MALDIVES. The pre-departure briefing meeting in the Maldives was held on 10th December 2009 at the Training Room of STELCO Building. Fourteen ADS and four ALA Scholarships holders attended the one-day workshop-style meeting. The Guest of Honour of the meeting was Dr Hussain Niyaaz, the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives.
One of the key features of the meeting was the welcoming remarks from Dr Niyaaz. Dr Niyaaz spoke of the generosity of the Australian government and its people in the human resource development of the Maldives and acknowledged the long standing relationship between the two countries. He spoke about the significance of the Australian government’s contribution in the country’s development and its promotion from an LDC country to a developing country scheduled to be official next year. Dr Niyaaz, himself an Australian graduate, also shared some of his personal experiences with the scholarship holders and advised everyone to use the opportunity they have got to learn about Australia; their rich and diverse culture as well as their way of life.
The one-day workshop also included showing videos about Australian university life, group activities, introduction to Aussie slangs, and also question and answer sessions. Two AusAID past students also attended the workshop to share their experiences with the scholarship holders. The meeting was conducted by Ms Chandrika de Alwis from AusAID Colombo, Bob Wilson from SASP Head office in Dhaka and Ibrahim Hassan from SASP Maldives Office.