Today I announce the expansion of the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Business Champions initiative and new private sector sponsorship.

The NCP aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region by supporting Australian undergraduates to study overseas and undertake internships. NCP students gain valuable new skills and understanding that they will bring to their future workplaces, supporting Australia’s future competitiveness and economic growth.

Nine new Business Champions will join the ten current Business Champions, announced in July 2015, who have been promoting the NCP and the value of regional study and fostering business engagement. The new Business Champions are:

  • Mr Michael Anghie, Managing Partner, Strategic Growth Oceania and Western Region | Asia Pacific Strategic Growth Leader, EY Australia
  • Mr Peter Coleman, CEO and Managing Director, Woodside Energy Ltd
  • Ms Gabrielle Costigan, CEO Asia, Linfox Logistics
  • Ms Christine Holgate, CEO, Blackmores
  • Ms Angela Mentis, Chief Customer Officer - Business and Private, NAB
  • Mr Boyd Merrett, General Manager, Leighton Contractors Asia
  • Mr Mukund Narayanamurti, CEO, Asialink Business
  • Mr David Olsson, China Practice Consultant, King & Wood Mallesons
  • Mr Andrew Penn, CEO, Telstra

I also announce that PwC and CPA Australia will sponsor four NCP scholarships for Australians in 2017, providing valuable support to the program including leadership training, mentoring and professional development.

I welcome the enthusiasm shown by the business community for the New Colombo Plan and look forward to ongoing successful partnership.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555