Australia Awards graduates from Cambodia are welcomed home
March 13, 2014
Ms Ly Sokleap, Local Aid Coordination Policy Officer, Council for the Development of Cambodia, delivering a speech
Ms Ly Sokleap, Local Aid Coordination Policy Officer, Council for the Development of Cambodia, delivering a speech on her Australia Awards experience.
The Australian Ambassador, H.E. Ms Alison Burrows, hosted a function on 12 February in Phnom Penh to welcome home 47 Cambodian Australia Awards Scholarship recipients who graduated in 2013. The Cambodian alumni graduated with postgraduate qualifications from 17 Australian universities across Australia in a range of areas including agribusiness, international revenue administration, health economics, integrated water management and engineering.
Ms Ly Sokleap, an Australia Awards Scholarship graduate, speaking at the function, said “my Australian study experience has built a solid foundation: professionally, academically and socially - a lifelong impact which will enable me to positively contribute to the development of Cambodia.” Ms Ly returned to her position as Local Aid Coordinator Policy Officer at the Council for the Development of Cambodia in 2013, after completing a double Masters of Public Policy and Diplomacy at the Australian National University.
The function also marked the launch of the 2015 round of Australia Awards Scholarships in Cambodia. Up to 55 Australia Awards Scholarships will be offered to high-achieving Cambodians to study in Australia in areas that contribute to Cambodia’s sustainable development, particularly health, agriculture, infrastructure and trade.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Ambassador Burrows noted that “since 1994, the Australian Government has provided over 500 scholarships to Cambodians to study in Australia. These scholarships aim to assist individuals achieve their potential and develop the skills and networks to build stronger and more effective communities”.
Ambassador Burrows also spoke of the Australian Government’s commitment to deepening individual, education and business relationships with the region through the New Colombo Plan signature initiative. The initiative will see Australian undergraduate students study or undertake internships in Asian countries from 2015, following a pilot phase in 2014. Ms Burrows said that she had already discussed this exciting initiative with His Excellency Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Cambodian Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, and hoped Cambodia would join the initiative in the near future.
In congratulating the graduates on their individual achievements, H.E. Dr Hang Chuon Naron also highlighted the contribution these scholarships make to the Australia-Cambodia relationship, saying “the scholarship program is a highly valued form of development cooperation between Australia and Cambodia – serving to promote knowledge, education links and enduring ties between the two countries since 1994, they have been a valuable asset for the development of human resources in Cambodia”.
The Australia Awards Scholarships have had increasing recognition in Cambodia over recent years, particularly since the inclusion of scholarships in 2009 for individuals in the civil society and private sectors. Nearly 200 representatives from Cambodian ministries, civil society organisations and the private sector attended the function to welcome home the 2013 graduates and promote these prestigious scholarships.  
Last updated: March 13, 2014