Monday, May 05, 2008

Papua New Guineans reap rewards from Endeavour Awards


Papua New Guinea has been an eligible country for Endeavour Awards since the inception of the awards.

The Endeavour Awards are managed by the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

They were established as part of the 2003 International Education package ‘Engaging the World Through Education’.

Picture above: Robert Bino with his Masters from the Australian National University in 2006.

This is an academically-elite program, bringing high achieving students, researchers and professionals from the region to Australia each year to undertake short or long term study, research and professional development in a broad range of disciplines.

Papua New Guinean applicants are selected using the same merit-based application process as all other applicants from all countries.

In 2007, 57 Papua New Guineans applied for an Endeavour Award, nine of whom were successful in receiving an Endeavour Award.

This included four Vocational Education and Training Awards and three Postgraduate Awards; six females and three males were successful Endeavour Award recipients.

Award Holder fields of research include land and food sciences, business management, computer engineering, tourism, midwifery and marine and tropical biology

In 2008, 45 Papua New Guineans applied for an Endeavour award, seven of whom were successful in receiving an Endeavour Award.

This included five Vocational Education and Training Awards, one Executive Award and one Postgraduate Award; five males and two females were successful Endeavour Award recipients.

Award Holder fields of research include language and communication studies, information technology, electronic systems, Pacific and Asian studies, aerospace studies, English language teaching and logistics.

In April 2008, a series of Award holder functions will take place around the capital cities of Australia to celebrate the Endeavour Awards.

The 2009 application round of Endeavour Awards opens on April 9, 2008, and closes on July 31, 2008.

Dulcie Dennis completed Grade 12 at the Port Moresby Grammar School in 2004 and from 2005– 2006, studied Certificate 2 in Tourism and Hospitality at the IEA College of TAFE at the Ela Beach Campus, Port Moresby.

Last year, Dulcie won a scholarship under the Endeavour Award for a Diploma in Tourism & Travel Management at the South bank Institute of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

“It is a great honour and privilege to be a recipient for such an award, which opens up a lot more opportunities for me in the future,” she says.

“The course that I am currently undertaking will certainly prepare me well for a career in Tourism and Management in PNG.

“This is an industry that has a lot to offer toward economic growth and nation building and I am eager to offer my service in this area.

“I have enjoyed every moment of my time and studies under this award and want to encourage future recipients to strive to be the best, commit time to studies, remain focused and value this wonderful and prestigious opportunity.

“It is a promising foundation of a fruitful future.”

Eunice Dus is a Masters in Applied Science student at the James Cook University.

“I agree that a lot of Papua New Guineans do not know about this Endeavour Award,” she reveals.

“I did not know until July, 2006, when the Australian Universities came up to Goroka, as well as Lae and Port Moresby, to showcase their universities.

“While attached with the PNG Wildlife Conservation Society in Goroka, as an Intern Ecologist, I applied for the Endeavour Award.

“Knowing that it was a prestigious award, I underestimated myself and was a little reluctant. However, I went ahead and applied. Honestly, I was shocked when I won the award.

“I would like to encourage other Papua New Guineans to apply for this award.

“Never underestimate yourself!!!”

Konio Kwalimu Pala, who teaches geography and ESL with the Port Moresby International School, remarks: “Participating in the Endeavour Executive Awards Program was a long and rigorous process.

“With its comprehensive criteria, stringent time frames, hours of negotiation with host institutions to secure a place, and evidence required to prove one worthy of being a recipient made the challenge for applying even more difficult.

“Being a recipient of this prestigious award is a great privilege as it enabled me to undertake Professional Development outside of PNG.

“Whilst attending University of Queensland, I participated in two courses.

“The first, the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), a Cambridge University course offered by ICTE-UQ, provided both theory and practical components.

“In addition I undertook work experience at the Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education – UQ, enabling me to further my teaching skills.

“The second programme is the (IDLTM) International Diploma in Language Teaching Management.

“This course has a face-to-face element as well as an online component which I will complete in October 2008.”

Noel Wangunu is a Papua New Guinea marine biologist who has always wanted to do his best for the country and for local coastal communities in assisting communities manage their marine resources, and is now doing his Masters in Applied Science at James Cook University.

“Working with Conservation International (CI) in the Milne Bay Marine Conservation Project was a good start for my career,” he says.

“The decision of taking up studies or furthering my education has always been with me ever since I graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea.

“This opportunity of study here now provides me with a better opportunity to work and learn a lot from institutions in Australia, especially Queensland Turtle Research, in working on issues in managing turtle and dugong which are listed as Endangered species under CITES.

“My future plans are to complete my studies and go back to Papua New Guinea and continue work in Marine and Terrestrial environment in helping my country and its people manage its natural resources.”

Robert Bino is currently undergoing PhD post-graduate studies at the
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

“Not many Papua New Guineans have benefited from the Endeavour Scholarship Awards,” he says.

“For instance in 2008, I am the only Papua New Guinean awardee in the Postgraduate Award category to do PhD studies.

“It is mostly the Asian countries who have been getting the bulk of the scholarships as opposed to Pacific Island countries.

“So I would like to encourage more Papua New Guineans to try out this opportunity as well.

“You can never know until you've tried.

“I thought I should also mention my topic for my PhD research which may interest many PNG citizens because it is currently a hot issue for the PNG and Australian governments.

“My thesis will be a cost-benefit analysis of the conservation and economic benefits of the Kokoda Track.

“I will also look at how this issue is affecting the politics of the bilateral relationship between PNG and Australia.

“I am also interested at how the conservation and development incentives and arrangements for the Kokoda Track can be applied to other similar projects and situations in PNG.”

Visit for more information about applications or the awards in general

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