La Trobe Sport Management students set to benefit from New Colombo Plan Mobility Program

Three La Trobe University students will head to Indonesia in July this year for a placement opportunity of a lifetime.

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program provides funding to Australian universities to support Australian undergraduate students to participate in semester-based or short-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in 40 host locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

Third year La Trobe Sport Management students - Grace Parks, Claire Dudley and Alexandra Morcom –  will join three students from Victoria University working with the Bali Sports Foundation (BSF) to assist in sport development programs for rural areas.

La Trobe University Sport Management Lecturer Pam Kappelides said the BSF program will provide the students with a unique insight into working in another country as well as extending their learning in the sport development and disability sectors.

“BSF is a charity non-profit organisation and with the support of students on placement will extend opportunities that they can offer for people living with disability in Bali,” Pam said.

“Each student was selected through a very vigorous application process that determined their commitment to the opportunity, understanding of diversity and their willingness to represent La Trobe University in a program that will be run for the next three years.

“The opportunity to complete a placement overseas with BSF is unique and will make these students stand out from the crowd when applying for sport employment upon graduation.”

As part of the Australian Government’s three-year commitment to the NCP program, a total of $59,400 in funding has been allocated for its duration. In 2019, each of the six students selected received a $3,000 grant to enable them to participate in the BSF project.

According to Alexandra Morcom, the four-week placement with the BSF will provide her with a well-rounded cultural experience that will assist her job prospects upon graduating from La Trobe.

“I think it will be so exciting to see a work environment in a different country and a different culture,” Alexandra said.

“At the start of the year Pam sent out lots of placement opportunities and this one stood out because it was very unique.

“I think it will really open our eyes to working with people living with disabilities and it will be very helpful in a lot of ways for our careers going forward.”

Claire Dudley admitted the chance to complete an overseas placement program working in a community sport environment was ‘not your normal experience’, but was one she was looking forward to embracing.

“I think because it is a community, non-for-profit organisation, I will have my eyes opened to how they work and what their focus is,” Claire said.

“When you study Sports Management, you tend to think of (working at) the elite level, but I think experiencing this and knowing what path I want to take in my career and experiencing different cultures will be great.”

“We will be in a whole different environment and to have the opportunity to see how other people are around the world, it will be eye opening to see how developed Australia is compared to other countries in this space.”

For La Trobe Bendigo student Grace Parks, the opportunity to be involved in the NCP Mobility Program illustrates the breadth of study programs available to La Trobe students studying sport at regional campuses.

“I’m interested to see how working in disability sport changes their process and requirements for organising events, and how that differs to a first world country where there are regulations and infrastructure around it,” Grace said.

“Coming from the regional campus, we still have access to all of these opportunities in addition to workshops that have people come and speak from places such as the Bendigo Academy of Sport, which is also based on campus in Bendigo.

“We are able to experience the best of both worlds in a way and be exposed to the Carlton Football Club and those sort of opportunities (in Melbourne) that a lot of people are interested in, but then also the ones based in Bendigo.

“It will definitely be a unique experience. Some of the placement organisations could end up hiring La Trobe graduates, but this is an opportunity we wouldn’t get as part of any normal placement.”

The students will begin their placement with the Bali Sports Foundation on July 1.