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2022 New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador profiles

The cohort of 52 Alumni Ambassadors represent every Australian state and territory and reflect the diversity of the NCP Scholarship and Mobility programs.

These ambassadors will promote the NCP and the value of Indo-Pacific study, supporting future cohorts of NCP Scholars and mobility participants across Australia.

National Indigenous Role

Anthony Mathews

Anthony Mathews

NCP Indigenous Alumni Ambassador

University: University of Adelaide

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Mobility

Anthony is currently completing a Bachelor of International Business at the University of Adelaide. He is heavily involved in the local community through extracurricular activities that support foreign and domestic communities, such as Talking With Aussies.

Anthony's New Colombo Plan experience was in Shanghai, where he studied at Fudan University. He was completing a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts (Chinese). Through his travel, he was able to experience the Chinese culture, travel and meet individuals from across the globe.

Anthony's passion is business, cross-culture, and the interconnectedness of globalisation. He enjoys travel and understanding how others live, which he would like to build upon through a business career, especially in Asia. His goal is to bring individuals from foreign cultures closer together.

Joshua Tobin

Joshua Tobin

NCP Indigenous Alumni Ambassador

University: University of Newcastle

NCP Host Location: Mongolia

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/joshua-tobin-25052a98

Joshua completed a Bachelor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle in 2020.

Joshua completed his New Colombo Plan at the University of Newcastle in 2018 with a placement in Mongolia. Through the organisation Medic for Mongolia, he undertook a placement in a remote Mongolian hospital and at the large trauma hospital in Ulaanbaatar. Part of the program was reviewing the triage process that occurred in the emergency department of Mongolian hospitals in both remote and metropolitan hospitals.

While currently working in Sydney as a Junior Doctor, Joshua is keen on expanding his medical skills and career throughout the world. His career will focus on becoming a specialist in remote and rural medicine, with critical care and retrieval anesthetics. In particular, he is interested in working with wilderness expedition teams and becoming the Doctor on the Australian Antarctic Research station.

Australian Capital Territory

Rebecca Crisp

Rebecca Crisp

University: The Australian National University

NCP Host Location: Myanmar

Program: Scholar and Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-crisp-b040b019b/

Rebecca is completing a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Australian National University. Rebecca is interested in global governance and development, particularly in the Asia Pacific. Rebecca has been able to purse her interest by working at several domestic and international NGOs and think tanks and was recently named Rotary International's rural "Young Inspirational Women of the Year".

Through a New Colombo Plan mobility grant, Rebecca had the opportunity to complete research in Myanmar into the relationship between gender equality and education. This research has since been peer-reviewed and published and provided invaluable experience working and operating in-country. She plans to use her 2021 New Colombo Plan Scholarship to develop her interests in the intersection of law, business, and human rights in Southeast Asia through internships and study.

Rebecca is passionate about advancing Australia's relationships within the Asia-Pacific region through developing a shared understanding of the role of legal institutions in promoting mutual economic interests and protecting human rights.

Chelsey Ashcroft

Chelsey Ashcroft

University: University of Canberra

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chelsey-ashcroft-32941aa3/

Chelsey has recently graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Primary Education, specialising in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

In 2019, Chelsey completed her New Colombo Plan mobility program at TianShan primary school in Shanghai. During her time in Shanghai, she undertook an intensive language program, cultural tours and worked alongside experienced teachers to research, plan and implement lessons for students.

Chelsey is passionate about learning innovative pedagogical strategies used in education systems across the globe and aspires to pursue a career teaching internationally.

New South Wales

Joshua Santos

Joshua Santos

University: Macquarie University

NCP Host Location: China, Indonesia, Thailand & Vietnam

Program: Scholar and Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuapdsantos/

Joshua is completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) / Bachelor of Arts - Psychology with a Diploma of Languages (Chinese) at Macquarie University.

Joshua is a 2020 New Colombo Plan Scholar to Vietnam and recipient of several NCP mobility grants. In 2018, he completed a semester exchange at Chulalongkorn University. In 2020, he completed an internship with the ASEAN Foundation and undertook Hacker Exchange (HEX) Discovery Asia-Pacific Virtual Innovation Program (Asia-Pacific). In 2021, Joshua also fulfilled a short-term virtual exchange at Fudan University, China to study International Trade and Chinese Studies. Joshua's extensive experience with the New Colombo Plan has opened numerous opportunities to further engage with the Indo-Pacific.

Joshua is passionate about social impact and explore the intersection in human science, business, creativity, and data-driven means to contribute to today's sociocultural and international affairs. In particular, he is interested in harnessing his social innovation and digital marketing capabilities via Content Creation, Product Management, and UX Design to engage further with the Australia-Asia, ASEAN, and China spaces. Ultimately, Joshua aspires to support more young Australians in developing their Asia literacies and capabilities as they engage with the Indo-Pacific.

