Students showcase research in international aid and development
10 December 2010
A diverse range of aid and development research carried out by international students studying at the University of Sydney has been showcased at the AusAID Annual Conference.
The conference gave the students, who are studying at the University through AusAID-funded scholarships, an opportunity to present their research into specific needs of developing countries. This year's conference was called 'Promoting development and building enduring people to people linkages'.
AusAID is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program. The objective of the program is to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia's national interests.
The research presented by the Sydney students covered a broad range of topics and regions including maternal and child health services in rural Indonesia, human rights and corporate social responsibility in Vietnam, caste based discrimination in Nepal, reproductive health in the context of disasters in Pakistan, and infection control assessment in hospitals in East Timor.
Rizanna Rosemary arrived from Indonesia in June to study for a Masters of Health Communications with the Media and Communications Department, thanks to an Australian Development Scholarship from AusAID. Under the supervision of world renowned anti-smoking expert Professor Simon Chapman from the University School of Public Health, she is doing a research project on communication techniques surrounding smoking, particularly smoking advertising on YouTube.
"I want to make a difference because Indonesia is known as having a very high population of smokers. I want to use the knowledge I gain here, and then probably my ideas will make a difference," she said.
Rizanna is a lecturer in communications at the University of Syiah Kuala Banda Aceh in Indonesia. She says she took this opportunity because her interest is in promoting public health issues, and the scholarship gave her an opportunity to combine her communications background with learning about public health communication.
Amer Khan has just completed his PhD with the Faculty of Economics and Business and was pleased with the opportunity to present his work on microfinance and the global commercialisation of microfinance at the AusAID conference. Also studying under an Australian Development Scholarship, Amer says that AusAID and the University of Sydney have given him a wonderful experience.
"Generally I would say that this is a wonderful opportunity to enhance our understanding of different cultures, of Australian culture, and develop the cosmopolitan outlook that all of us need in this globalised world. It is really helpful," says Amer.
"It has been a multifaceted experience for me, not just an academic one; it's been a good social experience as well. I'm here with my family my wife and my kids. We've been living in Sydney for the last three and a half years and it has been great."
He said the conference was an excellent opportunity for students to meet AusAID officials and showcase the work that students have achieved through the scholarship opportunities offered to them.
"I intend to go back home and utilise the skills I've received here to develop the higher education industry and develop the microfinance sector back home as a support leader."
The conference was organised by the International Office's AusAID Unit and the Centre for English Teaching at the University of Sydney; and representatives from AusAID, Mr Alex Stephens and Ms Sophie Ranson, attended the conference to learn about the research being carried out by the scholarship students.
The keynote address was presented by Dr Gaby Ramia, a senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Government and policy academic with research and teaching experience across public policy and management and social policy.
Contact: Kristi Maroc
Phone: 02 9351 7009