A group of UniSA students and alumni will have the chance to develop their professional skills and global connections thanks to a new nationwide alumni group launched by the Australian Government last month.
Students who participated in the federal government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarship scheme will be eligible to join the NCP Alumni Group to connect with other participants while also continuing to foster international networks within the Indo-Pacific region.
Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, was in Adelaide last month to attend the launch of the South Australian NCP Alumni branch at the University of South Australia’s City West campus. The event was attended by UniSA students and past recipients of NCP scholarships along with UniSA’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd.
The initiative, which has already seen the establishment of a dedicated NCP Alumni Group on LinkedIn, will also coordinate state based events across Australia.
The NCP scholarship scheme offers funding to undergraduate students to live, study and undertake work placements in 40 locations across the Indo-Pacific region. The program, which aims to foster links between Australia and its neighbouring countries, has already supported around 10,000 Australian undergraduate students to date. It’s a significant number of students and a strategic cohort who will be well placed to build relationships within the region as they develop their own professional careers.
The students, who have already established links within the region through industry based and cultural experiences, are more likely to continue to engage with these networks post-graduation. UniSA Bachelor of Engineering student Michelle Howie was chosen to MC the official launch and will be UniSA’s ambassador for the South Australian alumni chapter.
Michelle’s experience as an NCP scholarship recipient saw her travel to South Korea in 2015 to study and experience the culture and then to Hong Kong for a five month internship at Telstra.
“The New Colombo Plan gave me the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to undertake a journey of growth and discovery. I learnt more about myself and how I can be an ambassador of Australia as well as break down stereotypes of our neighbouring countries. Moving to countries that I knew next to nothing about was always going to be a challenge but I adapted and found my place as a global citizen.”
NCP Alumni SA Ambassador Michelle Howie and UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd