Australia Awards Alumni promotes human development in Mauritius, raises the Australian education flag

Australia Awards Alumna Leesta Moteea is having a multiplier effect in Mauritius.

“Being a beneficiary of a development scholarship motivated me to initiate volunteering counselling activities which promote tertiary education and contribute towards economic development,” says Leesta.

Leesta received a scholarship funded by the Australian Government. In 2012, she completed a Master’s degree in International Business and was among the top 3% of the Graduate School of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. She returned to Mauritius in mid-2012 and resumed her work at the Regional Integration Division under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Cooperation Analyst.

As a Cooperation Analyst, Leesta participates in several high-level regional integration activities. An example is the 6th Session of the Conference of African Ministers in charge of Integration held in Mauritius in April 2013 and involving representatives of African Union Member States and other regional and international organisations. Benefiting from resources from the University of Melbourne, Leesta also took upon herself to assemble a research database that has become a critical resource to her division.

Beyond her important work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Leesta sought to facilitate change at another level in Mauritius. She became a volunteer, taking on the responsibility of sharing the benefits of her education in Australia widely with her fellow compatriots, and raising their awareness about what could potentially be gained from obtaining an Australian education or learning from their advanced education system.

“What impressed me about the Australian education system is that it encourages in-depth learning and harnesses the breadth of professional experience, thereby fostering a passion for learning and sharing,” explains Leesta.

While in Australia, Leesta benefited enormously as a mentee from two mentoring programs: the University of Melbourne Host Program and the Graduate School of Business and Economics Career Mentoring Program.

Inspired by such experiences, in March 2013 Leesta engaged as a Volunteer Counsellor at an education agency offering student placement services and counselling. Since joining, Leesta has provided face-to-face counselling sessions to about 50 prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students.

“I believe that exposure to the Australian education system, which emphasizes high quality, can enhance our human capital development provided a sufficiently large number of people also gains access to it,” reflects Leesta.

Leesta previously served as the Australia Awards Alumni Ambassador for Mauritius, a platform which embodies Award promotion and student mentoring as two of its key activities.

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