Forty of Australia’s best and brightest undergraduates have been awarded scholarships under the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan which gives them the opportunity to live, study and gain work experience in Japan, Indonesia, Singapore or Hong Kong in 2014.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Julie Bishop MP, said the New Colombo Plan is a flagship program of the Australian Government that provides scholarships to students to study at leading universities in the region and offers short term work placements to provide industry experience, whilst learning about another culture, developing a second language and fostering friendships that will last a lifetime.

“Tonight I am pleased to join the Governor-General – and New Colombo Plan Patron – His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), to award forty inaugural scholarships under our pilot program and announce the New Colombo Plan Fellows for 2014,” Ms Bishop said.

“This talented and adventurous group of students are wonderful ambassadors for the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan and, once abroad, will be excellent student ambassadors for Australia,” she said.

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education and Leader of the House, said the New Colombo Plan scholarships will help our best and brightest enhance their education and give it a global edge.

“A foreign country rich with culture, language and a vast array of new and interesting experiences provides an invaluable learning environment for Australian students,” Mr Pyne said.

“These students will go on to be leaders in our community, in business and in government and will take their experience from their New Colombo Plan scholarships into these important areas,” he said.

Scholarship award winners will be heading to the four pilot destinations - Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

This year’s scholarships include:

  • Emma Roberts is the inaugural Yudhoyono Fellow to Indonesia: an Australian National University (ANU) Asia-Pacific Studies and Law student, will study at Indonesia’s Gadjah Mada University and the Parahyangan Catholic University and undertake an internship.
  • Jason Emanuelle is the Kishi Fellow to Japan: a student of languages at Melbourne’s Monash University, will join a linguistics and immersion program at Osaka University. Jason also plans to undertake an internship in Japan.
  • Rebecca Wardell is the Singapore Fellow: a Philosophy in Science undergraduate at ANU, will study immunology and public health at the National University of Singapore and intern at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.
  • Sarah Mitchell is the Hong Kong Fellow: currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Adelaide. She will study linguistics and history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and undertake an internship.

The New Colombo Plan will be expanded to other nations in the region from 2015.

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