Ian Dickson, the newly appointed Deputy Head of Mission for the Australian High Commission in Abuja graced the opening plenary for pre-departure briefing held in Abuja, for scholars from Niger and Nigeria. He applauded the scholars on their selection as finalists for the Awards program. Further, he encouraged them to make the best of their study time in Australia and engage in other enrichment opportunities provided through the scholarship opportunity, ‘to build skills that will help them address identified development challenges in your countries, and those adopted globally including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).’
Also, in attendance at the opening plenary was Caitlin O’Shannon, Second Secretary, Australian High Commission, Abuja; Augustine Uzor, Director of learning and Development – Head of the Civil Service of the Federation of Nigeria and alumni and representatives of the Nigerian Australia Awards Alumni Association.
Mr Uzor reminded scholars that they are ambassadors of their respective countries while in Australia. He called on them to return home and use the skills gained in Australia to develop their countries. Alumni present shared their inspiring, funny and enlightening Australian experiences.
The two-day pre-departure briefing for scholars culminated with a reception hosted by Claire Ireland, the Australian High Commissioner designate to Nigeria. The Nigerien and Nigerian scholars are part of over 100 African scholars offered an Australia Awards Scholarship, and mobilising to Australia early 2020.
Picture Credit: Australia Awards-Africa