Ex-mayor receives leadership grant

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


FORMER Natonin mayor Ana Maria Paz Rafael-Banaag recently received a full scholarship leadership grant from the Australian government together with six other Filipinos.

A graft investigation and prosecution officer of the Office of the Ombudsman, Rafael-Banaag is currently enrolled in a one-year program on Master of Laws major in law governance and taking up a minor course on international law at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

In a letter by Kate Watson, director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said, "Of the 1,324 Australia Awards Scholarships offered for 2014, you are one of just 100 awardees for the Leadership Program. You should be proud of this achievement."

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The letter further cited, "The Australian Government has selected you to participate in this program because you show the attributes and potential to have an impact on development in your country and professional area."

"You will have opportunities to connect with other current and future leaders from across the globe, and with key people from the Australian Government, private sector and civil society. You will explore issues around development and leadership, and build friendships and networks with a diverse group of people," Watson's letter added.

Part of the leadership program is a conference to be held in Canberra, tentatively scheduled midyear of 2014.

The conference will also allow participants to explore key issues in development through presentations and thematic roundtable discussions, professional development & networking activities.

The program will be capped with a reintegration workshop, which scholarship grant and experience will benefit the country being a lawyer for the state.

Rafael-Banaag earlier served as mayor of Natonin in Mt. Province for one term from 2007 to 2010 before she opted to join the government as a practicing lawyer, with the Office of the Ombudsman. (Zaldy Comanda)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 24, 2014.

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