Mozambique Alumni Ambassador: Laila Chemane
Master of Development Practice at the University of Queensland in 2011
- How have your studies in Australia impacted on your organisation?
Studying in Australia gave me a better perspective in terms of how I could contribute to the development of poor communities in my country. Upon my return from Australia, I went back to work at the NGO I started with four other people. The main goal of the NGO is to advocate for better education and quality health services, as well as good governance. Today the organisation is making a huge impact in communities and on people’s demand for better services. In my current organisation, I continue to work with promoting community development in a way that is sustainable and will ensure people’s ability to be the drivers of their own development in a sustainable way.
- What development issues in Africa are you most concerned about and how are you contributing to addressing these issues?
Africa is facing various issues, from wars to drought, poverty and corruption. Although I am concerned about the issues that we face as Africans, I would not be able to address all the issues, but I would rather concentrate on Mozambique and how I can help address certain issues. Apart from working for a private company and doing social investment to promote better living conditions for communities, I believe that, through the civil society organisations that I am part of, we are working to promote access to better services and to hold government accountable for service delivery.
- What was your most memorable experience in Australia?
Living in Australia was a great experience, especially because it gave me the opportunity to engage with people from different parts of the world. Some of the people I met while in Australia were experiencing the same challenges I had in my country. On a personal level, it opened up my vision in terms of seeing the world not as small boxes, but as one big box with different people, problems and opportunities, and that if one is given the right tools and opportunities, nothing can stop one from following one’s dream and making a difference in that big box.
- Why should someone from Mozambique apply for an Australia Award?
The Scholarship provided by the Australia Awards program is fantastic and everyone with the required qualification should apply because it is a lifetime opportunity that will better a person’s life and create more opportunities and access in terms of one’s career, and growing as a human being. People will get the opportunity to study in one of the best universities in the world and live in a country so diverse that one feels at home and learns from everyone. So, if someone is serious about getting the best education, I would advise to go for the Australia Awards.