UQ New Colombo Fellows set their sights on Indo-Pacific

2 Dec 2016

Seven University of Queensland undergraduates will study in destinations around the Indo‑Pacific region after being named as 2017 Fellows and scholars under the New Colombo Plan

Caitlin Gordon-King, Sophie Ryan and Rachael Dodds received their Fellows’ awards at a ceremony in Canberra after being ranked the top candidates in their chosen locations.

A further four UQ students were awarded scholarships:

  • Michael Lucas, Bachelor of Engineering/Arts, will study Indonesian language immersion at Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia).
  • Alexander Williams, Bachelor of Arts/Law, will study international law, Indonesian civil and criminal law, and Islamic law at the University of Indonesia.
  • Kate Goodfruit, Bachelor of International Studies, will study Japanese and Asian relations at Kyushu University (Japan).
  • Elise Schuster, Bachelor of Arts/Social Science, will study East Asian relations and economies at Korea University (South Korea).

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham presented the Fellowships.

Ms Gordon-King, a dual Bachelor Communication and Arts student, will spend a semester at the University of South Pacific, in Fiji’s capital Suva.

“I am really interested in empowering women to address climate change,” she said.

“I will study advanced sociological theory, intervention and peace building, and the Fijian language.  

Ms Ryan, who is undertaking a dual Bachelor of Arts and Laws, and Diploma of Languages, will spend a semester at the National University of Singapore.

Ms Dodds, a dual Bachelor of Science and Arts student, will attend Pannastra University of Cambodia.

The talented runner represented Australia at the 2012 Paralympics, and she hopes to use her experience to assist the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Iain Watson said the New Colombo Scholarship program recognised academic excellence, leadership potential, and community engagement.

“Over time, UQ wants to see study in the Indo-Pacific region as an endeavour that is highly valued across the wider academic community,” he said.

“The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program is a great step towards this goal.

“It complements the Australia Award Scholarships and the thousands of students from the Indo-Pacific who travel to UQ every year – encouraging a two-way flow of students between Australia and the rest of our region.”

The Australian Government scheme aims to lift local knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting undergraduates to undertake semester-based study, internships and mentorships. Since its pilot year in 2014, the plan has supported more than 10,000 Australians to study in the region, in 32 host locations spread between India in the west, Mongolia in the north, and Cook Islands in the east.

In 2016, the program supported more than 5450 mobility students and 100 scholars to live, study, and undertake work placements in the region.

Professor Watson said the UQ scholarship recipients were chosen for their exceptional academic and leadership qualities – in and outside the University.

“Their global focus and drive exemplifies UQ’s vision of creating change,” he said.

“These are students with extraordinary drive to make their world a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable place.

“Whether these students are analysing the Indonesian judicial system or gaining knowledge of international business mergers and acquisitions, their energy and passion is an asset to the region.”

For more information, contact UQ Global Engagement.

Media: Irini Cavalliotis, i.cavalliotis@uq.edu.au +61 73346 0617; Dr Jessica Gallagher,j.gallagher@uq.edu.au +61 7 3346 7869.