Joshua Cocks

Joshua Cocks

University: Macquarie University

NCP Host Location: Thailand

Program: Mobility

Joshua is in his final year of a Bachelor of Security Studies at Macquarie University. He has a passion for diplomacy, foreign policy, and human security, particularly in Southeast Asian countries.

As a 2019 New Colombo Plan Scholar, Joshua completed a semester exchange at Mahidol University in Thailand. He was keenly interested in the diplomatic history of Thailand, undertaking a mentorship, and participating in diplomatic and cultural events.

Joshua is driven to advance Australia’s relationships with the Indo-Pacific region and aspires to pursue a career abroad facilitating political action and dialogue on critical security issues.

Nancy Cai

Nancy Cai

University: University of New South Wales

NCP Host Location: Taiwan

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancey/

Nancy completed a double degree of a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) with a Bachelor of Laws at the University of New South Wales. Nancy currently volunteers with ASEAN-Australia Strategic Youth Partnership (AASYP).

Nancy completed a semester at the National Taiwan University (NTU) from 2019 to 2020 as a New Colombo Plan Scholar (Taiwan). She studied Traditional Chinese part-time whilst enrolled with the NTU Law Faculty. During her time in Taiwan, she volunteered under an institutional program skyping schoolchildren in Taiwan to exchange cultural learnings and continues to do so remotely.

Nancy is fascinated by the interplay of business and policy to advance prosperity and wellbeing. This has translated into her pursuits of volunteering, languages, and reading about the latest technologies to democratise opportunities.

Samuel Jackson

Samuel Jackson

University: University of New South Wales

NCP Host Location: Hong Kong & Singapore

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samuelcjackson/

Samuel will soon complete his Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree at the University of New South Wales.

As a 2019 New Colombo Plan Scholar to Hong Kong, Samuel undertook intensive Cantonese language training and completed an internship with the Competition Law team at Linklaters Hong Kong. He spent a semester studying law electives at the University of Hong Kong before continuing his legal studies at Singapore Management University.

Since returning to Australia, Samuel has completed a summer clerkship at Allens in Sydney and currently works as an Associate to a Federal Court Judge in Sydney. He was also awarded a scholarship with the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre to complete his law Honours project, which explored the legality of low-level cyber-attacks under international law. Samuel has been an active member of the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club for over a decade and is passionate about classical and film music. He looks forward to sharing his unique experiences and promoting the value of study in the Indo-Pacific region as a New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador.

Caitlin Gauci

Caitlin Gauci

University: The University of Sydney

NCP Host Location: Maldives

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlin-gauci/

Caitlin holds an Honours degree from the University of Sydney and has undertaken research at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Edinburgh.

Caitlin began her career in public policy, supporting governments and non-government agencies (NGOs) around the world. Caitlin was previously a foreign policy adviser at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, before joining the Lowy Institute as a researcher. Currently, she works at the intersection of technology and financial markets to supercharge the most innovative technologies in the Indo- Pacific.

Caitlin was the inaugural New Colombo Plan Fellow to the Maldives in 2016. She studied at Maldives National University and was a Democratic Governance intern at the United Nations Development Program. While in the Maldives, Caitlin examined the nexus of female political participation, Islam, climate change and democracy.

Caitlin is passionate about harnessing the boldest and brightest ideas to create a more sustainable and equitable future. Her areas of expertise include the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, Indo-Pacific strategy and Australia-US relations.

John McCrorie

John McCrorie

University: The University of Sydney

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Mobility

John is completing his final semester of a Juris Doctor at the University of Sydney, having already completed a Bachelor of Arts in Socio-Legal Studies and International Relations at the same institution in 2018.

In 2018, John was able to study at the University of Jiao Tong in Shanghai through his participation in the New Colombo Plan mobility program. During his time in China, John completed studies in Chinese politics, law, and history - and was also able to visit the cities of Hangzhou and Suzhou.

John is interested in pursuing a career relating to the subject matters of migration and public international law. Given the centrality of these topics to Australia's relationships with its Pacific and South-East Asia neighbours, he intends for his career to make contributions to our regional relationships.

Bethlehem Mekonnen

Bethlehem Mekonnen

University: University of Technology Sydney

NCP Host Location: Cambodia

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethlehemmk/

Bethlehem is in her final year studying a Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours) and is involved in a range of community initiatives alongside her studies. This includes working for the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion, founding the UTS African society and being a valuable member of the Wellbeing, Health and Youth (WH&Y) Commission.

