Australia Awards alumni representing the indigenous communities of Bangladesh (Adivasi) commemorated the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at an event held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in August 2018.
The event discussed various challenges in education and human rights faced by the country’s indigenous people and the range of initiatives underway to respond to the further development of indigenous communities.
The Australia Awards alumni from the Adivasi communities also welcomed Australia’s new Deputy High Commissioner, Penny Morton to Bangladesh. As the guest of honour at the event, the new Deputy High Commissioner announced that ten per cent of Australia Awards Scholarships will be provided to indigenous applicants in 2019.
Key topics of discussion included: challenges in the primary, secondary and tertiary education; problems in inclusive primary education in the Chittagong Hill Tracts; challenges faced by Adivasi communities in plain land of Bangladesh; as well as issues faced by Adivasi women, and disadvantaged groups, and ideas to overcome these challenges. Barrister Raja Devasish Roy,Chakma Circle Chief, chaired the panel. Adivasi cultural dancers from various indigenous groups in Bangladesh also entertained the participants.
Australia Awards alumni are directly contributing to the development needs of Bangladesh through leadership and innovation, using their skills and knowledge in a range of fields such as education, governance, management – to name a few. The Australia Global Alumni network is an important pillar of the strong personal and institutional linkages enjoyed between Bangladesh and Australia, with over 1,400 Australia Awards alumni from Bangladesh.