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New Australia Awards recipient aspires towards improved deaf education

Posted: 22 February 2019

Bhutan, Disability, Inclusion, Scholar,

Mr Yeshi Gyaltshen is the first person from Bhutan who is hard-of-hearing to be offered an Australia Awards Scholarship. He is a teacher at Wangsel Institute for the Deaf, a boarding facility for children with hearing impairments. Established in 2005 in Paro, Bhutan, the school has developed its own Bhutanese sign language.

When Yeshi submitted his Scholarship application in 2018, Australia Awards provided him with necessary support, including employing a sign-language interpreter during the selection interview. Yeshi was successful in his interview and was offered an Australia Awards Scholarship to undertake a Masters degree in Melbourne, Victoria.

At a reception in Bhutan Yeshi received his Australia Awards Scholarship offer certificate from the Deputy High Commissioner to India and Bhutan, Mr Rod Hilton

In addition to the in-country support he received from the initial stages of his application through to his selection and university placement, Yeshi has also received funding and support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to undergo Auslan and Pre-course English training in Australia. This training, which he will begin from early 2019, will prepare him for enrolment into his Masters degree.

Once he meets the Auslan and English language proficiency requirements, he plans to start a Master of Learning Interventions with a focus on deaf education at the University of Melbourne in early 2020.

Yeshi’s selection for a Scholarship is a testament to the Australian Government’s commitment to empowering people with disability.

“I have been able to achieve all this thanks to the unwavering support and guidance throughout the Scholarship process from Australia Awards. I am truly grateful,” says Yeshi.

Upon completing his Masters in Australia, Yeshi will be the first Bhutanese with a specialisation in deaf education in his country. With the knowledge and skills, he will acquire through his Australian educational experience, he aspires to help his institute to provide better deaf education services and to improve the overall deaf education system in Bhutan.

Australia Awards – Bhutan’s disability inclusion brochure