In January 2020, Bethlehem attended a two-week short-term study in Cambodia supported by a New Colombo Plan mobility grant. She gained insight into Cambodia, science research, education, culture, and language.

Bethlehem is passionate about social justice and transformative education. The current societal structures allow for many disparities in the treatment of minority groups such as those from low socio-economic backgrounds and refugee and asylum-seeker communities. Bethlehem is eager to explore ways in which governing bodies may work with their communities to address these issues of inequality within the Australian context and abroad.

Simon Truong

Simon Truong

University: University of Technology Sydney

NCP Host Location: Vietnam

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simontruong99/

Simon recently completed the combined Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Laws program at the University of Technology Sydney.

Simon was able to undertake an International Management Field Study to Vietnam through a New Colombo Plan mobility grant. During his time in Vietnam, he developed deep cultural insight into the educational, business, governmental and non-governmental spheres of Vietnam's rapidly changing society.

Simon is passionate about Australia's role in the Indo-Pacific and its relationship with key stakeholders such as Vietnam. Simon is a delegate for the 2021 Australia-Vietnam Young Leadership dialogue. Simon has a keen interest in governance, risk and compliance and its enabling function to build sustainable, effective, and accountable institutions in Australia and across the Indo-Pacific. Simon is currently employed by IBM as a Lead Operational Risk Architect.

Matthijs de Ruijter

Matthijs de Ruijter

University: University of Wollongong

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthijs-de-ruijter-a20231193/

Matthijs has completed a Bachelor of International Studies, majoring in International Relations and Mandarin, at the University of Wollongong.

In 2019, Matthijs completed his New Colombo Plan mobility program at the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). While overseas, Matthijs studied an intensive Mandarin language program, took classes in intercultural communication, Chinese law, and contemporary Chinese society. Studying overseas renewed his understanding of Asian customs and traditions, meeting people from different cultural backgrounds.

Matthijs is determined to work in a field that finds solutions to changing global challenges, specifically within the Indo-Pacific region. He is inspired by multilateral coordination, cross-cultural exchange and improving climate policy within the Pacific. Matthijs would like to pursue a career abroad in China, that would involve facilitating Sino-Australian coordination and development.

Shree Jobanputra

Shree Jobanputra

University: Western Sydney University

NCP Host Location: Vietnam

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shree-jobanputra-3ba9b4195/

Shree is a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business (Management) student at Western Sydney University with a passion for advocacy, education and youth representation. She is participating in the Global Leadership Program alongside being an avid member of the Western Sydney University Law Students Association, Debating Society and an executive member of the Business Society.

Shree completed her New Colombo Plan mobility program in August 2021 virtually in Vietnam. She conducted work in the marketing and development of a start-up company focusing on expanding business from the Netherlands to Vietnam.

Shree is passionate about fostering relationships within the Asia-Pacific region, given her South-East Asian roots. She is particularly interested in pursuing a career abroad in this aspect, exploring legal operations and entrepreneurship in South-East Asia.

Rose Lewis

Rose Lewis

University: Western Sydney University

NCP Host Location: China & Taiwan

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rose-lewis-westernsyd/

Rose is a student and elected board member of Western Sydney University, where she is also completing a Bachelor of Business (Applied Finance) and Bachelor of Laws.

As a 2017 New Colombo Plan mobility grant recipient, Rose participated in work-integrated learning through the program "Innovation and Professional Practice” in Xiamen, China. This team-based experience involved consulting executive managers from the accounting software company Onlyou (through translators) and presenting recommendations. In 2021, she completed the virtual New Colombo Plan subject “Legal, Economic and Social Transformation in Taiwan”, her seventh international virtual study program.

Rose is passionate about improving access to education and promoting social inclusion. She is a Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (NSW) ambassador and member of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Expert Advisory Group for the Racism. It Stops with Me campaign.

Northern Territory

Allison Bellamy

Allison Bellamy

University: Charles Darwin University

NCP Host Location: Cambodia

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allison-bellamy-a14951154/

Allison is completing a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at Charles Darwin University. She also studies Chinese.

Allison completed her New Colombo Plan mobility program in 2019 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she undertook a 2-week teaching placement in a year four classroom.

Allison strongly believes in strengthening Australia's relationships with the Asia-Pacific region for herself and future students to pursue study and career opportunities abroad.

Queensland

Crystal Paris

Crystal Paris

University: Bond University

NCP Host Location: Japan

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/crystal-paris-027a1b16b

Crystal graduated with a double degree of Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Relations from Bond University, where she continues to assist the Faculty of Society and Design.

