Samoans are eligible for Australian Govt. scholarships

Samoan citizens are eligible to apply for Australian government scholarships to study in Australia's top 10 universities.

Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty, alerted guests to the opportunity at the opening of an Austrade education roadshow at the Taumeasina Island Resort Monday night. 

“Far from being solely focused on preparing students for an entry into a limited number of professions such as medicine, engineering or law, these days Australian universities are opening their doors to industry partners,” she said.

Guests that evening included the Head of State and Australia Awards alumnus, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Trevor Matheson and the Austrade Trade Commissioner for the Pacific and Timor Leste, Adrian Weeks. 

The two-day roadshow – which ended Tuesday – enabled locals to become aware of the opportunities in the Australian education sector and meet the agents of the 10 Australian universities that participated in the roadshow. 

The universities represented in the roadshow included: Deakin University, CQU University, RMIT University, Australian National University, The University of Newcastle, Monash University, University of Sydney, Griffith University, University of Tasmania and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

According to Ms. Moriarty, there is synergy between what an Australian university can offer and meeting the developmental needs of the country as identified by the Samoa Government. 

Skyeye Pacific Chief Executive Officer, Fa'aso'otauoa Sam Saili, gave a presentation as a recipient of an Australian government-funded scholarship – where he spoke of his experiences as a student in Australia. 

“I was put out of my comfort zone and it was very daunting for me but it was also quite good looking back now and how it forced me to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people and learn about other backgrounds,” he said.

Australian government scholarship recipients Samuelu Vailopa and Satuala Victor Okesene also spoke of their time studying in Australia.

Mr. Vailopa – who did the cooking, seamen ship and marine technical proportion level 1 courses at the University of Tasmania – said he now works as a police officer on the vessel Nafanua and the training in Australia assisted him in his professional career.

“It’s a very good experience and I loved how it has helped me learn how to do all these different things, and apply it to my job and even my everyday life,” he said.

Ms. Moriarty said international students injected $31.9 billion Australian dollars into Australia’s economy last financial year, directly boosting Australian jobs and wages including in regional Australia.

“International education is our third biggest export and our largest services export," she added. 

Students in Australia also develop strong personal and professional relationships and long lasting cultural, diplomatic and trade ties, Ms. Moriarty said, when they spend their formative years in Australia. 

And when international students return home from their studies, this creates a path for the networking of a global alumni, she added.

“You are now part of that powerful alumnus”

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