Ms Elisabeth Jitoko, Senior Programme Manager (Education) DFAT (2nd from left), Mr Jaindra Karan, USP’s Director Development, Marketing, Communications and Alumni with some of the awardees.
Eleven Australia Awards Pacific Scholarship (AAPS) students from The University of the South Pacific (USP) scooped special awards for their outstanding achievement during an end-of-semester awards lunch on 27 October 2016 at USP’s Laucala campus in Suva.
The students are from USP’s Member Countries and varying disciplines including Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Postgraduate Diploma in Education and PhD.
In congratulating the students, USP’s Director Development, Marketing, Communications and Alumni Mr Jaindra Karan said this was indeed a great achievement.
“I hope that your journey at USP has been a fruitful one and today you can look back and reflect on your journey here. I am sure you are happy because you got a chance to come to USP and also because of the fact that your sponsors considered you capable of achieving something great,” Mr Karan said.
He mentioned they should feel proud of their achievement keeping in mind that there is no end to education.
“I am sure you will get a good job when you return to your countries and implement what you have learnt while here,” he remarked.
Mr Karan urged them not to forget their sponsors, families, parents and guardians, who had assisted them along the way, including their friends.
“The beauty of this University is that it teaches you Pacific consciousness and this is what regionalism is all about,” he added.
Mr Karan also acknowledged the assistance by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in “making it possible”.
Ms Elisabeth Jitoko, Senior Programme Manager (Education) DFAT, congratulated the students on behalf of the Australian Government for the “sacrifices made to allow you to complete the mission that you came here for”.
Ms Jitoko congratulated them for being part of the Australian Awards programme adding that they are the chosen ones, handpicked from a cohort of over 1000 scholarship applicants.
“You are at now the end of your journey and we would like to applaud you for that. No doubt you will all be looking forward to graduation,” she stated.
Ms Jitoko reflected on her personal experience in delaying the completion of her studies at USP after teaching in Fiji for 15 years.
“When it comes to education, make it life-long with no gaps like mine. I hope you will now build on what you have achieved and you will go on to the next level,” she advised.
She also urged them to start thinking about what to do next.
“The Australian Awards programme of which AAPS is a part of, is an important key area of development to the Australian Government and I am sure it is equally important to our Pacific Islands Governments.
“As you get ready to embark on an exciting new chapter in your life, we would like to remind you that your fields of expertise and accomplishment are of shared interest not only to your own countries but to Australia,” Ms Jitoko said.
“From the knowledge of skills you have learnt, we expect you to be part of a young vibrant generation, who will contribute to improving development outcomes in your communities and countries as a whole,” she added.
Students were further urged to build to strengthen their personal attributes like effective communication skills, adaptability, critical observation, problem solving.
Ms Jitoko further stated, “We expect you to build your personal and professional network so you can reach out and actively participate in regional reforms, economic growth and as far as Australia is concerned, gender is a big issue”.
She also urged the students to register for the Australia global alumni network.
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