Australia is pleased to announce that Mrs Rina Hariniaina Razafimahefa from Madagascar Oil has been awarded the prestigious Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize and will undertake a Masters in Health, Safety and Environment at Queensland University of Technology in January 2018, representing a win for Malagasy Australian Awardees for two consecutive years.
Last year, the prize was won by another Malagasy woman, Ms Harimalala Tsiverisoa, from the Ministry of Mines who is currently studying a Masters of Development Studies at the University of Melbourne.
The Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize was established by the Australian Government to remember the life and achievements of HE Sandra Vegting, Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius and Seychelles and Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros from 2011 to 2014.
The Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize is awarded annually to the most outstanding female Australia Awards Masters scholarship recipient from Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
The award enables eligible awardees to identify and undertake activities that will contribute to their own leadership and skills development goals. Awardees are entitled to apply for funding up to the value of $2,000 (AUD) over the period of their Australia Award in Australia.
Commenting on the announcement of this year’s Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize, Australia’s High Commissioner Jenny Dee said “the Australian Government is committed to advancing women’s economic empowerment and their participation in leadership. The Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize, which celebrates the memory of our former colleague, compliments my department’s innovative Women in Leadership strategy which was launched in 2015 to promote gender equality, and helps support the professional aspirations of women in the Indian Ocean region.”
Since 2014, four female Australia Masters Awardees have benefitted from the prize. In 2014, Mrs Bhima Ausgur from Mauritius became the first awardee, receiving her award from Australia’s Foreign Minister, the Hon. Julie Bishop during her visit to Mauritius and in 2015, Mrs Mary Allas from Rodrigues became the second awardee.
6 December 2017