Leadership Prizes

Australia Awards – Africa Leadership Prizes


The Graeme Wilson and Sandra Vegting Leadership Prizes were established by the Australian Government to remember the life and achievements of HE Graeme Wilson, Australia’s High Commissioner to South Africa from 2012-2014 and HE Sandra Vegting, Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius from 2011-2014.  The respective Australian High Commissions in Pretoria and Port Louis award the two respective prizes to meritorious Awardees annually.  The Graeme Wilson and Sandra Vegting Leadership Prizes are an additional entitlement available to eligible awardees under the Australia Awards – Africa.

Purpose and intended impact

The Prizes enable eligible awardees to identify and undertake activities that will contribute to their own leadership and skills development goals. As part of on-award enrichment, the Prizes intend to build the capacity of the recipients with regards to soft skills and personal development which will in turn impact positively on the successful reintegration of the Prize Recipients.

The universities administered the entitlement as part of awardees’ scholarship entitlements. Awardees may apply for funding multiple activities over the period of their Australia Award at any stage of their scholarship.

Supported activities

The Graeme Wilson and Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize entitlement provides funds for activities that contribute to the awardee’s academic and professional goals and networks. For example, the funding may support:

  • attendance at relevant conferences and seminars
  • opportunities for additional skills development or
  • short-term work placements.

History of recipients

Graeme Wilson Leadership Prize Recipients (Australian High Commission, Pretoria)

Year Name Gender Country Course University Scholarship Status Use of Prize / Progress
2014 Mapaseka Tshuwa F South Africa Master of Animal Science (#32) The University of Queensland Alumna DFAT approved for Mapaseka to use funds from Graeme Wilson Leadership Scholarship to participate in People Leadership training course at the Australian Institute of Management in Brisbane QLD from 01/08 – 03/08/2016.  (UQ noted Approval forms have been saved in the Documents tab within the students OASIS profile). UQ confirmed that the student used the full entitlement value of $1950.68 given.


2015 Thabani Zondo M South Africa Master of Climate Change The Australian National University On-award, returns on 31July 2018. Thabani received approval to participate in a short course (Leading with Emotional Intelligence) offered by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) on 16 and 17 May 2018 in Canberra.

Thabani’s comments: The course is very resourceful to current and future leaders. As an up and coming leader/ supervisor at the work place, the course taught me different techniques on how to harness my own emotions and those of others to improve decision making. I also got training on how to use emotional intelligence to facilitate work related, difficult conversations with confidence. In a nutshell, the course trains leaders to use emotional intelligence to facilitate high performance at the work place. Without the shed of a doubt, what I got from the course will be very useful at any given moment in the work environment.

2016 Shamira Ahmed F South Africa Master of International and Development Economics The Australian National University On-award, returns on 31 Dec 2018) Will attend the Australian Conference of Economists in July 2018.
2017 Helio Cuamba M Mozambique Master of Science (Science) Curtin University On-award, scholarship started on 23 April 2018. No uptake yet – too early.

Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize Recipients (Australian High Commission, Port Louis)

Year Name Gender Country Course University Status Use of Prize/ Progress
2014 Bheema Ausgur F Mauritius Master of Health and Medical Law The University of Melbourne Alumna The Sandra Vegting Award made me eligible to follow leadership workshops concurrently while following my course at the University and go on an educational tour to meet professionals in my field.

The educational tour was quite enriching as experience, as it allowed me to learn more about the course I was following, and I was exposed to a broader spectrum of Medical Law. I am now working as a State Counsel where am putting my skills and knowledge gained from the Masters in Health and Medical Law into practice when I have to deal with accident cases and also cases of medical negligence.

After having returned from Australia, I think and approach situations from a different perspective. I’m more organised, believe in teamwork and listen to my team and keep on learning every day.


2015 Mary Daniella Allas Guillaume F Mauritius Master of Public Administration (Policy) Flinders University Alumna No feedback. She is non-committal and has never responded to e-mail or telephone calls.
2016 Herizo Harimalala Tsiverisoa F Madagascar Master of Development Studies The University of Melbourne On-award till 31 Dec 2018. Despite various reminders by Mark W., DC in person and Anthea, Zo has not been responsive in finalising her activity in time.  Anthea is still following up with her.


Zo’s response: I apologize for being so slow. I am in Malawi and access to connexion is challenging. 

An internship is part of my master program and may include international travel. Therefore, I would like to use the sum to pay for my flight or other expenses related to my internship program. Concretely, the sum will be paid to an Australian travel agency. The issue is that although I am enrolled in my international internship subject, the field trip (probably around mid-October 2018 in Jaipur India) is not finalized by the host organization yet.  As soon as I got all the details, I plan to submit my application to use the $2000 for approval.


2017 Rina Razafimahefa F Madagascar


Master of Health, Safety and Environment Queensland University of Technology On-award, scholarship started on 18 June 2018. No uptake yet – too early.

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