Through a New Colombo Plan mobility grant, Crystal studied at Hosei University in Tokyo in 2019. At Hosei, Crystal studied the Japanese language and completed coursework focusing on international relations, politics, and security studies in a Japanese context. During her time in Tokyo, she immersed herself in Japanese society and culture.

Crystal is interested in Australia's economic and commercial diplomacy and regional security cooperation within the Indo-Pacific region. Since returning from Japan, Crystal has undertaken an internship with the Queensland Human Rights Commission and currently works for the Queensland Parliament. She looks forward to commencing as a 2022 Graduate in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global Trade practice.

Dominic McCarthy

Dominic McCarthy

University: CQ University

NCP Host Location: New Caledonia

Program: Scholar & Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thedommccarthy/

Dominic is studying a Bachelor of Business (Management) at CQ University. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Pacific-Australia Youth Association.

Dominic completed a New Colombo Plan mobility program in Vietnam in 2019, on the Unbound United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals Study Tour. He was the New Colombo Plan Fellow for New Caledonia for 2020, where he began his program prior to COVID-19. He is expecting to return in mid 2021 to study and intern in New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

Dominic is interested in Australia's role in the Pacific, particularly the French Pacific Territories. Dominic aspires to work in international business, trade and diplomacy in the future.

Rachael Grant

Rachael Grant

University: Griffith University

NCP Host Location: Hong Kong & Japan

Program: Scholar & Mobility

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rachael-grant

Rachael has just completed her final year of a Bachelor of Architectural Design at Griffith University where she is involved in a range of architecture organisations and the university’s Honours College.

Rachael began her New Colombo Plan Scholarship program in 2020 in Japan, completing her intensive language training course before returning home after two months in light of the pandemic. Rachael has also experienced involvement in a New Colombo Plan mobility program during 2018 which was a multidisciplinary driven field trip to Hong Kong, focusing on green cities with the amalgamation of Health and Architecture students.

Rachael is inspired by the ability she has as an architecture student to shape the future of Australian cities with interest in influencing the impact this has on children. She is particularly interested in discovering relationships on this topic in the Indo-Pacific to gain understanding of how architecture is purposed to influence the user in a positive way.

Susie Phelan

Susie Phelan

University: Griffith University

NCP Host Location: Japan

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susie-phelan/

Susie is completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) with a Bachelor of Asian Business at Griffith University where she has also participated in MATES and was Vice President of ERTHS (Event management, Real Estate, Tourism Management, Hospitality Management and Sports Management) club.

Susie completed her New Colombo Plan mobility program in Japan in December of 2019. During her time in Japan, she undertook a one-month intensive language course followed by a one-month internship with a Japanese company.

Susie is passionate about the development of cross-cultural relationships and economic partnerships between the Asia-Pacific region and Australia. She is particularly interested in exploring the effects of Economic Trade Partnerships and Alliances between Australian and Japan and hopes to pursue a career abroad involving this.

Monique Chantrill

Monique Chantrill

University: James Cook University

NCP Host Location: India

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/monique-chantrill/

Monique has recently completed her Bachelor of Social Work at James Cook University, where she acted as a Student Respect Facilitator and Peer Assisted Learning Advisor. She has received the Australian Association of Social Workers North Queensland prize, as well as the Ric Thompson inclusion award.

In 2018, Monique travelled to Kerala, India, supported by a New Colombo Plan mobility grant. This experience was hosted by the De Paul Institute of Science and Technology. During this time, she was able to explore and learn about the rich and proud local culture. She also attended various conferences, workshops, and organisations to explore different approaches to social work practice. Monique was inspired by the local community’s innovation, holistic service provision, and resilience in challenging times.

Moving forward, Monique would like to put the knowledge gained from this exchange to use through her work. She has a passion for working with children, youth, and families. She is hoping to focus on exploring and addressing the impacts of collective and intergenerational trauma.

Madura Senadeera

Madura Senadeera

University: Queensland University of Technology

NCP Host Location: Singapore

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/madurasenadeera/

Madura is completing a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Computer Science at the Queensland University of Technology.

Passionate about the drive for innovation and developing technologies for a sustainable future, Madura was able to expand his skills as a young engineer by engaging with the Indo-Pacific region as a New Colombo Plan Scholar to Singapore. He completed a full academic year of study at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Madura completed internships with Worley under the Electrical Engineering team and at Singapore Power Group within the Strategic Development team. He was also fortunate to experience humanitarian engineering with Engineers Without Borders in Cambodia and completed a study tour with Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan.

Since returning to Australia, Madura continues to bring forth his drive for innovation in technology by drawing on his unique experiences as a New Colombo Scholar. Being heavily involved as an ambassador, he aims to encourage others to pursue study opportunities within the Indo-Pacific to further Australia’s connection with the region.

