LAHORE - Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Peter Heyward on Monday said that his country’s aid program to Pakistan was aimed at promoting gender equality and women's empowerment.

"Women's empowerment is one of the most effective methods for promoting economic growth and achieving lasting peace and security," he said while addressing Australia Day reception here.

Mr Heyward said that Australia was promoting gender equality in Pakistan through its various projects and activities including in the areas of women's voice in decision-making, leadership, and peace-building; women's economic empowerment; and ending violence against women and girls.  "Australia and Pakistan's links in the education sector are increasingly important and growing every year, with more than 10,000 Pakistani students studying in Australia," High Commissioner Heyward said. Guests from Australia included three prominent women, celebrity Australian, DJ MzRizk, former Masterchef Australia contestant (2013) Faiza Rehman and Melbourne hairdresser,  Joann Gan. The Australians have been sharing their skills with young people, particularly, women, through master classes and workshops over the last few days.

Melbourne-based DJ MzRizk who has been spinning soulful tunes and dope beats for over a decade, treated reception goers to a taste of her music collection which includes hip-hop, soul, disco and jazz from all eras and featured Australian artists.

The achievements of Australian Alumni were also recognised during Australia Day event with 12 alumni receiving the Australian Alumni Excellence Award 2015 for Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships.

The recipients honoured in Lahore were Dr. Muhammad Anjum Zia, Mr. Ali Hasnain Sayed, Dr. Umera Imtinan and Mr. Fahad Zulfiqar Ali