Five Swinburne students awarded prestigious Colombo Plan scholarships

Wednesday 27 November 2019 by Alayna Hansen

From left: Swinburne students Charles Graham, Neane Carter, Drew Lindsay, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Monica Kennedy, Tim Booker, Thomas Venville and alumnus Jainam Sheth.

In summary

  • Five Swinburne students have been selected for the 2020 New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program
  • The plan enables Australian undergraduate students to undertake study, internships or mentorships in participating Indo-Pacific nations
  • Undergraduates Neane Carter and Thomas Venville are among the successful applicants and excited to be involved in the 2020 program

Five Swinburne students have been selected for the prestigious 2020 New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, strengthening cultural and university ties with the Indo-Pacific region.

The prestigious scholarship gives Australian undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake semester-based study and internships in one of 40 participating nations.

The successful applicants come from a variety of academic backgrounds and disciplines and will travel to the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Indonesia.

 Studying the stars in the Republic of Korea

Thomas Venville is in the third year of a Bachelor of Science (Professional), majoring in physics and mathematics.

Thomas is heavily involved in astrophysics research at the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, where he is currently studying the detection and simulation of dark matter and galaxy evolution.

Thanks to the scholarship, Thomas will be studying at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

 “I am really looking forward to the invaluable training in the subjects of general relativity and machine learning that KAIST will provide me,” he says.  “It’s a great opportunity to improve my existing knowledge of astrophysics and contribute to more in-depth discussions on those topics.”

Understanding indigenous cultures of Indonesia

As an Indigenous Fellow, Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts student Neane Carter will apply her knowledge and engagement with customary law during a year-long research trip to Indonesia, sponsored by QBE Insurance Group.

She will be studying at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta for four months, before undertaking an intensive language course at Wisma Bahasa language school and then interning with the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice or the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

“I was so shocked when I received the news, and I’m still trying to process it. I’ve been to Indonesia before as part of the NCP mobility grant program and I’m looking forward to returning and continuing my studies of Indonesia’s indigenous peoples, and the ways in which customary law affects their traditional land ownership.”

Neane has family ties to the Wemba Wemba, Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung peoples and has been involved with the Moondani Toombadool Centre, which is responsible for all Indigenous matters at Swinburne. 

 “It is so important that we recognise the law and land of our traditional owners, and I think we can take this knowledge of Indonesian customary law and transfer it into future Australian legislation. “

Experience of a lifetime

The other successful Swinburne applicants include Science student Tim Booker who plans to undertake internships in naval architecture with Hyundai and Samsung Heavy Industries in the Republic of Korea.

Bachelor of Games and Interactivity student Drew Lindsay will be studying technology design at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Republic of Korea and hopes to intern at the United Nations.

Engineering student Charles Graham will be studying at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and plans to intern with the multidisciplinary engineering firm ECAS Consultants and Engineers Without Borders.

The New Colombo Plan

The New Colombo Plan began in 2014 to encourage cross-cultural education, business partnerships and work-based experiences.

The plan supports around 10,000 students each year through the scholarship program and mobility grants, and by the end of 2020, the alumni network will have grown to around 40,000 young Australians.