News and Events

 

September Event Entrepreneurship

In September 2018, alumni members Fred Samuel and Sainimilli Toara shared their experiences in becoming entrepreneurs in their field of study. Both provided insights to their personal journeys of successes, challenges, failures, and commitment in their businesses. Ms Toara is a passionate young mother determined to achieve her dream to becoming her own boss. Alongside with her supportive partner are delivering civil and structural engineering services to clients in Port Vila. She is new in business, and determined to slowly build credibility of her business, and plans to expand her business. A very inspiring and determined young woman who encourages all women to not look down on oneself and believe that they can succeed in anything they set their minds to.


Mr Samuel is a familiar name in the private sector and government for many years, before branching out to starting his own business. His network and relationships have been challenging but says are an important part of building his business. His challenges both professionally and personally, are his learning curves but his shown determination to succeed. He is optimistic of more challenges that he believes he will be faced with that will continue to groom him. His business employs 7 staff, and he believes is contributing to capacity build and empower his community. Vanuatu’s entrepreneurs are the future for the country’s fight for financial independence. He believes Australia Alumni have the capacity to model this in society, as have network & educational expert skills capacity/experiences.


The two and half hour’s discussion kept members tuned in until the end followed by informal drinks and exchanges of business cards and mingling.
Key quote message to alumni members:
“Now is the time to do business, don’t be afraid to take the risk.” Go it!
“Opportunities are everywhere - Be a risk taker”
“Work hard and strive to be disciplined to build your business brand and quality, and be prepared to give extra of yourself to your business”

Mr Fred Samuel & Ms Sainimillie Toara talking to alumni members during the Entrepreneur session, 26th September 2018. Mr Fred Samuel & Ms Sainimillie Toara talking to alumni members during the Entrepreneur session, 26th September 2018. Picture by Florence Bellon.

 

Interested Alumni getting information from Local business woman, Ms Sainimillie Toara. Interested Alumni getting information from Local business woman, Ms Sainimillie Toara. Picture by Florence Bellon. 

 

Alumni members sharing their ideas after the session. Alumni members sharing their ideas after the session. Picture by Florence Bellon.

August Event Motivational Talk with Dr. Vinton Gray Cerf.

An event was held for the Australia Awards Alumni Networking group with the “Father of Internet”, Dr. Vinton Gray Cerf was held in August 2018. Alumni members and friends had the opportunity to meet, and listen to experiences shared by Dr. Vinton Cerf, who was in Vanuatu to speak at the Asia Pacific regional Internet Governance Forum at the Iririki Island Resort, in Port Vila.
Dr. Cerf humbly spoke off his experiences in developing one of the world’s greatest inventions and acknowledged his co-inventers and workers who he continues to work closely with to develop new ideas in the internet space. He encouraged alumni members interested in entrepreneurship “to give it a go” and emphasised “customers” being the most important thing to consider when starting a new business.
“It is important to have customers in order to grow your business. How you treat them will determine how your business grows’, he said.
Alumni members were also fortunate to have one on one questions and pictures with him.

Alumni Group Picture, 15th August 2018, Inspirational & Motivational talk with the Dr. Vinton Cerf.Alumni Group Picture, 15th August 2018, Inspirational & Motivational talk with the Dr. Vinton Cerf. Picture taken by Jennifer Kausei.

August Event Career Development Workshop

A Career Development workshop for the Alumni Networking group was organised in August 2018. Beacon Business Solutions, who are currently contracted by DFAT to deliver workshops targeting mainly new graduates in writing quality CVs, setting career goals and practising to improve interview skills, delivered workshop.

Alumni members who attended the workshop are automatically registered onto the company’s network to get regular updates of work opportunities that are open.Another similar workshop will be deliver in early 2019 for new graduates and others interested in practising interview skills.

Alumni member discussing during CV sessionAlumni member discussing during CV session, picture by Florence Bellon, 22nd August 2018.

CV workshop facilitator, Lenise Monteiro

CV workshop facilitator, Lenise Monteiro. Picture by Florence Bellon

Enjoying the CV workshop, Alice Sami

Enjoying the CV workshop, Alice Sami. Picture by Florence Bellon


Hickson Sipa, showing of his appreciation smileHickson Sipa, showing of his appreciation smile, Picture by Florence Bellon.

July Event Project Management

In July 2018, The Australia Awards Vanuatu organised a three-hour Project Management training for the Alumni Networking group. Facilitator, Mr Paul Tippett, VESP Secretariat Manager took time from his program to share his extensive knowledge and experience with interested alumni members.

Alumni members who attended represented a number of different sectors, within both government and private sector. Workshop was insightful for most attendees who would not necessarily work on projects but are keen to learn and build their knowledge and skills in Project management. Some are keen to utilise understanding and skills in their future careers and personal life.

An informal discussion with alumni sharing experiences and learning new ideas and experiences to how they can apply new skills in their work areas at the end of the training was uplifting. A quote from one of the alumni member stating,” Thank you for organizing this skills workshop, the content and what was covered kept me interested throughout the session and the fact that I could use the skills in my job and personal projects is really good.”

