Building networks and enriching social capital through Stay Connected Workshops

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Scholars participated in Australia Awards–Africa Stay Connected Workshops delivered across five Australian cities– Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Facilitated by the University of Queensland’s International Development (UQID), the workshops were designed to support scholars to develop strong and lasting linkages with Australia.

Dr Kamil Shah, Dr Joseph Hongoh and Dr Tim Grice from UQ’s School of Political Science & International Studies delivered the Stay Connected workshops to 132 scholars of which 60 were women, including one with a disability and 72 were men, including three with disabilities.

Terevael Nassari from Tanzania, completing a Master of Agribusiness at the University of Queensland, said, ‘My highlight was the session on creating networks because I engaged different people and practised different and creative approaches for engagement.’

Scholar, Nuria Monjane from Mozambique mentioned how she learnt to build connections and improve her social capital in Australia. ‘I enjoyed the practical and relevant tips on making my professional and career links’, she said. Nuria is enrolled for Master of Tropical Biology and Conservation at the James Cook University.

For Tahiry Rakotondrazaka from Madagascar, the workshop made her realise ‘the importance of creating social capital when it comes to designing and developing a project.” Tahiry is currently studying Master of Environmental Management at the University of Queensland.

Through the workshops, scholars also learnt to maximise social media platforms for the benefit of developing and sustaining networks. Pamela Sauzande from Malawi, said, ‘I found the importance of harnessing your social media presence, such as on LinkedIn, and being aware of your social capital particularly valuable.’ She is studying a Master of Development Economics at the University of Queensland.

The workshops reinforced the scholar’s capacity to maximise opportunities presented by their Australia Awards scholarship. The workshops challenged participants to view themselves as professionals and encouraged them to establish linkages and networks with Australians, that would enrich their careers.

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