Maddison Simpson- Treichel

Maddison Simpson- Treichel

University: Queensland University of Technology

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maddison-simpson-treichel/

Maddison is a recent graduate from Queensland University of Technology. She holds a Bachelor of Business, majoring in International Business and Mandarin.

As a 2019 recipient of a New Colombo Plan Scholarship, Maddison spent time in China and Singapore working and studying. In China, Maddison studied at the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She also interned for AustCham Shanghai and AU Life International. In Singapore, Maddison interned for Relogo, a tech start-up.

Maddison is interested in sustainable manufacturing and circular economy. She is passionate about applying the learnings from her New Colombo Plan experience to her career and enhancing cross-cultural understanding.

Cara Scarpato

Cara Scarpato

University: The University of Queensland

NCP Host Location: Japan

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cara-scarpato-28044a182/

Cara is completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights Law at the University of Melbourne and recently completed a Bachelor of Arts (Extended Major in International Relations) and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at the University of Queensland.

Cara has completed her New Colombo Plan mobility program by competing with Team Australia at the Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition. During her time in Canberra preparing and then in Tokyo, she undertook intensive cultural and academic preparation to compete against others in the Asia-Pacific region in negotiation and arbitration.

Cara is passionate about advancing Australia's relationships within the Asia-Pacific region and aspires to pursue a career abroad in this region. She is particularly interested in the intersection of human rights and humanitarian law, international diplomacy, and security in the area.

Tahlia Smith

Tahlia Smith

University: The University of Queensland

NCP Host Location: New Caledonia

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tahliasmith/

Tahlia graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of International Studies and a Diploma in Languages.

In 2019, Tahlia received a New Colombo Plan mobility grant to travel to New Caledonia. During her time in New Caledonia, she undertook an intensive French language program and developed a research project investigating the history, theory, and practice of multiculturalism in the country.

Tahlia is passionate about promoting international collaboration, intercultural competence, and effective public policy. She currently works for the Australian Trade and Investment Commission and has previously worked for the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Attorney-General's Department.

Creole Wihongi

Creole Wihongi

University: University of the Sunshine Coast

NCP Host Location: Japan

Program: Scholar and Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/creole-wihongi-64b21b195/

Creole is completing a Bachelor of International Studies and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Creole completed a New Colombo Plan mobility program in intensive Japanese language and culture at Musashino University in Tokyo in 2019. Creole is also a 2020 New Colombo Plan Scholar and plans to undertake the Japanese language at Doshisha University in Kyoto and Law at The National University of Singapore in 2022, focusing on human rights and development.

Creole is passionate about broadening the mindset of rural communities towards internationalisation, encouraging greater cross-cultural connection and awareness of the Asia-Pacific region. She is particularly interested in the development and self-determination of emergent nations and aspires to pursue a career involving this.

Sara Khamkoed

Sara Khamkoed

University: Southern Cross University

NCP Host Location: Indonesia & Thailand

Program: Scholar and Mobility

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sara-khamkoed

Sara Khamkoed recently completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary) majoring in Visual Art and English at Southern Cross University.

As a 2016 New Colombo Plan Scholar to Thailand, Sara completed a semester at Mahidol University International College. She also volunteered at Sikkah Asia Foundation Community Library and Bookworm Foundation mobile library, where she designed and ran Story Time programs for children. Sara then worked as a children's book editor at Nanmeebooks publishing. Following this, she was an Artist-in-Residence at Ne'Na Contemporary art Space and then at Artist Residency Thailand. Through a New Colombo Plan mobility grant in 2019, Sara worked with Save Indonesian Endangered Species Fund at Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, using her illustrations to raise awareness of endangered animals.

Sara is a National Executive of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Australia, a freelance writer and illustrator, as well as a Visual Arts Teacher/Teacher Librarian. She aims to continue engaging young people and to form cultural connections and understanding between Australia and the world through the power of stories.

Tia Hubbard

Tia Hubbard

University: Australian Catholic University

NCP Host Location: Vanuatu

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tia-hubbard-a27479219/

Tia is completing a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Brisbane.

In 2021, Tia completed the New Colombo Plan mobility program that delivered health care services virtually to people living in Vanuatu.

Tia has been offered a job as a Physiotherapist working in a Special School in Brisbane, and she is passionate about creating equality and accessibility to all people.

South Australia

Kamran Khalid

Kamran Khalid

University: Flinders University

NCP Host Location: Nepal

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kamrankhalid1/

In 2020, Kamran completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) and is currently working with the Department of Transport as a Traffic Engineer. He will continue his education in 2022, studying a Master of Public Sector Management.

