Name: Angelina Baptista Branco
Institution: Australian National University, Canberra
Course of study: Bachelor of Science, Resources and Environmental Management
Years completed: December 2004
Finding the right balance between boosting the economy with oil and gas revenue and cultivating sustainable oil & gas practices is a global challenge. And Timor-Leste is no exception.
But an Australia Awards alumnus, Angelina Branco, is rising to the challenge. As Country Representative for ENI Timor-Leste an Italian based oil company, Angelina is strategically positioned to ensure a happy medium that both supports and protects her island home.
In this role, Angelina says she regularly draws on her Science, Resources and Environmental Management degree from Canberra’s Australian National University (ANU) as well as the important networks she built throughout her Australian experience to aid in her decision-making.
“We recently had a major project which would generate millions of dollars in revenue for Timor-Leste and one of the main decisions we had to make related to the environmental impact of the project, and this depended on my recommendation,” explains Angelina who has been with ENI since 2012 and currently leads the company’s in-country team.
“I went back to all of the research skills I learnt in ANU and reached out to my networks from Australia to gain as much information as possible on alternative solutions which would allow the project to continue while ensuring environmental protection.
“I was able to propose alternative solutions to the decision makers and in the end the project was approved with continuous assurances on environmental protections.”
The Australia Awards are an investment partnership between the Australian Government and developing countries. The awards equip recipients with the skills and knowledge to drive change and contribute to the economic and social development of their own countries. In Angelina’s case, as with other past recipients of the award, Australia’s investment is paying big dividends.
“As part of a management team in one of the top 10 oil and gas companies in the world, I can maintain the same work ethic and professionalism as any other international employee. My time in Australia taught me that hard work and dedication is crucial in every aspect of our lives.”
For Angelina, her time in Australia gave her more than a degree. It also gave her invaluable exposure to a new culture. “The four years I spent in Australia exposed me to Australian history, culture, and politics. This knowledge is invaluable and has allowed me to adapt well with my co-workers in an international oil and gas company,” she says.
“I also learnt about Australian pronunciation and slang! I thought I would be able to understand the people as in any other English speaking countries but it wasn’t as easy as I thought! It took a while to be able to understand my lecturers and friends but my ears soon adapted. And I learnt how much Australians love the sun. They’d have their lecturers outside if it were possible”!
Prior to undertaking her Australia Awards degree, Angelina enjoyed an impressive career with several high profile leadership roles. In 2008, Angelina was the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Director of Technical Compliance. Six months later she became the Director of Health & Safety Environment Department. Three years after that, Angelina became a Local Content Supervisor with ENI Timor-Leste, where she was tasked with ensuring contractors for the Kitan field met their local content commitment.
Looking ahead, Angelina is hopeful about Timor-Leste’s future. “Ten years from now, I would like Timor-Leste to have become a developed country with capable human resources. As a young nation we can show the world how far we have come in a short period of time.”
For more info, please go to: https://globalalumni.gov.au/AustraliaAwards/Home.aspx