Students awarded prestigious scholarship

Two La Trobe University students have been awarded prestigious Australian Government scholarships to study overseas as part of the New Colombo Plan.

The Federal Government last night announced that La Trobe students Sidney Mason and Rebecca Thorburn will each receive up to $67,000 to study on exchange in Asia.

The New Colombo Plan is an Australian Government initiative to increase knowledge of the Indo Pacific region by supporting undergraduates to study and undertake internships.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, welcomed the announcement and said the awards highlighted the standard of excellence that the university has come to expect of its students.

“The scholarships provide an invaluable opportunity for the students to continue studying in their chosen fields while living and learning in different culture-rich countries not far from Australian shores,” Professor Dewar said.

“We are thrilled that Sidney and Rebecca will be able to take their La Trobe learning abroad and bring back their experiences and insights to our university, strengthening international ties and diversity of perspectives.”

Ms Mason, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts at La Trobe’s Albury-Wodonga campus, will spend a semester at Lady Sri Ram College for Women in India.

“I am really excited about the opportunity because it will enable me to live in India and immerse myself in the culture and understand a different way of life of people who are so close to home,” Ms Mason said.

“This experience will help to build my cultural awareness and enhance my ability to network and navigate through a globalised society so I can build a skill set for my future career in international development.”

Ms Thorburn, who is undertaking a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering (Honours) in Melbourne and hails from Gippsland, will spend a semester at the National University of Singapore.

"This opportunity will allow me to push my boundaries and excel in learning more about my field,” Ms Thorburn said.  “I will grow my professional network in the Asia region, which will enhance my ability to communicate in my future career."

“Sidney and Rebecca are outstanding ambassadors for La Trobe and Australia, and they will gain valuable experience studying in Asia,” Professor Dewar said.

Media contact: Anastasia Salamastrakis 0428 195 464 or