In 2017 Kamran was the recipient of a New Colombo Plan mobility grant. He was provided with the opportunity through Engineers Without Borders to travel to Nepal and collaborate with locals to work on community-focused, sustainable projects. The program focused on human-centred engineering and provided great insight into understanding and respecting cultural diversity. The experience was eye-opening and provided transferrable skills that Kamran applies in his day-to-day life.

Kamran's passion to work with culturally diverse communities is directly derived from his multicultural background. Kamran wishes to be a part of Australia's relationship with the Asia-Pacific region and implement the transferrable skills developed during his time in Nepal to drive this relationship.

Vanshika Kapoor

Vanshika Kapoor

University: University of South Australia

NCP Host Location: China & Hong Kong

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanshika-kapoor-4542baa0/

Vanshika recently completed her honours in a Bachelor of Information Technology (Enterprise Business Solutions) and is now pursuing a Postgraduate Certificate in Data Science from the University of South Australia, where she is also an academic tutor for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.

In 2018, with the support of a New Colombo Plan mobility grant, Vanshika completed an intensive language program in Mandarin at Beijing Language and Culture University. She undertook a traineeship in Shenzhen's Huawei headquarters, gaining practical experience in cutting-edge 5G technology and learning about the international business culture by visiting Huawei's Exhibition Centre, R&D labs and Logistics Centre.

She is looking forward to contributing to the further development of Australia's relations with the Asia-Pacific region and aspires to build the technical skills necessary to pursue a career abroad in IT and Data Analytics.

Tasmania

Sanjana Bidarkal

Sanjana Bidarkal

University: University of Tasmania

NCP Host Location: Singapore

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sanjana-bidarkal

Sanjana has completed a Bachelor of Medical Research and is in her final year of Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Tasmania.

As a New Colombo Plan Scholar, Sanjana completed a semester at the National University of Singapore. She participated in a research project with a focus on molecular biology and biotechnology. Whilst abroad, she also enjoyed volunteering at local schools and exploring the extensive cuisines in the region.

Sanjana is passionate about connecting health care and improving access to health resources within the Asia-Pacific region. She believes in the importance of inter-country cooperation for developing health policies and improving health systems.

Victoria

Kelsey Notting

Kelsey Notting

University: Deakin University

NCP Host Location: Indonesia

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kelsey-notting

Kelsey is in the final year of her Bachelor of International Studies/Bachelor of Commerce degree at Deakin University, majoring in Indonesian and Management.

To further her understanding of Indonesian culture, she completed an In-Country Language Program in 2018 with the assistance of a New Colombo Plan mobility grant at Padang University, Indonesia.

Kelsey has paired her knowledge of business operations with her pursuit of gender equality, completing an internship with the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (Victoria) to develop a program aimed at increasing women’s participation in local politics. Kelsey is currently working as an Operations Assistant for an eCommerce business. She also volunteers as a host for the International Friends Program run by Study Geelong. In the future, Kelsey wants to pursue a career in foreign affairs.

Jessica Wayne

Jessica Wayne

University: Deakin University

NCP Host Location: Fiji, Hong Kong & Japan

Program: Scholar and Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/waynejessica/

Jessica is in her final year of a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and Bachelor of International Studies (International Relations) at Deakin University. She currently works at the Australian Institute of International Affairs in Melbourne.

In 2021 Jessica completed two New Colombo Plan mobility programs. Her first New Colombo Plan experience was as a virtual intern at Teneo through the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong and then a virtual Japanese Politics Society and Culture Immersion Program with Musashi University. In 2022 Jessica plans to complete internships in Fiji as part of her New Colombo Plan Fellowship experience. She was also a delegate for Australia at APEC-Voices of the Future 2020 and the Indo-Pacific Student Mobility Youth Dialogue.

Jessica is passionate about women’s empowerment and has a strong interest in the Indo-Pacific region. She looks forward to further engaging with the region through the Alumni Ambassador program.

Samuel Chung

Samuel Chung

University: La Trobe University

NCP Host Location: Singapore

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samuelchung99/

Sam is studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Relations and a Diploma of Chinese at La Trobe University, where he is also the 2022 President of the La Trobe Law Students' Association.

Sam is a 2020 New Colombo Plan Scholar to Singapore. When international travel resumes, he hopes to study international law and undertake internships (both legal and governmental) in Singapore.

Sam is passionate about the interaction between different fields of human endeavour, demonstrated by his simultaneous study of these three areas. He has a particular interest in the way law, politics, economics, and culture interact in the Indo-Pacific.

Stephen Alphonse

Stephen Alphonse

University: Monash University

NCP Host Location: Vietnam

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-alphonse-603532146

Stephen will soon complete his Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine course at Monash University.

