24 Feb 2016

Orphaned at Five did not Stop Afrizal’s Success

Afrizal, Head of the Water Resources Division of Public Work Department of Sijunjung Regency in Sumatra, lost both his parents when he was just five years old.

Growing up in the early 1970s with two brothers and a sister as an orphaned family was certainly not easy. Despite the hardship, through his commitment and hard work, Afrizal eventually completed his undergraduate degree at Universitas Negeri Padang, West Sumatera, and began to teach civil engineering at a local vocational school.

“However, I knew that I needed to improve my knowledge of civil engineering, and that an Australian university would be the best place to pursue that,” Afrizal said.

So, after being granted an Australia Awards scholarship in 2002, Afrizal studied at Curtin University, Perth, graduating with his Master of Engineering in 2004.

He was later also awarded a StuNed Scholarship – a scholarship program focusing on mid-career professionals – to undertake a short-term course in the Netherlands.

Afrizal’s work goal is to improve his agency’s efficiency through better management practices so that the community could benefit from it.

“And on a personal level, I will continue to seek scholarships or short courses to improve my knowledge and to make sure that my family members also have the opportunity to further their studies.”

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