“Australia has been a long term partner in supporting Sri Lankans to help achieve the national development goals of the country”, said Ms Mudie.
The 35 Australia Awards are valued at approximately AUD 6 million, representing a significant component of the Australian aid program to Sri Lanka.
The Australian Government supports Sri Lanka’s long term development by focusing its aid investments in the sectors of education, sustainable economic development and health.
“The Australia Awards provide new opportunities to Sri Lankans who have the potential to contribute to the future development of their country. We hope that those who study in Australia will come back empowered to pursue their goals and become leaders of the future. One of the key goals of the Australian aid program is to foster women’s leadership, so I am particularly pleased that 18 of this year’s Awardees are women,” said Ms Mudie.
The Chief Guest at the reception was Prof G L Peiris, Minister for External Affairs.
Over 100 people also attended the event, including members of the newly established Sri Lanka Australia Awards Alumni Association (SLAAAA). The SLAAAA provides an opportunity for Awardees to network and interact after they return from studies in Australia.
The 35 recipients of Australia Awards will undertake degrees at Australian universities in fields such as special education, development economics and nutrition.
“These students were selected for their outstanding potential to influence positive social and economic development in Sri Lanka and in the region. The friendships and connections they build during their time in Australia will also contribute to the already strong partnership we enjoy with Sri Lanka,” said Ms Mudie.
For many years, scholarships have formed an important part of Australia’s bilateral aid program in Sri Lanka. The Australian Government offers Australia Awards to Sri Lankans on an annual basis.
The next round of Australia Awards Scholarships will be open for applications from 1 February 2015 until 30 April 2015. Please visit the Australia Awards website www.australiaawards.gov.au or www.australiaawardssrilanka.org for further information. (Special Reporter/HC)
Source & Credits: news.lk