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Curtin students named prestigious New Colombo Plan scholars

Media release

Four Curtin University students will help contribute to Australia’s re-engagement with the Indo-Pacific with the planned reopening of international borders and travel in 2022, after being named in the latest round of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship (NCP) program.

Alexander Jayasuria, Niamh Wilkins and Fraser Robb.

Sustainable development, using AI and blockchain technologies for virtual power plants, counterterrorism financing laws and international relations will be the foci of the four students who, along with 121 other Australian undergraduate scholars, have been selected to travel to 22 host locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

Curtin Law and International Relations Double Degree student, Georgia Henderson, is one of just 24 scholars to be named a prestigious 2022 NCP Fellow.

The other Curtin NCP scholars are Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) student Alexander Jayasuria, Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) student Niamh Wilkins, and Electrical and Electronic Engineering Honours and Computer Science Double Degree student Fraser Robb.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne congratulated the outstanding students on being recognised as among the best and brightest undergraduates from all universities across Australia.

“It gives us great pride that four students from Curtin have been selected to join the New Colombo Plan, which provides fantastic opportunities for undergraduate students to benefit from international experience and the opportunity to network with industry professionals abroad,” Professor Hayne said.

“We know Mr Jayasuria, Ms Wilkins, Mr Robb and Ms Henderson will make the most of the program and their studies overseas and look forward to hearing about their accomplishments and contributions to helping solve the challenges facing the region, particularly post-COVID-19.”

Ms Henderson said she was excited to commence her NCP program with a semester of study in International Law in Yogyakarta, then spending six months completing an intensive Bahasa Indonesia course before interning in the International Relations and Legal fields.

“The support of the scholarship will enable me to build organic connections across the region and to contribute to Indonesia-Australia and ASEAN-Australia relations more broadly through building strong people-to-people and institutional links,” Ms Henderson said.

Mr Jayasuria said he was thrilled to be going to the National University of Singapore for his study program.

“I believe the plans for sustainability being put in place in Singapore are world-leading and offer many lessons for promoting climate resilience and economic co-operations across the Indo-Pacific region,” Mr Jayasuria said.

Ms Wilkins, who will also go to the National University of Singapore, said in keeping with the focus of her Honour’s thesis, she will study aspects of international security, counterterrorism and cross-jurisdictional criminal law.

“I look forward to learning from professors at the top of their field and while I will be predominately based in Singapore, I am equally excited for the time I will spend in Malaysia, particularly as I have my sights set on interning at the UN and with AUSTRAC while I am there.”

Mr Robb said he was honoured to be given the opportunity to contribute directly to the Australia-Japan relationship and grow as a young professional through the NCP Scholarship.

“I hope to gain a deep understanding of the Japanese language, culture, and approach to technological development and plan to complete intensive language training, followed by study at the University of Aizu and internships in artificial intelligence and renewable energy. I’m excited to use these experiences to advance Australia’s growing technology sector and share my knowledge of Japan and the Indo-Pacific region,” Mr Robb said.

Further information on the NCP Scholarship program can be found online here.