Almaz Beyero Hirbaye is one of nine children whose parents were taught by Norwegian missionaries. All her siblings are graduates and Almaz is a mother of three children. She is currently the head of Ethiopia’s Technical, Vocational and Education Training Bureau in the South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State Education Bureau.
After returning from the Chisholm Institute of TAFE in Victoria as the first female Australian Legal Assistance Forum (ALAF) Alumna in the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) reform sector, she said: “TVET reform is currently in full swing in my country and lessons are being learned at all levels – especially from the Australian system, which is an outcome-based system and is used in the setting of the Ethiopian occupational standards.
“The study by TVET officials, including myself, will strengthen the leadership knowledge and help better equip us to face the challenges ahead. Many lessons have been learned from the Australian quality framework, which is guiding education and training in Ethiopia,’ Almaz added.
This was not the first time she has had the opportunity to study in Australia, having received a scholarship from the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005 to study at Macquarie University in Sydney, when she attended an Environmental Monitoring and Assessment course.
As a positive experience, it led her to apply for the ALAF at Chisholm, which has been extremely relevant to her work because Australian TVET is the benchmark for Ethiopia. Almaz attributes her success to a very supportive husband – a businessman who encouraged her postgraduate studies and career advancement. She encourages women to consider applying for Australia Awards.