As a 2019 recipient of the New Colombo Plan mobility grant, he was part of a Collaborative Indo-Pacific Healthcare Program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The program included various in-country cultural experiences, exploration of the healthcare system in Vietnam and volunteering at the Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital Ho Chi Minh City.

This experience allowed Stephen to explore his passion for improving access to healthcare and medical education in the Indo-Pacific region. It also provided valuable insight into the workings of a foreign healthcare system and global health. Stephen hopes to follow up this experience with ongoing involvement in the Indo-Pacific region as a doctor and educator with a particular interest in surgery.

Tamsin Plotnek

Tamsin Plotnek

University: Monash University

NCP Host Location: Indonesia

Program: Mobility

Tamsin is completing a double degree of Law and Arts at Monash University, where she is also participating in the Law Ambassador Program.

Tamsin received her New Colombo Plan mobility grant to undertake a Virtual Law Professional Practicum through the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies in 2021. During her time in Indonesia, Tamsin completed an intensive language program while studying the legal, political, and cultural systems of Indonesia. As part of the Law Practicum, Tamsin completed an internship at Human Rights Working Group, where she conducted research and policy reports on transnational health protection for migrant workers in Asia.

Tamsin is passionate about human rights and social justice matters Tamsin aspires to have an international career working to conduct legal and policy reform to better protect and advocate for the rights of oppressed and vulnerable people.

Lucinda Gibson

Lucinda Gibson

University: RMIT University

NCP Host Location: Indonesia

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucinda-gibson-2498531a9

Lucinda is completing a double degree in Chemical Engineering and Business Management at RMIT University. She is interested and involved in social justice, politics, and foreign policy. She is participating in the Youth National Security Strategy (YNSS) and is a part of the UN Youth.

Lucinda completed her New Colombo Plan mobility program in 2019 in Indonesia. During her time in Indonesia, she undertook language programs while delving into programs focused on sustainable development.

Lucinda is passionate about sustainable engineering design throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific. She is interested in working towards a strong engineering background and is eager to develop her knowledge of policy and Australia's Asia-Pacific relations.

Riley Harry-Blackall

Riley Harry-Blackall

University: RMIT University

NCP Host Location: India & Republic of Korea

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/riley-harry-blackall-409ba2157/

In 2020, Riley completed his Bachelor of International Studies (Development) at RMIT, he is now completing a Master of Public Policy and Management at University of Melbourne.

In 2018, Riley had the incredible opportunity of studying an intensive language course at Chonnam National University with the help of the New Colombo Plan mobility grant. Riley was also lucky enough to complete an internship in Mumbai in 2019 under the New Colombo Plan. Both experiences were incredibly enriching and allowed Riley to immerse himself in work and life in both countries.

Riley is passionate about good governance and the benefit it can provide to people globally and in Australia.

Alinta Haydock-Burton

Alinta Haydock-Burton

University: Swinburne University of Technology

NCP Host Location: China, Hong Kong, Japan & Thailand

Program: Scholar and Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alinta-burton-7a5938218

Alinta is completing a Bachelor of Film and Television (Honours) at Swinburne University, where she is producing and directing various film projects.

Alinta was both a New Colombo Plan mobility grant recipient and a New Colombo Plan Scholar. In February 2019, she undertook a film-based study tour in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She subsequently commenced her scholarship program, undertaking studies in film production at Hong Kong Baptist University alongside intensive Mandarin language training.

Alinta is passionate about telling impactful documentary and narrative stories that make a difference She wants to use her cross-cultural experiences to strengthen Australian-Asian co-productions in the future.

Brianna Williams

Brianna Williams

University: Swinburne University of Technology

NCP Host Location: Indonesia

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/briannawilliams85/

Brianna is completing a Bachelor of Laws at the Swinburne University of Technology, having previously obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education in her home state of Western Australia. She has spent years working as a teacher, both in the secondary school environment and then in conservation, teaching students of all ages how best to care for the environment.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brianna and her cohort had the unique experience of a virtual study tour to Indonesia, where they were immersed in lessons in culture, governance and law. This considerable feat was the first of its kind at Swinburne University and allowed Brianna to virtually meet with a range of legal practitioners in Indonesia, including the leaders at the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice II.

Brianna is passionate about human rights and the environment and how these global concepts locally influence communities. She aspires to pursue a career in law reform and policy to influence positive change in conservation outcomes both domestically and internationally.

Amelia McNair

Amelia McNair

University: The University of Melbourne

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ameliamcnair/

Amelia studied a Bachelor of Arts (Islamic Studies and Geography) at Melbourne University and Master of Arts (International Studies and Diplomacy) at SOAS University of London. She specialises in Middle Eastern geopolitics and worked on Israeli/Palestinian relations in the nonprofit sector prior to commencing at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office with the British High Commission.

