Today I announce that Ms Dewi Syahidah and Mr Riznaldi Akbar have been awarded the 2016 Australia Awards Hadi Soesastro Prize.

The annual Hadi Soesastro Awards support Indonesian academics who are completing their doctorates in Australia with the aim of developing young leaders and promoting people-to-people and educational links between our two countries.

Ms Syahidah and Mr Akbar will each receive up to $25,000 to assist with post-doctoral work in their areas of expertise, which are aquaculture and debt management respectively.

The prize honours one of Indonesia’s most eminent thinkers, the late Professor Hadi Soesastro. Professor Soesastro was an economist, academic and public intellectual. He was also an Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University and made an enormous contribution to Australia-Indonesia relations.

Scholarship schemes such as the Australia Awards and the New Colombo Plan support cooperation between Australia and Indonesia, and facilitate educational exchanges between students from both countries.

The New Colombo Plan, a signature initiative of the Coalition Government, is building on our already strong people-to-people, education and business ties by supporting Australian undergraduate students to undertake study, internships and mentorships in Indonesia.

In its first four years, the New Colombo Plan will have supported 3000 Australian undergraduates to undertake study programs and internships in Indonesia.

The Australia Awards complement the work of the New Colombo Plan, providing 3,500 new Scholarships and Fellowships to emerging leaders worldwide for study in Australia and the Pacific in 2017.

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