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Australia Awards Scholarships supporting future leaders in Pacific

February 28, 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today congratulated the three recipients of Australia’s Pacific Island Forum 40th Anniversary commemorative scholarships.

Australia’s awardees are John Fasi of Solomon Islands, who will undertake a PhD in Chemical and Biological Sciences; Faafetai Kolose of Samoa, who will undertake a Master of Science in Renewable Energy; and, Markereta Konrote of Fiji, who will undertake a Master of Environmental and Resource Economics.

Senator Carr said these awards are aligned with the Pacific Plan and demonstrate Australia’s commitment to helping the Pacific meet its education objectives to achieve better living standards, increase opportunity and stimulate economic growth across the Pacific.

“With these awards Australia is helping to build new leaders in areas critical to the Pacific’s development including climate change adaptation, renewable energy and environmental and resource economics,” Senator Carr said.

“Australia will provide more than 700 Australia Awards for citizens of the Pacific in 2013 who will return home to contribute to development in their countries.

“With more than 4,300 Awards each year, the Australia Awards are emphasise Australia’s commitment to education, the flagship of the Australian aid program.”

Mr Fasi intends to return to the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education as the first Solomon Islander to study climate change; Mr Kolose wants to return to rural areas in Samoa to raise awareness about renewable energy amongst the youth of Samoa; and Ms Konrote would like to focus on the further development of resource based sectors that can drive economic growth and investment—critical for the development of Fiji’s extractive industries.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced the scholarships in September 2011, with each country committing to provide three scholarships to celebrate this milestone.

The recipients of Australia’s commemorative scholarships were selected from the top ranked applicants for the Australia Awards Scholarships in the Pacific and will commence post graduate studies in Australia in 2013.

For more information on Australia Awards visit www.australiaawards.gov.au

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