The 22 Filipino leaders from various government agencies who were awarded scholarships to study in Australia.  (Photo from the Australian Embassy in the Philippines)

Twenty-two Filipino leaders from various government agencies have recently been awarded scholarships to study in Australian universities next year, the Australian Embassy said in a statement.

The awardees, who are from the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the National mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), will head to Australia next year to pursue post-graduate studies at various universities there.

Their field of studies include education, peace studies, disaster preparedness, and geographic information science.

“The Australia Awards Scholarships program provides a unique opportunity for future Filipino leaders to grow and advance their education at Australia’s finest universities, and upon their return, to contribute to the development and prosperity of the Philippines,” said Australian ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell.

Upon their return to the Philippines, the scholars are expected to enact Re-Entry Action Plans (REAP), a unique feature of the program allowing returnees to apply “the knowledge gained in Australia to spearhead positive change in their workplaces.”

One such REAP is the creation of investment and incentive codes to create a business-friendly environment in Region 6 by Dino Ponsaran, 2013 Australia Awards scholar and DILG Region 6 Assistant Division Chief.

Meanwhile, Angelo Arboleda, 2011 scholar, enhanced NAMRIA software for better distribution of geospatial information to the public.

Australia Awards’ previous batch of scholars arrived home last September, and are expected to execute their REAP’s within the year.

Of the 34 returning scholars, 13 came from government agencies, including DepEd, DILG and the Office of the Ombudsman.

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