Amelia Faotusia – The first Tongan awardee to recieve a post award externally funded scholarship

Amelia is the first Tongan awardee to receive a post-award externally fully funded scholarship. As an Australia Awards scholar, Amelia studied Master of Environmental Management and Development (Masters Coursework) at the Australian National University in 2020 to 2021.
As part of her Post Award, fully-funded Scholarship, Amelia was offered a Doctor of Philosophy (Research), International, Political and  Strategic Studies (Majoring in: Environment and Resource Management) at the Australian National University.

Amelia hopes to build the capacity of ocean finance conservation in Tonga by discovering effective finance modalities.
What do you intend to do Post-Award scholarship?

The focus of my research is the blue economy and ocean financing. Post-award, the intention is to contribute to improving development effectiveness in Tonga, taking into consideration that the findings and results from my research have regional wide implications.

 What advice would you give others considering further studies in Australia after completing their Australia Award?

As an awardee who finds herself in such a privileged position, my advice to others is to work hard if you are really passionate about your field of study, achieve those distinctive grades and recognition that make you deserving of such an opportunity.
 How has WLI benefited you as an Australia Awards scholar?

Immensely. The new life skills, quality interactions, and networks accumulated throughout the Initiative are those that cannot be picked up in a classroom setting. This added value to my personal growth as an aspiring young woman scholar.
 What was one memorable highlight from your award (academic or personal)?

The award has had a lot to offer towards my development, personally and academically. But if there was one memorable highlight from this experience, it would be how the award and the university have responded to the covid-19 situation enabling me to continue to pursue my goals, unhindered.