Once again, the Australian government, through its education arm AEI (Australian Education International), has awarded Thai academics and professionals with multiple scholarships, valued at about 60 million baht, under its Endeavour Awards programme. The 19 recipients were honoured on Jan 21 at a reception presided over by the Australian ambassador to Thailand, Paul Grigson.
The Australian ambassador to Thailand, Paul Grigson, sixth from left in the back row, poses with recipients of the 2010 Endeavour Awards and invited guests at a reception for the awardees.
"When you go to Australia, it is very important to enjoy yourself besides learning about Australia, but the most important thing is that you should take advantage of the access that you will get to both high-quality researchers and high-quality institutions," Mr Grigson said to the awardees.
The aim of the Endeavour programme is to create global links and to strengthen bilateral collaboration between Australia and participating countries.
"Among the many scholarship schemes available, the Endeavour Awards programme is certainly one of the best as you can choose your own area
of study," explained Sirinut Sawatdeenarunat, one of the awardees.
Bright future in Australia
The recipients will study in Australia ranging from a couple of months to a few years in various fields, programmes and institutions.
Monrada Sethachinda, one of the recipients, has been granted an Endeavour Vocational Education and Training (VET) Award.
An MBA graduate, she is a veteran banker. Her interest in nutrition science has been accumulating over the years, and so she finally decided to apply for a scholarship to study nutrition medicine in Sydney at Nature Care College.
"During the time when I was working at the bank," Ms Monrada said, by way of giving additional details on how her interest in this subject started, "I saw that people were not eating healthy foods, which were probably causing them health problems."
The ex-banker hopes that her knowledge and skills gained in Australia will enable her to work in the food analysis and medical industry for the benefit of Thailand and Australia. She is also very interested in running her own health conscientiousness business upon her return to Thailand.
For molecular biologist Nipa Choke-sajjawatee, PhD, an Endeavour Executive Awards recipient, the scholarship gives her the opportunity to work with world-renowned scientists.
She is now a researcher in a food safety project at the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Biotech), and she will be leaving for Australia to conduct research on "Risk Assessment of Food-born Pathogens in Chicken" at the University of Tasmania.
"Biotech needs more researchers to help it expand its pool of advanced knowledge in the field of food safety," said Ms Nipa, explaining the reason why Biotech nominated her for the scholarship.
"As a result of the growth in international trade, the overall world demand for food risk assessment capabilities has risen considerably. If Thailand wants to realise its aim of becoming the kitchen of the world, we have to make sure that we have safe foods for export," the researcher said.
An Endeavour Postgraduate Award recipient and English teacher at Chulalongkorn University Language Institute, Sirinut is going to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), where she will study for a PhD in education.
"As a holder of only a master's degree, I am limited to teaching undergraduates. I want to teach at a higher level than that as well as conduct research and supervise postgraduate students in their research projects," said Ms Sirinut, adding that her special interest is reading and literacy.
She has noticed that students in her classes remain weak in reading. "Nowadays, many students get bored when they read text. If I can do something with electronics and the computer, students may well be stimulated to read more. So, I want to tie technology to reading," the teacher said.
She has already submitted the title of her research project: "Integrating Computer Assisted Language Learning in Developing an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Literacy Programme".
Congratulations to all
The other recipients, listed by scholarship group, are as follows:
Endeavour Postgraduate Awards Krissana Kampanatkoso, The University of Melbourne (UM); Saveethika Leesurakarn, Monash University; Tir Srinopnikom, UM; Vikram Ahuja, Australian National University; Weraya Tepsititrakorn, The University of New South Wales (UNSW); and Worawat Rujirapoom, The University of Sydney;
Endeavour Research Fellowships Anamai Na-udom, PhD, Curtin University of Technology (Curtin); Farsai Chanjaruporn, University of South Australia; Phanida Juntasopeepun, PhD, Curtin; Phikunthong Kopermsub, PhD, Flinders University; Puangratana Pairor, PhD, The University of Queensland; and Tawesin Navarat, PhD, University of Wollongong;
Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowship Patchara Punyamoonwongsa, PhD, UNSW;
Endeavour Executive Awards Chatchalee Ruktanonchai, PhD, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; and Asst Prof Laongtip Mathurasa, PhD, UTS; and
Endeavour Vocational Education and Training (VET) Award Noppakade Api-wanitcha, Holmesglen Institute of Tafe (Technical and Further Education).
For more information on the Endeavour Awards, visit
For more information on the Endeavour Awards, visithttp://www.endeavour.deewr.gov.au.