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Alumnus contributes to the development of the aviation sector in Mongolia

Posted: 3 June 2024

Since childhood, Nyambat Ganbold aspired to work in the aviation sector. While many children share a similar dream, he was determined to make it a reality. After graduating from high school, Nyambat left his birthplace in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to study at Ukraine’s National Aviation University. Following two years in Ukraine, he then chose to study at the Civil Aviation Training Center in Bangkok, Thailand, to get an Air Traffic Controller license. Once he qualified for this license, which is approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, he achieved his goal and began his aviation career in 2010. His first role was working as an Air Traffic Controller at the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia. Since then, he has been living his childhood dream.

In 2022, Nyambat received the opportunity to study a Master of Aviation Management at Griffith University in Queensland with the support of an Australia Awards Scholarship. Nyambat describes receiving an Australia Awards Scholarship and studying in Australia as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

Outside of his studies, Nyambat participated in a number of Australia Awards events to build his professional skills and networks. In April 2023 he participated in the Australia Awards – South Asia & Mongolia Scholars Forum in Canberra, enabling him to mix with Australian Government officials, representatives from the development sector and the diplomatic corps.

Nyambat (far left) interacting with other Mongolia colleagues at the Scholars Forum in 2023.

In March 2023, Nyambat travelled to Adelaide to participate in an Australia Awards space-theme event, hearing from Enrico Palermo, the Head of the Australian Space Agency, and Professor Andy Koronios, the CEO of the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre. The event provided Nyambat with an overview of the impact of space research and enabled him new linkages with fellow participants.

While studying in Australia, Nyambat not only enhanced his knowledge and networks, but also developed a fuller understanding of Australian culture and history. This included taking part in an immersive Indigenous cultural event along the Goompi Trail on Stradbroke Island in 2023 in advance of NAIDOC Week. Under the guidance of Matthew Burns, a proud Quandamooka man, Nyambat and 13 other Australia Awards recipients had an enriching cultural experience. After the scholars ground stones to produce a coloured pigment called ochre, Nyambat was the first to volunteer to have the ochre painted on his skin.

However, Nyambat’s master’s degree study was his focus first and foremost, and his dedication paid off in terms of his career development. After graduating and returning to Mongolia, Nyambat was promoted in the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia to the position of Air Traffic Management Officer. In this role, he is primarily involved in policy and decision-making tasks and managing safety regulations within the framework of air traffic management in Mongolia.

              Nyambat at the Griffith University library.

“Definitely, my recent degree from Griffith University has played a significant role in my promotion”, Nyambat says when asked about the contribution of his Australia Awards Scholarship to his new role.

But Nyambat’s Australian education experience is not just benefiting him—it’s also helping the development of Mongolia. “From the perspective of sector development, Mongolia is a landlocked country, so aviation is a strategically important sector that needs to be developed,” Nyambat notes. “At the same time, our country has an important geographical location, offering the most efficient air route between Europe and Asia.” Reflecting this, the country has six airlines that hold a current air operator’s certificate issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia: four that offer scheduled services, one charter airline and one cargo airline. In order for Mongolia to capitalise on the advantages of its location, Nyambat believes, “we need qualified human resources who are educated in leading countries in aviation”.

In light of this insight, he says, “I am eagerly trying to contribute as much as I can with the knowledge and experience, I gained from Australia.”

         Nyambat near the Sydney Opera House, enjoying his time in Australia.

Having enjoyed all the benefits of an Australian education with the support of his Australia Awards Scholarship, Nyambat has no hesitation in recommending that anyone interested pursue the opportunity. “I know first-hand how much dedication and effort are required to earn the Scholarship, but if you truly desire to contribute to your own country’s development with your leadership in your targeted sector, you will definitely achieve it,” he says. He is also enthusiastic about the extra assistance and support available to recipients: “If you are fortunate enough to receive an Australia Awards Scholarship, you can also take your family with you and they will enjoy the many social benefits that Australia has to offer. Hence, I strongly encourage people to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship to make positive changes in their home country and in themselves.”

Summarising his advice for prospective applicants, Nyambat is succinct and direct. “Believe in yourself and seize this wonderful opportunity,” he says. “I will always cherish and be proud of being an Australia Awards alumnus.”