Australia Awards Cambodia
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June 2024
A newsletter for Australia Awards scholars from Australia Awards Cambodia team

Winter break is here! We hope you are making the most of this time to relax and recharge before the next semester begins.

As another semester about to end, we reflect on the many achievements and milestones of our scholars. Some of you have successfully completed your exams and assignments, while others are preparing to return to Cambodia and share their newfound knowledge and skills. We are proud of your hard work and dedication.

In this newsletter, we are excited to share stories of our fellow scholars participating in a variety of activities. These stories are a testament to the dedication and passion of our scholars, and we are proud to support their academic and personal growth.

The Australia Awards Cambodia team also has been very busy with the selection process for the new Intake 2024 and arranging the departure of the 17 new scholars to Australia who are going to start in the second semester soon. Please welcome them and say hello when you see them!

Finally, we encourage you to consider applying for the next round of the Professional Development Grant. Have an enjoyable winter break!

Leadership Lessons from Julie Bishop at Mumbrella 360 

In May, four Australia Awards Cambodia scholars had the enriching opportunity to attend the Mumbrella 360 conference in Sydney. This premier media and marketing conference offered a wealth of insights and networking possibilities, culminating in a memorable encounter with former Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop.

The scholars, Bormey Chy, Chanrachana Chhum, Chansereypich Seng, and Sokunthea Phork, actively participated in various sessions, including masterclasses on creative leadership, innovative marketing strategies, and the impact of psychographics on brand love. These sessions equipped them with invaluable knowledge and skills to bring back to Cambodia, fostering sustainable development and innovative communication practices.

Their meeting with Julie Bishop was particularly inspiring. Bishop shared her experiences and leadership lessons, emphasising the importance of embracing uniqueness and confidence in professional growth. This interaction left a profound impact on the scholars, motivating them to apply these lessons in their future endeavors.

Winning Some Prizes While Building New Connections

What a fun night catching up with old mates and meeting some new ones! During a networking event at the Australian Volunteers Program, some of our scholars in Melbourne met a number of impressive alumni of the program. This time the alumni of the New Colombo Plan were also joining the fun.

A networking event wouldn’t be complete without some fun games and prizes. Congratulations to the winning team! Stay tuned for more fun event with Australian Volunteers Program alumni and New Colombo Plan alumni.

Cambodia Scholars Shine at Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium

Sopheap Kao, Sokvat Van and Chhor Vorn Mon recently attended the prestigious Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium held in Canberra and Adelaide. This symposium, aimed at fostering women’s leadership and promoting gender equity, provided the scholars with an invaluable platform for learning and networking.

Sopheap Kao found inspiration in a key message from Elizabeth Lee MLA, the Canberra Liberal leader: “When it comes to leadership positions, start with a question: why not?” She remarked, “This message inspired me a lot as I always felt reluctant to jump into leadership positions”. Sokvat Van highlighted the event’s impact on his perspective, saying, “The symposium encouraged me to redefine leadership and explore new possibilities”. Chhor Vorn Mon appreciated the shared experiences, noting, “I had the opportunity to learn how other women in leadership have overcome obstacles and forged their own paths”.

The participation of these scholars not only enhanced their professional networks but also equipped them with new skills and knowledge, reinforcing their commitment to gender equality and social inclusion in Cambodia.

Dany Koem’s Deep Dive into Global Health Challenges in Asia and the Pacific

Dany Koem attended the World Health Summit Regional Meeting in Melbourne in April 2024. This landmark event, themed “Shape the Future of Health Across Asia and the Pacific,” gathered over 1,250 participants from more than 40 nations, featuring 200+ speakers across 40+ sessions.

The summit offered a platform for health leaders and professionals to address global health challenges pertinent to the Asia-Pacific region. Dany participated in several concurrent sessions, focusing on healthcare workforce, infectious health threats, and healthcare investment and financing. Reflecting on the event, Dany said, “I gained more insight into various social determinants of health and major global health challenges that we are facing in the Asia and the Pacific region. Health promotion plays a key role in lifting the burden of the healthcare system by preventing disease.”

One of the highlights for Dany was the opportunity to network with prominent figures such as Dr. Lucas de Toca, Australia’s Ambassador for Global Health, and Mieke Hutchinson-Kern, Partnership Program Manager at Therapeutic Guideline. These connections are poised to foster future collaborations, potentially enhancing Cambodia’s healthcare system with evidence-based resources.

The summit underscored the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration and health promotion in addressing regional health challenges. Dany’s participation has expanded her perspective on healthcare development, emphasising the role of various stakeholders in achieving sustainable health goals in Cambodia. Her experience highlights the critical impact of international cooperation in advancing global health.

Accelerating Partnerships for Shared Growth: Insights from Impact X Summit in Sydney

The Impact X Summit is Australia’s largest summit on climate and nature. This two-day event showcased Australia’s commitment to meeting its 2030 goals and implementing net zero and nature-positive strategies. With over 1,000 participants and 190 speakers, the event featured notable speakers include Australia’s Ambassador for Climate ChangeKristin Tilley; Chairman of the National Reconstruction FundMartijn Wilder; Founding Director of the Gaimaragal GroupSusan Moylan-Coombs; and Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Zero EmissionsHeidi Lee.

