Staff Writer l Palladium - Dec 15 2022
South Asia and Mongolia’s Australia Awards Program Welcomes Alice Tamang as Indigenous Engagement Advisor

Alice Tamang, Indigenous Engagement Advisor, Australia Awards – South Asia & Mongolia

Alice Tamang has joined Palladium as Indigenous Engagement Advisor of Australia Awards – South Asia & Mongolia, a scholarships and professional development program managed on behalf of the Australian Government.

Alice is a proud Dharug woman working on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne. with extensive experience working with First Nations communities across regional and remote locations within Australia. Throughout Alice’s career, her work has focused on equitable inclusion and community development across different sectors including international development, education, and the arts.

“I’ve always been really interested in learning from, and connecting with, other cultures and thinking about how I can bring those learnings back to my own community to drive change,” Tamang explains. “The opportunity to be involved with a program that facilitates meaningful learning opportunities across cultures is really exciting”.

For Tony Crooks, Team Leader of the Australia Awards – South Asia & Mongolia program, Alice’s recent successes managing Indigenous engagement in the international development sector made her the ideal candidate for the role. “We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with Alice given her highly relevant knowledge, experience and successes to date,” he shares. “We look forward to benefitting from her insights and guidance.”

Initiatives introduced under Alice’s guidance are poised to propel the program, and potentially Australia Awards globally forward in terms of First Nations participation and engagement. “Alice’s appointment, together with the introduction of a new Indigenous Participation Plan, will help drive new opportunities for program stakeholders, most significantly for our scholars and alumni,” says Crooks. “We believe these initiatives may set new benchmarks for Australia Awards – potentially creating a ripple effect across other regional and country programs”

The team envisions that this significant appointment and participation plan will include the development of increased linkages with Indigenous organisations, communities, and individuals (both within Australia and South Asia and Mongolia) and the enhancement of cultural awareness for scholars, alumni, and staff.

“I’m looking forward to sharing advice on good practice in engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” says Tamang. “I hope that I can have a positive influence in shaping the way scholars understand and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during their time in Australia, leading to positive relationships and strong cultural understanding”.

Alice’s appointment comes at a time when Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is implementing a First Nations Diplomacy agenda to amplify Indigenous perspectives in foreign, trade and development policy. “Identifying and taking up opportunities for meaningful First Nations engagement is no longer a good to have, it is a must-have,” explains Crooks. “Increased Indigenous engagement and participation – and the integration of Indigenous knowledges and connections – is not only vital, but it can also significantly enrich development and diplomacy outcomes”.

“Increased Indigenous engagement and participation should be a consideration across Australia’s aid programs given its mutual benefits to both our Indigenous communities and to the recipients of aid across our waters,” affirms Tamang. “It is also highly valuable when integrated and considered in our broader diplomatic relations with other nations”.

Australia Awards are prestigious international Scholarships and Short Courses funded by the Australian Government. Australia Awards equip recipients with the skills, knowledge, and networks to drive change and contribute to the economic and social development of their own countries and regions. Australia Awards – South Asia and Mongolia is managed by Palladium on behalf of the Australian Government. The program offers opportunities to eligible nationals of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Mongolia. Learn more or contact for more information.