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Australian High Commission, Nigeria
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Launch of the Australia Alumni Association of Nigeria
Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria Jonathan Richardson was pleased to host the official launch of the Australia Alumni Association of Nigeria at the Australian Residence in Abuja on Thursday July 10 2014. With the assistance of the Australian Government, the Association was launched by a group of former beneficiaries of the Australia Awards program but is open to all Nigerians who have studied in Australia. The Association encourages collaboration and provides networking opportunities for Alumni in Nigeria, Australia and internationally.
The Australian High Commissioner Mr Jonathan Richardson (centre) with some of the many Alumni who attended the launch
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights in Nigeria
The Australian Government has been happy to work with the Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE) Africa to promote the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights in Nigeria. The Voluntary Principles are nonbinding and offer guidance to companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations while ensuring respect for human rights and humanitarian law. Further information on the Voluntary Principles can be obtained at: http://www.lite-africa.org/
Second Secretary Tom Beamish (centre crouched) with participants at a LITE Voluntary Principles workshop in Port Harcourt.
Supporting community led sustainable development in Nigeria
The Australian High Commission is proud to be supporting the establishment of a community led sustainable development programme within the Omo and Oluwa Forest Reserves in Ogun and Ondo states. Working with Pro-Natura International, we are supporting four communities with the development of Community Development Plans and the establishment of Community Development Foundations to help drive their social and economic development and to promote conservation of the neighbouring forest reserves.
Second Secretary Tom Beamish (centre) with community leaders at the commissioning of a water project as part of the Community Development Plan for Lijoka, Ondo state.
All Children Reading: Applications Opened
In February, the Australian Government, USAID and World Vision, announced the second round of the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR) initiative.
Grants of up to USD300,000 will be awarded for innovative initiatives that address the gaps and barriers that perpetuate low literacy levels.
Applicants for the grants will need to show how their innovation makes use of technology and addresses literacy issues in one of three focus areas: mother-tongue instruction and reading materials; family and community engagement; and children with disabilities.
The USD100,000 Enabling Writers prize is the first of several prizes that will be offered during the competition. It will be awarded for the development of software that allows authors to easily create and disseminate readers in mother tongue languages to help early primary students learn to read.
ACR invites applications from a wide range of problem-solvers: students, researchers, the private sector, start-ups, small businesses, and faith-based and civil society organisations as well as science, technology, education and broader development communities.
This is the second grant competition to be launched under ACR. The first competition in 2012 attracted more than 400 applications from around the world. There were 32 grants awarded for projects to be piloted over two years in 22 countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste. The majority are being implemented in Africa and South Asia. In round two, ACR is hoping to attract high quality applications from the Indo-Pacific region.
Applications for grants may be submitted up until 10 April 2014. Applications for the Enabling Writers prize need to be submitted by 18 July 2014. More information, including a link to the Request for Applications document detailing application criteria, can be found on the ACR website www.allchildrenreading.org
Applicants can direct questions about the process to AllChildrenReading@usaid.gov
2014 Western Australian Senate election
An election for six new Senators for Western Australia will be held on Saturday 5 April 2014. You can check if you are enrolled to vote in Western Australia, enrol or update your enrolment details here: www.aec.gov.au/enrol. The deadline to enrol is 8pm AWST Friday 7 March 2014.
In-person voting will not be available at the Australian High Commission in Accra for this election. You can apply online for a postal vote to be sent to you from Australia at www.aec.gov.au/overseas. For more information, visit the AEC website at www.aec.gov.au/wa-senate or contact the AEC via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (+61 2 6273 8606).
Launch of Smartraveller business travel advice
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued a new Smartraveller business travel advice aimed at Australian businesses operating overseas.
The travel advice for business has been created to raise awareness of the importance of travel planning and risk management as an integral element in managing overseas travel, even for short visits to locations considered low risk. It aims to raise awareness of issues that employers should consider for short-term conference travel, longer-term overseas deployments and travel to high threat remote locations though illustrative case studies. The advice highlights a range of potential risks confronting businesses operating overseas, including from violent crime, cyber-crime, involvement in commercial disputes and fraud, extortion and bribery.
To access the Smartraveller business travel advice, please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au/business
Australia supports reading in FCT
The Australian High Commission is supporting children learning to read in the Nigerian FCT. Working with Afrigrowth Foundation, the High Commission funded the renovation of the library at the LEA Primary School in Bwari, as well as the provision of furniture and supply of over 200 books. Afrigrowth Foundation will also provide training to the librarian and English teachers to sustain the classroom reading activities. The project will benefit over 1000 children in the local area.
On 28 November, the Australian High Commissioner Mr Jonathan Richardson and Consular Officer Mrs Latonia Dabiri-Mpamugo attended a commissioning event for the project.
Australia ready to welcome African scholarship recipients
The Australian Government has selected some 300 professionals from Nigeria and 33 other African countries to take up Australia Awards Scholarships at Masters and PhD level at Australian universities in 2014. In order to prepare the recipients to live and study in Australia, the Australian Government is hosting a two-day workshop in Abuja this week for 21 recipients from Nigeria, 7 from Cameroon and 2 from The Gambia. Read the full text of the press release here.
