SEAMEO - Australia Education Links Award 2016-17 winner

Wednesday 18 October 2017


This morning at Parliament House, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, congratulated Ms Bui Thi Khoi Nguyen (Ms Nguyen Bui) on being named as the 2016-17 Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO)-Australia Education Links Award winner.

Also in attendance was the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, representatives from SEAMEO member countries, key education stakeholders and project collaborators.

Minister Birmingham, Nguyen Bui, and Minister Andrews
Minister Birmingham, Nguyen Bui, and Minister Andrews


SEAMEO is a regional intergovernmental organization established in 1965 to promote regional cooperation in education, science and culture. Australia has been an Associate Member of SEAMEO since 1974.

Each year, the Education Links Award rewards innovative projects that improve education linkages in the SEAMEO region and bilaterally between SEAMEO member countries and Australia. It recognises inspiring efforts to promote inter-cultural understanding and cross-border education partnerships. Proposals are evaluated on their innovation, practicability and originality, their scope for replication and expansion and value for money and sustainability.

Ms Bui received the award for her proposal, IT-HELPS: Australia-Vietnam Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Education. The project is an online model designed to build language teacher capacity by connecting university level language classes in Vietnam and Australia.

The title of Ms Bui's project, IT-HELPS is an abbreviation of the project's seven discussion themes—Identities, Taboos and stereotypes, Holidays, Education and entertainment, Language, People and places, Social issues and distinctions. The themes frame online tasks and provide the opportunity for authentic learning experiences. The project aims to improve learners' language proficiency and intercultural competence.

Ms Bui is a Lecturer in English at An Giang University in Vietnam, and is currently attending the Australian National University on an Australian Government funded Endeavour Scholarship.

In her remarks at the event, Ms Bui said that "Learning English is more than learning words. It is about learning other ways of thinking through intercultural interactions toward the development of both English language competence and intercultural competence. These competencies are vital for global citizens to enable peaceful cooperation and economic development. Being denied equal access to intercultural communication is a severe handicap – and an unnecessary one in the digital age."

As winner, Ms Bui has received a grant of $10,000 to support the development and implementation of the project. The project is being implemented in two phases; the first phase commenced in August with the project scheduled to be completed in 12 months. The project draws on expertise and support from An Giang University in Vietnam, the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and RMIT University.

For more information on SEAMEO and the 2016-17 SEAMEO-Australia Education Links Award please contact the Multilateral Collaboration Section, International Group at