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New Colombo Plan 2016 Scholars announced

1 December 2015
Six NCP scholars, four of them fellows, head to Indo-Pacific

Advancing a shared understanding of the Australian and Indonesian legal systems, and supporting educational exchanges with the Maldives are the goals of two University of Sydney New Colombo Plan fellows, announced this week. 

Sally Andrews, an Indonesian fellow, and Caitlin Gauci, a Maldives fellow, are two of four University of Sydney New Colombo Plan (NCP) fellows and among six students to be awarded NCP scholarships for 2016. Each year the highest-ranked New Colombo Plan scholar in each host country location is named a fellow.

One hundred of Australia’s best and brightest undergraduates from 26 universities have received the highly prestigious scholarships, giving them the opportunity to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific region for up to 12 months.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop MP and Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, announced the continued expansion of the New Colombo Plan.

From the University of Sydney the four fellows are:

  • Sally Andrews (Bachelor of International and Global Relations and Bachelor of Laws) will be based in Yogyarkata, Indonesia and plans to study the Indonesian legal system to contribute to greater commercial and diplomatic understanding between the two countries.
  • Caitlin Gauci (Bachelor of Arts) will be the first New Colombo Plan scholar to study in the Maldives and, as part of her fellowship, is keen to understand the environmental challenges the country faces. She would also like to encourage a two-way flow of students with the Maldives.
  • Wendy Xiao (Bachelor of Science - Advanced) will be a fellow in the Solomon Islands, a country where she has previously volunteered as a teacher-aide.  Majoring in plant science, Wendy wants to develop her knowledge of Solomon Islands’ food security and development.
  • Samuel Coggins (Bachelor of Science in Agriculture) is keen to use his time in Sri Lanka to learn all he can about food security in South-East Asia and promote agricultural science and its importance in South Asia. 
I am keen to publicise the NCP to other Australian students, in order to create a generation of young professionals who are culturally and linguistically fluent in the Asia region.
Caitlin Gauci, NCP fellow

Rosemary Menzies (Bachelor of Science - Advanced) and Cindy Chau (Bachelor of Science – Advanced/Doctor of Medicine) were awarded New Colombo Plan Scholarships. Rosemary will undertake a laboratory-based internship in Japan in line with her neuroscience and immunology passions and Cindy will join a research project at the National University of Singapore.  

Since the NCP launched in 2013, the University of Sydney has received funding to send 189 students to Indonesia, Japan, China and Laos. In a major expansion of the University’s involvement, this year’s announcement supports 304 students undertaking projects in those four countries and eight more: India, Cambodia, Samoa, Vietnam, Fiji, Thailand, the Solomon Islands, and Myanmar.

“This talented group of students will be impressive young ambassadors for Australia in the Indo-Pacific region, as they undertake studies, gain industry experience and learn about another culture while fostering friendships and networks that will last a lifetime,” Minister Bishop said.

Minister Colbeck said the strong support of Australian universities had been pivotal to the success of the New Colombo Plan.

The announcement builds on the New Colombo Plan 2016 mobility round outcomes announced in July, where more than 5,450 students will study and intern in 28 locations in the Indo-Pacific. In its first three years, the New Colombo Plan is supporting more than 10,000 students to live, study and undertake work placements in the Indo-Pacific. 

Verity Leatherdale

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