The Malawi Australia Alumni Association (MAAA), which was first established in 2013, was officially launched on 20 June 2015 at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe. The reception was attended by over 70 Alumni (including Alumni who undertook their studies in the 1980s and 1990s), the Australia Honorary Consular, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) delegates and Malawi government officials.
Speaking at the launch, Malawi’s Principal Secretary for Human Resources Management and Development, Mr Chilabade, commended Alumni on creating the association and playing a vital role in reinforcing links between Malawi and Australia.
“I am therefore thrilled with the establishment of the MAAA because you are an important link in our relationship with Australia. I know that, as an association, you will promote the Awards and support development efforts in Malawi much better than before. Just as Malawi and Australia will benefit from a permanent relationship with you as an Alumni group, so will the current Awardees, who are returning home from Australia. New Awardees will also see you as their mentor”.
A participatory workshop was held as part of the launch programme, which was attended by 52 Alumni. including 26 Alumni from outside Lilongwe. Topics of discussion included networking and fundraising. The association also used the occasion to elect new Executive Committee members.
Brenda Nini Sulumayo, who was re-elected as the Chairperson of the association, reiterated that the main goal of the association is to facilitate networking among Alumni and retain connections with Australia.
“The objective behind the establishment of this association is that Australian Alumni should network and share ideas and skills attained from the great learning institutions in Australia, and implement them for development purposes. As Alumni, surely we will be ever proud to be associated with Australia. We have great memories that are never to be erased.”
The MAAA received a grant of AUD10,000 from Australia Awards in 2014 to establish itself. In support of the official launch, it also received funding from the DFAT.