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Pre-departure Briefing – Intake 1, 2023

Posted: 30 November 2022

A Pre-Departure Briefing (PDB) for Intake 1 awardees who will be departing for Australia in January 2023 to commence their studies in Semester 1, took place on 18-19 November 2022 at Australian Corner, Central Children’s Library and was attended by six awardees and their dependents. In the attendance were Ambassador of Australia to Mongolia Ms. Katie Smith; Mr. Dave Preston, First Secretary, DFAT, Australian Embassy in Mongolia; Australian volunteers; and representatives of Mozzies Alumni Association. On behalf of Australia Awards – Mongolia, Ms. Enkhtuvshin. L, Country Program Manager, congratulated the awardees on their success before inviting awardees to introduce themselves and their family members and to talk about where they worked in Mongolia, where they would be studying in Australia and their chosen field of studies.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Katie Smith, Ambassador of Australia to Mongolia congratulated the awardees on getting the Australia Awards Scholarship. She emphasized that the year 2023 will be special as it is the 30th anniversary of the Australia Awards Scholarship in Mongolia. Ms. Katie Smith shared some advice with the awardees on Australian cultural differences and wished the awardees to make the best out of their stay in Australia by meeting new people and further enhancing Mongolian and Australian connections. Finally, she wished the awardees success with their studies and reminded them of the Government of Australia’s expectation that they return to contribute to development in Mongolia in their fields.

The first day of the PDB focused on DFAT’s information kit about living and studying in Australia. Two Australia Awards returned graduates shared their personal experiences in areas such as: finding accommodation, bringing family, settling into a new environment, studying, and working in Australia, and gender and disability inclusion. New awardees noted that the information session the graduates shared were very useful.

The second day was dedicated to cultural orientation and sharing experiences. Awardees were grouped into three cities where they would be living namely, Brisbane, Canberra, and Melbourne, and gained valuable insights from former Australia Awards graduates and Australian Volunteers. An additional topic on Australian sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment was introduced to awardees for prevention.

The Mongolia-Australia Alumni Association (Mozzies) representative and Women’s Leadership Program alumni shared about their personal and professional experiences and how awardees when they returned to Mongolia, could benefit from maintaining ongoing connections with Australia Awards alumni. Finally, they wished the awardees good luck with their studies and enjoy their time with their families in Australia.