Amelia completed her New Colombo Plan mobility program in China. She studied China’s public policies, particularly regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Amelia is inspired by ongoing international efforts to combat climate change, particularly the recent UN summit in Glasgow. She believes in the importance of strong diplomatic global ties and the progress humanity can make when these networks are established.

Maxine Silbert

Maxine Silbert

University: University of Melbourne

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maxine-silbert-767a97179/

Maxine completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Philosophy) and a Diploma of Languages (Chinese) at the University of Melbourne. In 2022, she starts a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Melbourne.

Maxine was a 2019 New Colombo Plan Scholar to China. During her time, she completed a language exchange at Shanghai Jiaotong University; undertook two education-related internships, in Beijing and Shanghai; completed a long-term language study program and ran a female-empowerment seminar for the Australia-China Youth Association.

Maxine is passionate about mobilising education as a platform for cultural exchange. She is particularly interested in developing trans-national pedagogies between Australia and China.

Emily Dikranis

Emily Dikranis

University: Victoria University

NCP Host Location: India

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-dikranis-20b6361a4/

Emily is completing a Bachelor of Criminology and Bachelor of Psychological Studies at Victoria University.

Emily attended a study tour to India in 2020 on a New Colombo Plan mobility grant. During the tour, Emily learnt about Indian law and justice system and was fortunate enough to attend both Centurion University and National Law University. Emily explored the Indian caste and, women’s rights and the criminal justice systems, all of which she is very passionate about researching.

Upon completion of her studies, Emily aspires to become a forensic psychologist. Emily would one day love to return to India to help make a change within the Indian justice system.

Western Australia

Connor Kiss

Connor Kiss

University: Curtin University

NCP Host Location: Hong Kong

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/connorkiss/

Connor completed a degree of a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin University

Connor studied a studied a full-time semester abroad at City University, Hong Kong supported by a New Colombo Plan full-semester mobility program. Connor also conducted research on urbanism to nomadism in Mongolia under the New Colombo Plan Mobility program.

Connor is currently working as a Graduate Transport Planner at the Public Transport Authority. He is particularly interested in transport planning, referencing pedestrian-transport outcomes in international cities in Asia like Hong Kong.

Geoff Starkey

Geoff Starkey

University: Curtin University

NCP Host Location: Japan

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoffrey-starkey-83b91b218/

Geoff recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin University.

In early 2019, he commenced his New Colombo Plan mobility program attending Japan's Toyo University. Geoff's experience of living and studying abroad provided him with great insight into the planning and development processes of neighbouring Asia-Pacific countries, as well as, strong life lessons in how to thrive independently whilst representing your country and adapting to new cultures.

Geoff aspires to be a Strategic Planning Consultant and has just commenced a promising career as a Graduate Transport Planner with a major engineering consultancy.

Erle De Souza

Erle De Souza

University: Murdoch University

NCP Host Location: India

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erle-de-souza-753729173/

Erle is completing a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Criminology at Murdoch University, where he has been President of the Murdoch Criminology Society. During his studies, he proactively volunteered at Banksia Hill Detention Centre and the Mental Health Legal Centre.

Erle has completed his New Colombo Plan mobility program at O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonipat, India, and discovered his interest in international law relating to Competition Law.

Erle aspires to pursue his career by working with vulnerable communities and promoting social justice.

Edward Aitken

Edward Aitken

University: The University of Notre Dame

NCP Host Location: China

Program: Mobility

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edward-aitken-011887198/

Edward is studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Politics & Journalism) at The University of Notre Dame Australia

Edward completed his New Colombo Plan mobility program through InternChina in the city of Qingdao, China. In China, he completed a media internship at a digital content company, while taking weekly language lessons and enjoying the amazing Shandong cuisine.

Edward has a passion for learning about Australia's place in the world with an eye on a career in the Asia-Pacific region. He is particularly interested in international law, foreign relations, and development.

Lucas Cary

Lucas Cary

University: The University of Western Australia

NCP Host Location: Indonesia

Program: Scholar

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/lucasmatthewcary

Lucas completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Marine Science at the University of Western Australia in 2020.

Lucas studied and interned in Bogor, West Java as a New Colombo Plan Scholar, where he studied tropical biodiversity and interned at the global headquarters of the Centre for International Forestry Research. He also studied Bahasa Indonesia at Satya Wacana University in Saltiga, Central Java.

Lucas is an environmental professional at Rio Tinto. He works as an Environmental Advisor at Cape Lambert Port, where he is passionate about environmental management, particularly water use, biodiversity, marine species and renewable energy.

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