Regional Alumni Workshop 2022

Leading and Inspiring Meaningful Change

13–15, June 2022, Kathmandu, Nepal 

The upcoming Regional Alumni Workshop (RAW) will bring together alumni from South Asia & Mongolia for a program of professional development and networking.

In line with the theme ‘Leading and Inspiring Meaningful Change’ alumni will share their experience on leading and inspiring change in their respective countries, sectors, and organisations, showcase their development goals and strengthen their professional networks across the region by establishing Communities of Practice.

Alumni will be joined by representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australia Awards program, and partner organisations in Nepal.

We look forward to welcoming you to Kathmandu. Below you will find the tentative schedule, speakers profiles and other useful information to help you prepare for the workshop.

Workshop Venue

The Regional Alumni Workshop will be held at Hotel Yak & Yeti in the Durbar Hall. You will be staying at the same hotel.

The RAW final program can be downloaded from the link below.

RAW 2022 Program

How will I find my transport from the airport to the hotel?

A hotel representative will be in the arrivals area with a card with ‘Australia Awards’ printed on it, and the name of the hotel (the Yak and Yeti).

How do I make the most of my time at the RAW?

Engage, participate and share your story! Make an effort to get to know your fellow alumni. Tell them about your study and work and ask about theirs. You may find opportunities for collaboration during, and after, the RAW. More networking tips are given below in the ‘tips for effective networking’ section.

How do I know if my development snapshot was chosen to be presented at the RAW?

We received 28 submissions of excellent quality which clearly demonstrate the extensive positive impact that Australia Awards alumni are having throughout the region. Unfortunately, we only have enough room in the program for around half of these submissions so we have had to make some difficult decisions about which to include. We have been in touch with the participants whose submission has been selected to confirm the arrangements.

If yours has not been selected, there will still be an opportunity for the other participants to learn about your work as we will showcase all the submissions on the RAW website. Your eligibility for grant funding is not dependent on being selected to present at the RAW and we will share more information about that during the RAW.

How do I get help with my presentation?

The Australia Awards team will offer a drop in session for presenters wishing to receive some guidance. Adelaide University has helpful information on giving an oral presentation and making a PowerPoint presentation.

What happens if I develop COVID-19 symptoms during the RAW?

If you experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during your stay in Kathmandu, please isolate away from other RAW participants. The Australia Awards – South Asia & Mongolia team can provide you with a Rapid Antigen Test. If you do test positive, please advise organisers as soon as possible.

The purpose of networking is to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with industry professionals. Networking is a two-way process: you need to think about how you can help others before you can expect help in return.

Below you will find a list of tips to use during a networking function.

‘How to work a room’

Diana Carroll, Managing Director at DIANA P.R. offers the following 10 top tips for managing the mingling:

1. Be prepared – Know the who, what, when, where and why of the function. Why are you going? Who do you want to talk to? What do you want to achieve? Remember to take your business cards and a pen.

2. Practice – Create an engaging self-introduction and practice it at every occasion. Be open, be interesting and be sincere.

3. Arrive early – Have a chat with the organisers; rescue a wall flower (is anyone standing alone?)

4. The three Es – Energy, effort and enthusiasm. Look like you want to be there; look like you’re having fun. Be positive, be friendly, and make everyone feel special.

5. Say something – Have the courage to converse. Plan conversation starters and know how to find areas of interest. Remember, everyone loves to talk about themselves.

6. Be positive – Negativity is never attractive. So, never criticise the speaker, the venue, or the food – you could be talking to the caterer.

7. Be polite – Good manners open doors. Always RSVP (respond to the event invitation); remember to thank the host; always follow-up.

8. Act as a conduit – Invite the person with you to meet others.

9. Avoid the sleaze factor – Dress appropriately; behave properly; leave on time.

10. Thank you and goodnight – Know when to leave a person, a group, a function. Use something like: ‘It’s been lovely talking with you; enjoy the rest of the evening’.

Remember that the most important aspect of networking is to follow up the contacts you have received. Place a phone call, send an email, or book a lunch and the person you just met will get a more lasting impression; this shows professionalism as well as respect for the time the other person took to meet you.

COVID-19 guidelines

According to the Australian Government’s travel advice, COVID-19 “remains a high risk in Nepal.” Daily new reported COVID-19 infections in Nepal stand around 10-20 daily, but it is possible that many more go unreported.

Regardless of official numbers, it is recommended to follow COVID-19 safety protocols and wear masks, sanitise hands and physically distance as much as possible. If you experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during your stay in Kathmandu, please isolate away from other RAW participants. The Australia Awards – South Asia and Mongolia team can provide you with a Rapid Antigen Test. If you do test positive, please advise organisers as soon as possible.

Fully vaccinated travellers need to present their vaccination certificate on arrival. Nepal considers you to be fully vaccinated if you have received two doses of vaccine at least 14 days before arrival.

If you’re not fully vaccinated, you need to have a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure for Nepal.

Environmentally-friendly principles

Workshops and conferences are contributors to the global carbon footprint, with travel as a major source of events-related carbon emissions. Other ways by which events add to the carbon footprint are single-use plastics, excessive use of paper / printed materials, and food.

We will make a conscious effort to reduce and offset the carbon footprint created by the Regional Alumni Workshop, including:

  • Arranging direct flights where possible
  • Arranging group transport to and from the airport and encouraging participants to use ridesharing where possible
  • Minimising the use of non-biodegradable and non-recyclable products
  • Reducing the use of printed materials

We encourage you to take proactive steps to ensure the Regional Alumni Workshop is a green event and to think about implementing similar practices when organising activities in your workplaces, communities or in your personal life.

Key speakers

In order of appearance:

Anuk is a marketing and communications specialist. As an Australia Awards alumnus, he hopes to build and expand linkages between universities in Sri Lanka and Australia to assist in the advancement of the education sector. Storytelling has been very much part of Anuk’s professional journey, and he is pleased to share his expertise with fellow scholars who require any assistance with sharing their stories.

Anuk completed a Master of Commerce (Marketing) at the University of Melbourne in 2019.

Limia is Senior Program Manager in the Inclusiveness and Capacity Development Unit of the BRAC Education Programme in Bangladesh. She has over 25 years of experience as a development specialist working in non-profit organisations. She has participated in various national and international platforms where she presented BRAC programs along with her experience and knowledge on inclusive education.

Limia attended an Australia Awards Short Course on ‘Inclusive Education’ at the Queensland University of Technology in 2016 and was the winner of QUT #impactstories 2020 for her significant contribution in empowering students with disability in Bangladesh.

Raheela has over 20 years in project management and capacity development with a focus on inclusive practices, especially gender mainstreaming, disaster management, monitoring and evaluations, governance and community development and programs both internationally and nationally. She is currently the Director General of Capacity Development at the Office of the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Raheela completed a Master of Project Management at the University of Queensland in 2006. She credits her Scholarship experience for enriching her with knowledge regarding the linkage between development and project management.

Adham is currently serving as the Vice President of the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives. He had previously worked in the transport industry and as a consultant on projects for several public and private organisations, including government ministries and the United Nations Development Programme. He was the Founder and CEO of the Synode Group of Companies in the Maldives.

Adham received an Australia Leadership Award under Australia Awards in 2008 and pursued a Doctor of Philosophy in Law (International Law) from the University of Wollongong.

Travel guide to Kathmandu, Nepal

The below travel guide will give you information about the city, places to visit in your free time, how to get in and around Kathmandu and some useful contacts. We recommend you to read this guide before your travel.

RAW 2022 – Kathmandu Travel Guide