During the three weeks of Australian placements the 19 Fellows strengthened their communication and network skills with many assisting each other from afar over the WhatsApp groups. Typically the project team split up the two representatives from each country into separate placements so that each country group would gain the broadest range of experience as well as strengthen communication with colleagues from other Pacific Island Countries.
The Crawford Fund Communication Masterclass marked the final activity as part of the first phase of the program. All Fellows were reunited in Brisbane at the same venue as the first workshop. Placement of this workshop at the end of five weeks was made intentionally as it allowed the Fellows to build up confidence through completing tasks they were more familiar with at the start of the five weeks. Upon return to the same location all Fellows were more familiar with each other, the Australian context, the project team, and the Brisbane location. This aided in undertaking what was for some, the most confronting learning experience. Activities undertaken as part of the Communication Masterclass included:
Advocating for plant biosecurity
Creating video interviews
Being interviewed for video, radio, and print media
Presentation skills, speeches, technology, use of visual aids
Training with Australian media professional through use of a stakeholder panel, and