Scholars Forum

Working together for gender equality

30–31 October 2019, Canberra 

The upcoming Scholars Forum will bring together scholars from South and West Asia for a program of professional development and high-profile networking opportunities. Scholars will be joined by representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, senior representatives of advocacy groups, and staff from Australian universities and institutions.

In line with the theme “Working together for gender equality”, scholars will learn about the economic, developmental, social and human rights benefits of gender equality and be empowered to influence change upon returning home.

This website will be updated regularly leading up to the Forum 


Date Time Activity
Wednesday 30 October Before midday Scholars arrive in Canberra*
  1–3pm Social activity
  5–8:30pm Welcome Reception
Thursday 31 October  9am–5pm Scholars Forum
From 6pm Scholars depart Canberra*

*Due to flight times and distance travelled, some scholars will arrive on Tuesday 29 and some will depart Friday 1 (morning). 


Please make sure you have checked your flight details carefully to make sure that the flight dates, times, meal preference and the spelling of your name are correct.

Please ensure you have your photo ID and check-in no later than 60 minutes before departure. It is your responsibility to ensure you arrive at the airport with adequate time before your departing flight.

Luggage weight limits apply on all domestic flights. You have an allowance of one item of checked baggage and one item of carry-on baggage. Any excess baggage will be an additional cost to you and is not covered by Australia Awards – South and West Asia.

If you choose to make any changes to your flight itinerary to accommodate other commitments, these will need to be made directly with Corporate Traveller and at your own cost.

Corporate Traveller Contact Information

Phone: 1300 654 805 (available after hours)**
Contact: Linda Staines, Travel Manager, Corporate Traveller
Quote: Your Booking Number (starts with a B) (top right-hand corner of your itinerary)

Please note:

– you will need to pay for any costs associated with changing your flights directly to the travel agent.
– you must not arrive any later in Canberra than what is currently specified on your itinerary
– the Australia Awards team will not be able to assist you with any flight changes.

** It is best to contact the travel manager during working hours to make amendments. The fee to amend bookings during business hours is $27.50 and during after-hours is $44.

Travel to and from the airport (home state)

Australia Awards is committed to caring for the environment and ensuring that event planning is as eco-friendly as possible. We, therefore, ask that you use public transport where possible when travelling to and from the airport in your home state. If public transport is not available, we ask that you make an effort to ride-share with other scholars travelling to the event to minimise carbon emissions.

We will reimburse you for the cost of your travel to and from the airport in your home state. Please ensure you keep your receipts (uber, taxi or bus) and email all receipts together, to

You must provide your bank details to be reimbursed for these costs. Reimbursement will be made approximately one week after the event (assuming you have provided all necessary details).

Transport arrangements in Canberra

Further information regarding airport pickup and transport around Canberra will be provided in the coming weeks. All transport to and from the program venues will be organised for you.


Accommodation has been booked for you at the Mantra on Northbourne, 84 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2612.

The program has covered the cost of your accommodation. Your room is likely to be a one bedroom apartment, and the booking includes breakfast for one person.

The hotel is located one block from the centre of Canberra CBD. The events will not be held at the hotel.

An Australia Awards team member will greet you on arrival at the hotel and assist with check-in.

Please note:

Check-in time is usually from 2:00 pm and your room may not be available on arrival and before your first activity. If your room is not ready, reception can store your luggage until it is available. We will make every effort to arrange early check-in, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Australia Awards will cover the cost of your room charge (breakfast included) only. Any additional expenses (e.g. extra bed, room service, phone calls, laundry, mini bar, other incidentals) charged to the hotel will need to be paid by you. Each guest’s final account will need to be paid prior to departing the hotel.

Meal Allowance

All breakfasts will be provided at the hotel for the duration of your stay. Breakfast is served from 7am in the restaurant located on the ground floor of the hotel.

Participants will receive a lunch allowance of $20 for Wednesday, 30 October 2019.
Lunch on Thursday, 31 October, will be arranged at the Forum venue.

Participants will receive a dinner allowance of $30 for each night they are in Canberra.

Meal allowance payment
The total meal allowance will be given to you in cash when you arrive at the hotel in Canberra.

Please be advised that the program is a rigorous one requiring a full commitment from participants. Family members will not be able to attend any of the sessions or activities with the participant.

Further information about this event, including the program, dress code, ground transport and advice on what to bring will be provided in the coming weeks.

We appreciate your patience and look forward to sharing these updates with you soon.

Environmentally-friendly principles

Workshops and conferences are contributors to the global carbon footprint, with travel as a major source of events-related carbon emissions. Other ways by which events add to the carbon footprint are single-use plastics, excessive use of paper / printed materials, and food.

We will make a conscious effort to reduce and offset the carbon footprint created by the Scholars Forum, including:

  • Arranging direct flights where possible
  • Encouraging participants to use group transport to and from the airport
  • Minimising the use of non-biodegradable and non-recyclable utensils
  • Reducing the use of printed materials

We encourage you to take proactive steps to ensure the Scholars Forum is a green event and to think about implementing similar practices when organising activities in your workplaces, communities or in your personal life.

The inaugural Scholars Forum

Learn about the first Scholars Forum for South and West Asia, held last year in Canberra

Learn more

Hawwa's reflections

Scholar Hawwa from the Maldives reflects on the first Scholars Forum for South and West Asia

Read her reflections