Students from the University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus have made their mark at this year’s national New Colombo Plan Scholarship Awards.
Of the 18 scholarships awarded to students from universities in Western Australia – from a total of 125 Australia wide – four were handed to Notre Dame students by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, at a ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra on 26 November.
Among the most prestigious scholarships available for undergraduate students in Australia, the New Colombo Plan Scholarships are sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and aimed at increasing a deep knowledge of, and engagement with, the Indo-Pacific region.
Successful students study at universities in their chosen host country for up to one year and many also undertake an internship while abroad.
They receive tuition fees of up to $20,000, $1500 for language tuition, a $2500 travel allowance, $2500 to assist with settling in, $2500 monthly stipend, and Health and Travel insurance for the duration.
Students selected as fellows of the New Colombo Plan received an additional $1000.
Notre Dame Law and Arts student Katarina Welborn, Behavioural Sciences student Elizabeth Dale, History/Law of Behavioural Science student Thomas Crellin, Politics and International Relations student Justine Tanner will study in India, French Polynesia, Myanmar and South Korea, respectively.
Katarina Welborn and Elizabeth Dale were among five “top-ranked” students from WA selected as fellows of the Colombo Plan.
In addition to their studies and internship, fellows are encouraged to play a strong leadership role in promoting the New Colombo Plan.
Professor Peta Sanderson, Notre Dame’s International Pro Vice-Chancellor, said: “as this is only our second year of entry into the national swards, we are delighted with the success of our students”.
“The New Colombo Plan Scholarship program provides an incredible platform from which the students can launch their future careers,” she added.
“As our leaders of tomorrow, a deep engagement with communities and cultures of the Indo-Pacific region is key to collaborative long-term relationships which stand not only the students in good stead, but Australian interests more broadly.”
Katarina Welborn will travel to French Polynesia to study at Université de la Polynésie Française, then interning at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Fiji as well as within the French Polynesian Government.
Elizabeth Dale will study at the University of Yangon in Myanmar, and while her internship is still to be decided, she hopes to work in human rights concerning the region’s refugee camps.
Thomas Crellin will attend the University of Panjab in northern India followed by an internship with the Supreme Court of India in Delhi.
Justine Tanner will fly to South Korea to study at Korea University. She plans to undertake an internship with a public policy think tank or a human rights NGO.
Also acknowledged at the 2019 New Colombo Plan Scholars function in Canberra were the 2019 New Colombo Plan Ambassadors – students who have previously participated in a New Colombo Plan mobility programme and will support the promotion of the New Colombo Plan to the Australian community more widely and to the students of Notre Dame.
Kamran Ahmed is Notre Dame’s 2019 New Colombo Plan ambassador and Gabrielle Ietto has been selected for the role of New Colombo Plan Shadow alumni ambassador.