Applications are being called for nine professional development awards and a scholarship worth a total of $55,000 presented to individuals under the prestigious ‘Aspire Program’ run annually by Perth Convention Bureau.
The ‘Aspire Program’ is the new umbrella term and sub-brand for this highly-successful Bureau initiative (previously the ‘Scholarships and Awards’ program).
The Aspire Program embraces the $10,000 ‘City of Perth’ Convention Scholarship, as well as nine $5,000 ‘Professional Development Awards’ presented to leading academics and professional staff at Perth’s five leading universities, including the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and The University of Notre Dame Australia.
“The Aspire Program is a win-win situation for the Bureau. We’re delighted to assist in the professional development of our academic institutions and not-for-profit communities, enabling them to attend overseas conferences and network with their international peers,” said bureau chief executive officer Paul Beeson. “In return we get to identify a range of valuable bidding opportunities for conferences that have the potential to come to Western Australia.”
Since its inception in 1999, the program has generated convention business worth more than $80 million in direct delegate expenditure to the Western Australian economy. Business events delegates spend six times more than a leisure tourist.
“The Aspire Program has been such a successful marketing tool for the Bureau over the years and has been recognised internationally and copied by cities in other parts of the world,” said Beeson.
Each scholarship or award is designed to assist in the recipient’s personal and professional development, either through attendance at a relevant international conference, or by undertaking further study in their chosen field of endeavour. Funds will be used by some to present formal bids for Perth to host upcoming international conferences and others will attend overseas meetings to lobby support for a future WA bid.
The $10,000 ‘City of Perth’ Convention Scholarship will be awarded to those operating within the State’s not-for-profit associations across eight industry sectors. Representatives from associations in the mining and resources; health; education; science and technology; business; environment and heritage; retail; and arts and culture sectors are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Each of the university’s ‘Professional Development Awards’ are open to academics and professional staff who aspire to not only raise their own profile and that of their institution but also of Western Australia as a hub of expertise within their chosen field of excellence.
The deadline for applications is 30 March 2012. Information sessions will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in February 2012.