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Class of 2017: Return Home Workshops

Above: Australia Awards recipients who attended the two workshops held in Canberra in September 2017.

Four Return Home Workshops were held last September and October for Australia Awards scholars who were completing their studies. These workshops prepared the scholars for their return home at the end of 2017. Fifty-two scholars from six countries in South and West Asia attended workshops in Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne in order to learn strategies and skills to assist them in returning to their home countries and implementing their new knowledge.

The Return Home Workshops are an excellent opportunity to get together with your fellow scholars who are due to complete their studies. During the workshop, you will discuss and share your experiences and identify the challenges and opportunities associated with your reintegration. The workshop will also provide you with strategies for career planning and for becoming a change agent, as well as helping you to identify your new skill set and how to use these skills in your development plan. The Return Home Workshops consist of discussions, networking activities and strategy sessions with a view to helping you develop a knowledge bank that you can draw from once you’ve returned to your country of citizenship.

The “Skill Set Session” has been extremely well received by previous attendees. The facilitator asks everyone to list ten skills developed while on Scholarship, on both professional and personal levels. Each person is asked in turn to volunteer some of their skills, which are written on a board at the front of the workshop. At the end of the session, there are thirty to forty skills listed. Those who at first struggled to list their skills can see that they too share a lot of those listed and are returning home with a variety of new skills, from leadership, networking and research, through to cooking and how to drive the ‘Australian way’.

Invitations to the workshops are extended to representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as to Student Contact Officers from your institutions, giving you a great opportunity to further develop your networks in Australia.

Madhavie Nisansala Gunawardena from Sri Lanka attended the Adelaide workshop having travelled from Perth. She said that while she ‘had reservations on going to Adelaide to attend a one-day workshop, this experience turned out to be one of the best during my stay in Australia.’

Madhavie didn’t realise that the Australia Awards experience would have such an impact on her personality and personal views. It wasn’t until she attended the Return Home Workshop that she became aware of this.

‘The discussions we had with fellow students—sharing our experiences and expectations of the future—allowed us to bring our fears to the open and explore for solutions together. Personally I think all awardees should complete this workshop, as it highlights the importance of “adjustment”, which until then I was taking for granted.’

Return Home Workshops are held each semester, usually in the mid-semester break. You will be contacted with an invitation at the start of the semester in which you are due to complete your studies. The next Return Home Workshops will be held in early April for scholars due to complete their studies at the end of Semester 1 2018.

Interview: Lynne Williams, University of Newcastle

Interview: Lynne Williams, University of Newcastle

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Nisha Singh inspires at the AIEC

Nisha Singh inspires at the AIEC

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Class of 2017: Return Home Workshops

Class of 2017: Return Home Workshops

Above: Australia Awards recipients who attended the two workshops held in Canberra in September 2017. Four Return Home Workshops were held last September and October for Australia Awards scholars w...

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Welcome and Farewell July Celebration

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Minister for Foreign Affairs - The Hon Julie Bishop MP

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Australia Awards South and West Asia Scholars Prepare to Return Home

Australia Awards South and West Asia Scholars Prepare to Return Home

Over 170 Australia Awards on-award scholars from the South and West Asia region attended seven Return Home Workshops in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney last month. The worksh...

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