Long Lam, Rathany Chhum, and Saiyann Thong participated in the discussions on emissions reduction, the circular economy, and the role of indigenous knowledge in managing ecosystems. Reflecting on his experience, Long Lam said, “I think that the nature-based solutions is one of many initiatives that Cambodia should consider to implement to achieve greenhouse gases emission reduction goal by 41.7 per cent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and promote the resource efficiency in Cambodia.” Saiyann Thong  appreciated the networking opportunities and innovative sustainability solutions presented at the summit, stated, “The summit has inspired me to explore how some of these concepts could be adapted and scaled in Cambodia”. Lastly, Rathany Chhum emphasised the role of green finance policies and the importance of community involvement in climate action, noted, “My thesis focuses on green finance policy, aiming to study how these policies can support sustainable development in Cambodia. Successful development should engage everyone, especially those on the ground, who are directly impacted by climate change”.

The scholars’ participation at the Impact X Summit has provided them with valuable insights and connections to advance sustainable development initiatives in Cambodia.

Celebrating International Women’s Day with UN Women in Australia

Nineteen Australia Awards Cambodia scholars in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney attended the International Women’s Day celebrations organised by UN Women on 8 March. The event highlighted the importance of gender equality and featured inspiring speeches from notable women. Scholars particularly enjoyed networking and the motivational speeches.

Leng Tri, who attended the event in Sydney said, “The messages from all the key speakers were very sharp and meaningful, providing a lot of real inspiring stories.” Another scholar who attended the event in Brisbane, Chanrachana Chhum shared, “I enjoyed listening to the inspiring story of an Asian lady who fulfilled her dream in her 30s. It made me realise it’s never too late to start what you love”​

Stay tuned for next year’s International Women’s Day celebration in March 2025.

Cambodian Scholars Embrace Sustainable Agri-Tech at Evoke 2024

Three Australia Awards Cambodia scholars attended Evoke 2024 in February in Perth. This year event, themed “Exceptional Edge,” focused on sparking innovative thinking and driving transformative change in the agri-food sector.

Sreynich Eam, one of the scholars, found the sessions on precision agriculture and regenerative farming particularly enlightening. She stated, “The practical applications demonstrated at the event showcased how advanced technologies and sustainable practices can enhance agricultural productivity and environmental stewardship.”

Saiyann Thong shared his experience, saying, “Throughout the sessions, I engaged in insightful panel discussions on various topics such as AI in agriculture, sustainable agrifood systems, and equitable supply chains. It deepened my insights into innovations, business startups, and scaleups within the agri-food industry, leaving me inspired to contribute to a more sustainable and profitable future in agriculture.”

Meanwhile, Mengyou Sour found the keynote “Quantifying your Emissions” by Professor Richard Eckard particularly valuable. The session highlighted the importance of farmers accounting for their emissions to maintain market access as Australia moves towards net-zero emissions by 2050. Mengyou said, “I really enjoy this session because emission calculation for farms is very relevant to my research project. More importantly, emission accounting should be more adopted in Cambodia agrifood sector to enhance sustainability and mitigate climate change.”

Overall, the scholars’ participation in Evoke 2024 underscored the potential for international collaboration in promoting sustainable agricultural practices and technological innovation, benefiting Cambodia’s agricultural future.

Sustainable Development Through Gender Economics at the Australian Gender Economics Workshop 2024

Victory Vuthy, Duonglina Dam, and Ly Chhay Loem, three Australia Awards Cambodia scholars, attended the Australian Gender Economics Workshop (AGEW) 2024 in Sydney in February. Hosted by the University of Technology Sydney, AGEW 2024 aimed to foster a community of economic researchers dedicated to promoting gender-equitable outcomes in society. The event featured research presentations, panel discussions, and policy symposiums, providing a platform for scholars and policymakers to exchange insights on gender economics.

Victory Vuthy found the research presentations by inspiring female professors particularly impactful. She remarked, “Pauline Grosjean’s presentation on masculinity norms was dynamic and highlighted the importance of addressing gender norms for all groups, not just women”. Duonglina Dam appreciated the analytical skills gained from the sessions, noting, “Understanding the complexity and importance of gender economics is crucial for addressing social issues in Cambodia”. Ly Chhay Loem was motivated by the dedication of PhD students, stating, “Their passion for research inspires me to pursue a PhD in the future”.

Their participation in AGEW 2024 not only enriched their understanding of gender economics but also strengthened their professional networks, enhancing their ability to contribute to sustainable development and gender equality in Cambodia.

Apply for the next round of Professional Development Grant

Congratulations to 22 scholars for receiving the grant to attend a professional development event of their choice between January and July 2024.

Can you think of a conference that you want to attend between now and Dec 2024? Do you want to go to a networking event to meet Australians in your relevant field? Are you planning to join a relevant professional association for your professional development? This is your chance to apply for a grant to participate in relevant professional development and networking activities while studying in Australia.

The Professional Development Grant is available to scholars who have completed at least one semester in Australia.

Read more about the grant

Contact us any time at and send us your suggestion about On Award Enrichment program to Leli at: 

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