An intensive leadership development event provided the opportunity for 71 female Australia Awards alumni from the ASEAN region to connect, mobilise and celebrate the achievements of Australian alumni.

Coffey manages the Australia Awards Cambodia program on behalf of the Australian Government. In partnership with the Australian Alumni Association of Cambodia, we brought together 37 women from Cambodia, 6 from Indonesia, 8 from Laos, 5 from Myanmar, 9 from the Philippines, and 6 from Vietnam (6) in Phnom Penh from 4 – 6 April to further their development as leaders and influencers of regional development.

Alumni participated in learning sessions and heard from participant-delivered TED-style talks, regional guest speakers and a guest panel. It provided the opportunity the opportunity to build practical professional skills, learn from each other, and contribute ideas through discussion about complex issues related to the theme and relevant to the ASEAN region.

The majority of women involved were being mid-career professionals, with 72% occupying middle management to executive leadership roles, and having strategic responsibility for their organisations and staff teams.

For many of the alumni, the event left them feeling inspired and motivated. Dr Hoang Yen Vo, the Founder of a non-government organisation in Vietnam, observed that ‘the workshop consisted of dynamic and empowered women leaders who can contribute to positive changes in the region’.

‘Women inspiring women is a powerful tool to boost women’s confidence in taking leadership roles,’ noted Ms. Chansouk Insouvanh, a participant from Laos who will utilise knowledge and networks from the event in her role as a Social Development Consultant at the Asian Development Bank.

The Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, Her Excellency Angela Corcoran officially launched the event. ‘The Australian Government is committed to supporting these women and to strengthening women’s empowerment, professional development and leadership’ the Ambassador said.

The Regional Women’s Leadership Initiative represents a first step toward establishing a regional forum that links Australia women alumni from across ASEAN through the Australia Awards programs, and supports the collective growth of women’s leadership capacity and contribution to national and regional development.

Watch this video produced from the event to experience the energy and dynamism of the Australia Awards ASEAN alumni for yourself: https://youtu.be/IV6Jq2SqkpY

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