The eight UOW New Colombo Plan Scholars stand in front of a media wall at Parliament House. Photo: Supplied
UOW's eight New Colombo Plan Scholars at the launch at Parliament House in Canberra.

Eight exceptional students to study, work in Indo-Pacific region

Eight exceptional students to study, work in Indo-Pacific region

Largest UOW cohort to ever receive 2024 New Colombo Plan Scholarships

Eight outstanding students from the University of Wollongong (UOW) will soon find themselves immersed in the culture of the Indo-Pacific as part of the 2024 New Colombo Plan Scholarships.

The annual Federal Government initiative supports undergraduate students to pursue study and internships in the Indo-Pacific, with more than 35 students from UOW chosen to take part in the program since it began in 2014.

Jasmine Safadi, Tiarna Williams, Katherine Corbett, Alinta Maguire, Samantha Shepherd, Jadzia Wolff, Mallee Smith, and Selin Gulez will spend part of the next year in their chosen countries in the region, immersing themselves in their respective fields of study.

The UOW recipients, part of 150 scholars around Australia, were presented with their awards during a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday (5 December).

The New Colombo Plan aims to create strong relationships between Australia and Indo-Pacific nations, increase Australia’s Asia literacy, and embed First Nations diplomacy in Australia’s engagement with the region by providing students with the life-changing opportunity to study, intern, and undertake language training.

This is the largest cohort ever selected from UOW. The recipients are drawn from across UOW’s faculties and disciplines and will travel to different countries throughout the Indo-Pacific.

  • Jasmine Safadi, Bachelor of Conservation Biology (Honours) (Dean’s Scholar), Japan
  • Tiarna Williams, Bachelor of International Studies/Bachelor of Laws, Singapore
  • Katherine Corbett, Bachelor of Communication and Media/Bachelor of Economics and Finance, South Korea
  • Alinta Maguire, Bachelor of Creative Arts, Fiji
  • Samantha Shepherd, Bachelor of Primary Education, Bhutan
  • Jadzia Wolff, Bachelor of Western Civilisation/Bachelor of International Studies, Fiji
  • Mallee Smith, Bachelor of Sustainable Communities, Fiji
  • Selin Gulez, Bachelor of Science (Physics), Hong Kong

Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic and Student Life) Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin congratulated the students on their success as New Colombo Plan Scholars.

“I am delighted that eight of our exceptional students will have the chance to expand their minds and their experiences through travel and to immerse themselves in the magnificent culture of the Indo-Pacific region,” Professor McLaughlin said.

“These students will be amazing representatives of UOW and of Australia on an international stage. The New Colombo Plan is a tremendous opportunity for students to gain a once-in-a-lifetime experience studying and working in a new place and new culture. 

“Congratulations to Katherine, Jasmine, Tiarna, Alinta, Samantha, Jadzia, Mallee, and Selin on this immense honour.”

Previous UOW New Colombo Plan Scholars have travelled to countries throughout the Indo-Pacific, including Vietnam, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Japan and Samoa, studying fields as diverse as electrical engineering, public health, human geography, marketing and tourism, conservation, and Indigenous culture.   

The New Colombo Plan involves a scholarship program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants program for both short and longer-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums, and research.