High Commissioner Jonathan Richardson with the Australia Awards Scholarship recipients from Nigeria, Cameroon and The Gambia during the pre-departure briefing in Abuja.
High Commissioner Jonathan Richardson with Nigerian Australia Awards Alumni Ambassador Jennifer Ozegbe and Nigerian Minister for Health Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu at the reception for the scholarship recipents.
Australia Awards Scholarships open for applications
We are pleased to advise that the Australian Government is once again offering Australian Awards Scholarships (AAS).
Qualified West Africans from the public, private and civil society sectors have the opportunity to apply for scholarships for studies in Australia and Africa.
Applications open on 1 September 2013 for short course studies commencing in 2014 and longer-term studies commencing in 2015.
Application close on the following dates:
Short Course: 17 January 2014
Masters Scheme: 13 December 2013
PhD: To be secured from the website upon request for application form
Detailed information including eligibility criteria, application processes, and application forms are available at: http://www.adsafrica.com.au
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust was established in 2011 to celebrate The Queen’s sixty year contribution to the Commonwealth. The Trust seeks to have an enduring impact on the lives of those who live within the Commonwealth through two initiatives:
• Reducing avoidable blindness in Commonwealth countries by eliminating trachoma and tackling diabetic retinopathy; and
• Developing the skills of young leaders through a leadership awards scheme.
Fund will be raised and applied across the Commonwealth. In May 2012, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a $5 million contribution to the Trust by the Australian Government. She also appointed former Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery to lead the nation’s fundraising efforts for the Trust as Australia’s country representative. A letter from Major General Jeffery to all Australians about the initiative is available here.
A national fund raising entity, the Diamond Jubilee Trust Australia, has been established in order to allow Australian contributors to make tax deductible donations. A website for the Trust’s Australian donors is now operational (www.jubileetrust.org.au). Australian tax-deductible donations to the Trust can be made directly through that website. Donations will be matched by the UK Government and donors’ details will be stored in perpetuity at Windsor Castle.
High Commission newsletter
The High Commission is pleased to announce that the sixth edition of Aussie News is now available to download here.
Australia, Canada and the World Bank to Support Nigeria’s Mining Sector Reforms for Greater Contribution to the Economy
Australia, Canada, and the World Bank have launched a 2-year program to support Nigeria's Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in developing Nigeria’s mineral sector in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable way. Read the full text of the press release here.
High Commissioner Jonathan Richardson addressing the stakeholder forum convened to launch the project.
High Commissioner Jonathan Richardson with the Minister for Mines and Steel Development Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada at the project launch.
Australian education goes mobile with new official website
A new website makes it easier for students in Nigeria and other countries to plan their studies in Australia. Read the full text of the press release here.
Marrying in Nigeria
Please note the following guidelines on how to register a marriage in the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Nigerian law.
Expatriate residence permits
The Nigerian Immigration Service has provided information in relation to residence permits for expatriates in Nigeria. More details are available here.
Are you an Australian citizen or permanent resident travelling or living outside Australia?
We encourage you to register with us so that we can contact you in an emergency. Please see http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au for details and online registration. You can also register in person at the Australian High Commission, Abuja. Please don't forget to include your e-mail and mobile phone contact details.
International financial scams
International scammers continue to tempt people around the world with promises of lucrative rewards, usually in return for assistance in transferring vast sums of money. Read the Smartraveller Travel Bulletin.
Visa Scams and Warnings
Should you believe that you are the victim of a scam, you should report it to your local police and you may also wish to report it via the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch website.
Cruise Ship Employment Scams
The Australian Government is aware that clients in Africa have been targeted by unsolicited e-mails fraudulently offering employment from Australian cruise ship companies. Victims of this scam are defrauded of fees supposedly for visas or fictitious ‘foreign worker certificates’. It appears that the fraudulent e-mails originate from other countries, not Australia. The Australian High Commission is unable to verify employment offers from Australian companies. Job-seekers are. however, strongly advised to verify all job offers using publicly available contact details for the relevant companies. Information on applying for Australian visas is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
Internet Dating/Lonely Heart Scams
There have been a number of instances where Australian citizens and permanent residents believe they have formed relationships with persons from Africa over the internet, only to discover that the purported relationship is actually part of an on-going scam to defraud the Australian out of large sums of money, or to obtain permanent migration status in Australia. In some instances, persons have also experienced physical harm as a result of the actions of the criminal networks operating these scams.
We have received information that Australians sponsoring their fiancé or spouse to migrate to Australia have been asked to send large amounts of money to their partner, on the basis that this is required as part of the visa application process. Information on all relevant fees and charges associated with visa applications can be found here.
Any questions about the standard visa process (including associated costs), can be directed to the Visa Section of the Australian High Commission, Pretoria at the email address: email@example.com