Three ANU students have been awarded prestigious scholarships to study in Asia as part of the government’s New Colombo Plan.
Emma Roberts, Rebecca Wardell and Nick Horton will spend time in Indonesia, Singapore and Japan respectively, studying and immersing themselves in a different culture.
The pilot New Colombo Plan provides scholarships of up to $67,000 to each student to spend one to two semesters at an Asian University, with an optional further six months as an intern.
The awardees met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott before being presented with their awards by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at an official dinner at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Emma Roberts, who is studying a double degree in Law and Asia-Pacific Studies, was selected to address the dinner on behalf of the scholars.
“I was in disbelief when Julie Bishop called me and told me I’d been selected as the Yudhoyono Fellow, and asked me to deliver the speech,” she said.
Ms Roberts said she fell in love with Indonesia during in-country study there last year.
“I’m really passionate about looking at ways to improve access to justice for victims of gender-based and domestic violence in Indonesia. I’m studying Law and Indonesian, so I feel I have a skill set that I could use to contribute to make changes in Indonesia.”
Rebecca Wardell, a third year Bachelor of Philosophy student, was named Singapore Fellow. She will spend a semester at the National University of Singapore undertaking a research project in immunology and public health.
“The scholarship will give me lots of skills and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve never really been to Asia and it will be nice to spend some time there and get to know the culture, too,” Ms Wardell said.
Nick Horton, also a double-degree student in Law and Asia-Pacific Studies, will use his scholarship to undertake a year-long exchange at the University of Tokyo. He hopes to follow that with an internship at the Japan Institute of International Affairs, or the Asahi Shimbun Newspaper.
An edited extract of Ms Roberts' speech to the dinner is on the College of Asia and the Pacific website.