Issue 2
Monday, 26 March 2018
Charles Darwin University
E-news
From left: Australia Awards Scholarship recipients Tava Paunga, Toe Toe Aung and Michael Taiki. Photo: Julianne Osborne
From left: Australia Awards Scholarship recipients Tava Paunga, Toe Toe Aung and Michael Taiki. Photo: Julianne Osborne

Students focus on resilience in disasters

By Ellie Turner

Three international students from natural disaster-prone countries have received prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships to study at CDU.

Toe Toe Aung, of Myanmar, and Tava Paunga, of Tonga, will investigate ways to help their countries build resilience to devastating natural events including cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis, and enhance post-disaster relief efforts.

Michael Taiki, a farmer from the island Ambae in Vanuatu, which was evacuated when a volcano erupted last year, will research environmental conservation.

“I volunteer with the local farmers’ association, which aims to help the wider community address social and environmental issues and preserve traditional practices,” Michael said. 

“We want to learn how to combine modern science with traditional methods of conservation, and I hope to see how Indigenous Australians and scientists work together to achieve this.” 

Toe Toe, the assistant director of Myanmar’s Disaster Management Department, and Tava, a disaster works officer in Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office, will each undertake a Master of Emergency and Disaster Management.Michael will undertake  a Master of Environmental Management.

Toe Toe said expanding her expertise would enable her government to build a stronger disaster management system to reduce mortality, economic loss and infrastructure damage, while Tava said he hoped to learn about using GIS mapping to assist disaster relief.

For more information on Australia Awards Scholarships, visit W: australiaawards.gov.au