SIX Pacific Islanders have been awarded the Pacific Islands Forum's 40th anniversary scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies in areas aligned with the Pacific Plan.
The recipients were selected from top ranked candidates identified through last year's Australia and New Zealand scholarship application and selection process
The announcement was made by the forum's secretary general, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, who said the award of these scholarships was a generous gesture by the two governments.
Mr Slade said the commitment to support the scholarships originated from the announcement made by the prime ministers of the two countries at the forum leaders' meeting held in Auckland.
"Today we celebrate the fruition of this commitment and I am very pleased that the recipients' chosen areas of study are relevant to our leaders' aspirations under the Pacific Plan and many of our own countries' national priorities," he said on Thursday.
Acting Australian high commissioner, Glenn Miles said the scholarships were part of Australia's commitment to a pacific plan and a forum secretariat that was firmly grounded in the needs of the region and carried forward by well-informed and trained Pacific islanders.