to continue her masters degree in Disabilities Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide.

“This is my dream, to receive an Australia Award. I’ve been hoping for this opportunity. I think my further study will strengthen my professional skills and knowledge to improve the quality of services for people with disabilities in Laos; to make this sort of services more accessible for people with disabilities, especially those who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, thus allowing them to become more productive in the society.”

Australia’s Minister for Defence visited Vientiane as part of a broader regional visit to Singapore, Thailand, the Lao PDR and Vietnam, to strengthen regional military ties and cooperation.