Partnerships for recovery: staying connected and achieving impact
You leave Australia as one of your nation’s Australia Awards alumni and as a member of a prestigious international alumni network.
As an Australia Awards alum, you will be part of a group from around the world driving social and economic development. Australia Awards recognises the lasting, powerful impact of our global alumni connections and, in this time of global crisis, Australia Awards scholars and alumni across South Asia are responding to COVID-19 with the initiative and foresight that we are accustomed to seeing from a group of leaders.
As you return home, the focus and intended impact of your education—and the value of connections and relationships that you have built in Australia—may be very different to what you envisioned when you first applied for an Australia Awards Scholarship.
Now, more than ever before, there is a heightened need for collaborative work between the private sector, scientific and academic institutions, donors, and multilateral organisations to ensure a coordinated response.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Partnerships for Recovery framework outlines Australia’s developmental approach to COVID-19 response and recovery. It focuses on three broad action areas—health security, stability and economic recovery—and is underpinned by a strong emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable, especially women and girls and people with disability.
The Australian Government will continue targeted investments in South Asia, in close coordination with key partners, and will remain closely involved in global and multilateral response and recovery efforts. New whole-of-government country and regional COVID-19 Development Response Plans will outline shared objectives that address Australia’s national interests and the priorities of the government of your country.
As Australia Awards alumni, you are well placed to share Australian expertise and maintain deep ties between communities in Australia and those in other countries in the region.
This is the time to revisit your goals and take the opportunity to revise or update your Development Impact Plan. During this period of uncertainty and disruption, adaptability and agility are essential skills. Find a way to set SMART goals (even with uncertainty), adapt the goals you had already established, and lay the foundation for future plans.
When you get home, connect with the Australia Awards team in your country and join the local alumni network. Participate in evaluation and tracer studies when the opportunity arises and let us know your achievements and the work you are doing. Visit the Australia Awards – South Asia and Australia Global Alumni websites to read alumni stories and get updates on events and opportunities.
Try to keep the connections you formed in Australia strong; you can make these last a lifetime. As remote working becomes the norm, it creates an opportunity to investigate how you can nurture these connections in order to work and innovate together. Another great way to make a difference and to stay connected is to mentor people aspiring to take up an Australia Awards Scholarship.
You can use the free time you may have right after you arrive home to ensure your personal online brand is polished and professional. Current Australia Awards scholars from South Asia have the opportunity to access a series of online professional development training modules, which includes training in the use of LinkedIn and an overview of the foundations of creating a professional profile. Given that 70 percent of employers use social media to screen out potential employees, it is helpful to have a positive and professional presence online.
Don’t be shy to reach out to your Australian friends and contacts to see if they would be interested in a video call with you. You could also send them a message or connect with them on LinkedIn.
You can set up your own networking forum, build a project together or share contacts with one another that could help others. Outside of professional online platforms, you can stay in touch with friends and classmates via online social platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
After you return home, you can apply your newly gained knowledge, skills and experience to contribute to stability, prosperity, resilience, health security and/or economic recovery.
Your successes will exemplify the benefits of the Australia Awards program. This is a key component to post-COVID-19 recovery for your country and the region.
Your Australia Awards experience will open up new connections with Australia. Stay connected on LinkedIn with Australia Global AlumniConnect on LinkedIn