Alumni members listening to facilitator, 19th July 2018Alumni members listening to facilitator, 19th July 2018. Picture by: Florence Bellon 

 

Project Management Facilitator: Paul Tipette, VESP Secretariat Manager. 19th July 2018

Project Management Facilitator: Paul Tipette, VESP Secretariat Manager. 19th July 2018, Picture by: Florence Bellon

  

Alumni Group Activity sessionAlumni Group Activity session. Picture by: Florence Bellon 

 

Alumni members discussing during group activity. Alumni members discussing during group activity. Picture by: Florence Bellon.

June Event Life in Politics

A panel session facilitated by Jennifer Kausei (alumni committee member) with MP Johnny Koanapo (current Parliament Secretary responsible for International Development Cooperation) and Ms Hilda Lini (former Member of Parliament, 1987 to 1998) as guest speakers at this event.


About 22 alumni members attended an intimate discussion and sharing aimed to encourage budding alumni members interested in becoming politicians or just interested to hear of experiences of being a politician in Vanuatu.


Alumni members were given first-hand information on background and life experiences in being in politics with many questions. Both speakers provided rich stories and perspectives from their upbringing, influence of early church and traditional values and norms, perspective on gender equality, challenges, motivation and drive in becoming a leader of a nation. This was a great opportunity for alumni members to converse with the two speakers, who are both very busy individuals but took their time to share with members.


MP Johnny Koanapo emphasised education as an important vehicle to driving a developing nation like Vanuatu, and importance of women’s voice in politics. His religious background is a fundamental drive for his success. Stories of challenges and success as a woman in politics in the 70s and 80s was a lively story told by Ms Hilda, especially for those not familiar of the history of Vanuatu’s independence. Ms Lini continues to be a strong advocate for women’s rights and the rights of indigenous people and ethnic groups. MP Johnny continues to influence policy making vested by the Vanuatu Government.


A shared view of an economically sustainable Vanuatu was both speakers of Vanuatu’s future. Their contrasting backgrounds but motivating encouragements gave alumni different views and perspectives to what life should and could be like to become a politician.

Australia Awards Alumni VanuatuPicture by Takau Jacob, 20th June 2018.

 

MP Johnny Koanapo greeting Ms Hilda Lini before the session starts. MP Johnny Koanapo greeting Ms Hilda Lini before the session starts. Picture by Takau Jacob. 20th June 2018.

 

MP Johnny Koanap posing with Alumni members after the event. MP Johnny Koanap posing with Alumni members after the event. Picture by Takau Jacob, 20th June 2018.

2019 Australia Awards Selection is Complete

Selection stage for 2019 Australia Awards is closed. Please monitor our website www.australiaawardsvanuatu.org for an announcement of next year’s application round, should you wish to apply again.

Alumni Monitoring & Evaluation Workshop – 30 April 2018

Alumni Monitoring & Evaluation Workshop – 30 April 2018

On Monday 30 April 2018, Australia Awards Vanuatu facilitated a professional development workshop for its Alumni members on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

The workshop was facilitated by international M&E Expert, Mr Ty Morrisey who educated alumni on the background to M&E (what it is and what it is not), the Theory of Change method and worked through practical examples of developing and using the theory of change method in practice with the alumni-participants.

Twenty (20) alumni participated in the workshop and feedback indicated that it was highly relevant and well-received.

Should you be interested in attending similar, future workshops, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register your interest.

Twenty 20 alumni participated in the workshop and feedback indicated that it was highly relevant and well received

Annual Alumni Networking Event – 22 March 2018

Annual Alumni Networking Event – 22 March 2018

On Thursday 22 March 2018, Australia Awards Vanuatu hosted the Annual Alumni Networking Event. The event was originally launched in 2016 and received great interest. This year the event hosted over 80 Alumni of the prestigious Vanuatu Australia Awards Alumni Network. Among the alumni were some of Vanuatu’s best and brightest leaders and young professionals from various fields and backgrounds, across government, private and community sectors. The Network aims to create an environment for likeminded professionals to share ideas and build relationships that will support their efforts to make a significant and lasting difference in Vanuatu. Keynote Speakers at the event included the Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Ms Jenny Da Rin and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Mr Ralph Regenvanu. The keynote speakers officially welcomed the newly graduated students from 2017, and facilitated the voting and announcement of the 2018 Alumni Committee.

The keynote speakers officially welcomed the newly graduated students from 2017 and facilitated the voting and announcement of the 2018 Alumni Committee

Australia Awards Promotional Events - March 2018

Australia Awards Promotional Events - March 2018

Australia Awards facilitated two information sessions in early March 2018. The aim of the sessions were to promote the next round of Australia Awards Scholarships and ensure interested applicants had a good understanding of the program and the process for applying. One session was held for public sector employees, while the other session was for the private sector and general public. Both sessions were held at the Chantilly’s conference room and were well-attended with many questions asked in regard to the eligibility criteria, study programs, on-line application process and student- life in Australia.


General feedback from interested applicants was positive, with applicants appreciating the opportunity to ask questions and get clarification about Australia Awards.


We encourage interested applicants to monitor our website and attend future sessions.

interested applicants listening to the Australia Awards presentation