Thirty three more Solomon Islands students have received scholarships from the Australian Awards Pacific to study at regional institutions within the Pacific Region.

The scholarships which is supported by AusAID’s Australia Awards program, covers travel, health insurance, living allowances, tuition fees and university costs.

Students will study a wide range of courses at regional institutions in Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

The 33 new regional scholarships bring the total number of scholarships awarded this year to 68. These scholars will join more than 125 Solomon Islanders already studying at Australian or regional universities.

Acting Australian High Commissioner, Dr Dave Peebles said the 68 new scholarships would make 2013 the biggest year ever for the scholarship program in Solomon Islands.

“It is the largest intake of Solomon Islanders awarded Australian scholarships. We want more Solomon Islanders to have the opportunity to receive a quality higher education to build expertise and leadership skills for the benefit of the whole country,” Dr Peebles said.

“When the scholars return home after their studies, they will be able to contribute to development in Solomon Islands.”

“The scholarships are a critical part of the development partnership between Solomon Islands and Australia. As well as building the skills of individual students, they promote people-to-people links across the region.”

“This investment in the scholarships and education generally is helping the Solomon Islands Government to meet development needs of the country into the future,” Dr Peebles said.

“Australia allocated SBD$32 million (approximately A$4.3 million) this year to scholarships for Solomon Islanders, reinforcing a major investment in both education and the future of Solomon Islands.”

Former Australian Awards Alumni, Dr Alice Pollard, presented an inspiring address to the awardees, reflecting on her time as a student. She encouraged each student to “make the most of every opportunity”, and as leaders “you should put yourself ‘above the line’, striving to be best you can be”.

Dr. Pollard also encouraged the awardees to enjoy themselves, and to ‘come home’ when they are finished, to help build capacity in Solomon Islands.

Student will undertake a range of courses: education, management, accounting, business, management, industrial relations, science /climate change, law, agriculture, disability and gender, engineering, physiotherapy, social work and marine science.

The list of recent recipients are:

William Parairato - Doctor of Philosophy (Management - Business), USP Fiji

Catherine Soreh - Master of Science (Climate Change/Environment), USP Fiji

Ruth Maetala - PG Dip in Development Studies/Gender & Land Management, USP Fiji

Joana Kekegolo - Master of Education (Early Childhood), USP Fiji

Eric Ongoa -Masters of Industrial Relations, USP Fiji

Casper Muaki - Bachelor of Education (Administration & Counselling), USP Fiji

Julia Twumas - Bachelor of Accounting, USP Fiji

Hellen Bitalau Hou - Bachelor Education ECE-Literacy, USP Fiji

Aloysious Walekwate - BA (Education & Information Systems majors), USP Fiji

Desmond Tona - Bachelor of Arts in Social work

Lynne Suti - Bachelor Commerce in Finance (Financial Management) USP Fiji

Lee Derick - Bachelor Science Education, USP Fiji

Clayton Tuimaka - Bachelor Administration (Public administration & Management) USP Fiji

Eileen Baragamu - Bachelor of Commerce, USP Fiji

Jack Sautata'o - Bachelor of Governance (Politics), USP Fiji

Lorah Kwanairara - Bachelor of Law, USP Vanuatu

Melissa Horokou - Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies (Climate Change), USP, Fiji

Fiona Meke - Bachelor Marine Science

Votaia Rosemary - BA Agricultural in Applied Science, USP Samoa

Lolitha Tabepepeti - Bachelor of Law, USP Vanuatu

Melanie Pelomo - Bachelor of Law, USP Vanuatu

Hellen Naqu - Bachelor of Law, USP Vanuatu

Patricia Avosa - Bachelor of Engineering (Mining), FNU Fiji

Betty Marigeni - Bachelor Engineering (Mining & Metallurgy), Fiji National University

Mauatu Samasoni - Bachelor of Engineering (Air Craft Mechanics), Fiji National University

Dunken Peseika - Bachelor Civil Engineering, Fiji National University

Goretti Pala - Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Fiji National University

Gwao Angella – Bachelor Forestry Science, Fiji National University

Melanie Tekulu - Bachelor of Business & Management, USP Fiji

Valeriano Kwany - Disability & Gender (Education), USP Fiji

Simo Pitavoga (Pending Confirmation)- Bachelor Agriculture (Agriculture & Veterinary), Fiji National University

Yvonne Ogaoga - Bachelor of Law, University of Papua New Guinea

Wilson Tapaka - Nuticle Science Watch Keeper Class 3 Mate, PNG Maritime College - Madang


Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands