RCTQ welcomes Australia’s new First Secretary for Development in PH
Australia has a new manager of its education support for the Philippines. RCTQ welcomed Ms. Georgina Harley-Cavanough, Australian Government’s First Secretary for Development on the first month of her new role in the country.
At a virtual meeting on 8 February 2021, RCTQ Director Dr. Gina Gonong and University of New England-SiMERR National Research Centre Director Dr. John Pegg led the RCTQ and SiMERR senior staff in welcoming and briefing Ms. Cavanough about RCTQ’s work on applied policy research, specifically in raising teacher quality in the Philippines.
Noting the “incredible work that the Center has done” especially in the area of policy reforms, Ms. Cavanough said she hopes to be able to promote the impact that Australia’s support in the Philippines is making through the initiatives of RCTQ. Part of the work of the First Secretary is to assist in the analysis and policy development in her area of responsibility (development) and contribute to strategy development of Australia’s overseas assistance. Based at the Australian Embassy in Makati City, she will handle Australia’s support to the Philippine education, as well as initiatives on economic governance, gender, and performance and quality. She succeeded Ms. Francesca Lawe-Davies whose assignment ended in December 2020.
A career development and humanitarian policy and program officer within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Ms. Cavanough was most recently in DFAT’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Section before coming to Manila. She provided policy advice on disaster resilience issues and managing Australia’s partnerships with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and women’s resilience programs in the Pacific delivered by UN Women.
With a development career mostly built in the Asia-Pacific region, Ms. Harley-Cavanough has held a range of policy and program roles at DFAT. She completed a posting to Jakarta, Indonesia, where she coordinated Australia’s reconstruction support after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and earthquake disaster in Aceh and Nias provinces. She oversaw a team managing education and Australia Awards scholarships programs to Indonesia. Ms Harley-Cavanough has also lived and worked in Solomon Islands and completed short term assignments in Timor Leste and Singapore. Georgina speaks fluent Indonesian and Malay.
Ms Harley-Cavanough holds master’s degrees in journalism and international business, and an honours degree in Asian Studies. Georgina also recently completed a course in Humanitarian Leadership.
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