Australia Awards farewell celebration

5 December 2013

Lucy Mtonga is leaving Australia after completing her Master of International Studies at the University of Sydney. The next time she visits Australia, she hopes to do so not as a student but as a diplomatic representative for Zambia.

Ms Mtonga left behind her husband and one-year-old son to take up the opportunity to study in Australia.

"It was a great experience for me. It was difficult to leave behind my husband and son, but this opportunity is one of a kind and I have learned so much that I can take home with me to my job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Ms Mtonga said.

Ms Mtonga was one of 250 recipients from more than 50 countries who received an Australia Award to undertake study, research and professional development at a university in NSW. Their achievements were recognised today at a farewell celebration at the University of Sydney.

The Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. They offer the next generation of international leaders the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to make a difference in their home countries.

As a career diplomat working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Zambia, Ms Mtonga believes the news skills she has gained in Australia will help her improve Zambia's foreign policies.

"The course and the experience studying here has really sharpened my skills and empowered me with new knowledge. I am excited to use what I have learned here to make meaningful changes in Zambia," Ms Mtonga said.

"Working in policy, it's difficult to make changes. But there is a need for Zambian integration, regionally and globally."

Follow University of Sydney Media on Twitter

Media enquiries: Sally Sitou, 93518647, 0481012597 ,