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Sunder Erdenekhuyag uses grant to build environmental knowledge and networks

Posted: 31 October 2023

Australia Awards – South Asia & Mongolia recently offered scholars the opportunity to apply for an Australia Awards Professional Development Activity Grant to enhance their Scholarship journey. Recipients used the grant to learn new skills, improve their knowledge, and enrich their academic and professional growth through tailored experiences.

Sunder Erdenekhuyag is studying a Master of Environment and Sustainability at Monash University. She received a Professional Development Activity Grant to attend the 6th International EcoSummit Congress – EcoSummit 2023, aiming to expand her knowledge of environmental challenges and explore innovative solutions. Her main motivation for attending the summit was to enhance her understanding of Mongolia’s climate change issues by drawing from sustainable practices and the latest scientific evidence.

Sunder attending the EcoSummit 2023 with the theme of ‘Building sustainable and desirable future: Adapting to a changing land and seascape’ in Gold Coast, Australia

The grant facilitated the growth of Sunder’s professional network tremendously. ‘The summit expanded my perspective, introducing me to diverse viewpoints from various global experts, she says.

‘Interacting with over 680 delegates from 102 countries provided a rich experience of ideas and collaborative opportunities. I was particularly fortunate to connect with researchers from prestigious institutions like the University of Queensland, Griffith University and the University of Tsukuba, Japan.’

This grant has been a pivotal steppingstone in Sunder’s career enhancement. She aims to directly apply the insights gained from the summit to her work on Mongolia’s environmental projects, ensuring that evidence-based, global best practices are employed. Additionally, Sunder believes that the network she built through the summit will provide collaborative opportunities in future research and policy initiatives. Participating in the EcoSummit has also helped Sunder improve her critical understanding of sustainable practices and how to integrate traditional knowledge into modern environmental solutions, engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, and enhance her skills in networking and partnership-building.

                                                                                                                                           Sunder in her traditional attire at Monash University

Reflecting on her time in Australia, Sunder says, ‘My experience in Australia has been multifaceted. At the university, I was exposed to cutting-edge research, innovative teaching methodologies and a vibrant international community. Outside the academic setting, Australia offered a rich cultural experience, from its breathtaking landscapes to its warm and welcoming communities.’

After returning to Mongolia, Sunder aims to contribute to sustainable environmental initiatives, utilising the skills and insights she has received from her studies the grant activity. Long-term, Sunder envisions a leadership role in Mongolia’s environmental policy-making and investment, ensuring that Mongolia benefits from global industry practices. ‘I’d like to express my immense gratitude for this grant opportunity,’ she says. ‘It has been transformative, equipping me with the tools and networks necessary to make a significant difference in Mongolia’s environmental challenges.’