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Reintegration Workshop Provides Connection and Collaboration

Posted in News

AAV Graduates with AHC Program Manager for Skills and Scholarships, Gina Dehinavanua (far left), and First Secretary Development to AHC, Stephanie Kimber (centre).

Australia Awards Vanuatu’s (AAV) newly returned graduates recently attended a Reintegration Workshop on Friday 23 February at Chantilly’s in Port Vila, with the aim being to to provide an opportunity for returning awardees to connect with alumni; providing a safe space to discuss issues faced in reintegration following the completion of their studies as well how to influence positive change within their respective communities and workplaces.

The workshop was facilitated by Jackie Trief whom has over 20 years of expertise in the aviation sector, including the position as Director of Civil Aviation. Jackie has also previously undertaken international studies and is familiar with the transition alumni can encounter upon returning to Vanuatu.

Encompassing a variety of topics, the workshop included understanding reintegration challenges, understanding and appreciating cultural differences, practical tips for adapting to changes in social norms and customs in the work environment and community, networking and building connections alongside strategies for maintaining global connections and friendships, and goal setting and action planning for personal and professional growth.

The graduates were welcomed by Stephanie Kimber, First Secretary Development to the Australian High Commission, who stated ‘it’s such a privilege to see you all return after having followed your aspirations and I’m so excited that we’re having this type of workshop because it provides such a great opportunity for you all to connect with our amazing alumni network and learn how to channel your fresh ideas and energy that you bring along‘.

Those graduates in attendance brought with them a wide range of qualifications including Master of Laws, Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management and Master of Public Policy and Management amongst many others. It was an invaluable opportunity for participants to connect with others within the alumni network and better understand each other’s experiences around reintegration. Philip Toaliu, who graduated with a Master of Laws from The Australian National University, and is now a Magistrate at the Magistrate Court, commended the Australia Awards experience and added it has allowed him to be ‘well versed within the international context that can be applied to a local context by thinking globally but acting locally‘.

By promoting a dialogue between our most recent graduates and those who are already within the alumni network, the Reintegration Workshop served a great purpose for connection and collaboration that will ensure the longevity of our alumni’s contributions continue to be recognised within the development of Vanuatu.