New Colombo Plan scholars announced

A record number of La Trobe University students have been awarded prestigious Federal Government scholarships to study overseas as part of the New Colombo Plan (NCP).

The NCP supports Australian undergraduates to live, work and study in up to 40 locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, last night announced that four La Trobe students – Ashley Eadon, Courtney Taylor, Jade Bujeya and Stephanie Hilton – will each receive up to $67,000 to study on exchange.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, said the NCP scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain experience and professional development internationally.

“Congratulations to Ashley, Courtney, Jade and Stephanie who have been selected to represent La Trobe in this once-in-a-lifetime initiative,” Professor Dewar said.

“Not only is it a huge honour to be named an NCP scholar, it’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience studying and working in different cultures.

“I know it will be a professionally and personally enriching experience for all recipients, and I wish them well ahead of their exchange adventure.”

Ashley Eadon is a Bachelor of Laws and Psychological Science student at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus. Ashley will study Social Psychology, Psychology of Peace, Psychological Perspectives in Education and Applied Social Psychology at Lady Shri Ram College for Women in New Delhi, India. Ashley plans to undertake an internship at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and Mentorship at the United Nations Development Program in India, while studying Hindi. Ashley was granted an early offer to study at the University through the La Trobe ASPIRE program and recently received the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship for academic achievement. This year, Ashley established the Dear CRIS (Connecting Rural and International Students) initiative, which is aimed at helping regional students make friends with people from different backgrounds to broaden their awareness and combat racism.

“It is a goal of mine to work internationally and have a career focusing on peacebuilding and conflict resolution through quality education in the Indo-Pacific region,” Ashley said.

“This goal stems from my desire to live a life of purpose and to use the opportunities I have been given to help others.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to explore this ambition of mine through the New Colombo Plan scholarship.”

Courtney Taylor is a Bachelor of Science and Biological Science student at La Trobe University’s Melbourne Campus in Bundoora. Courtney will study Applications of Environmental Microbiology, Principles of Physics, Oceanography and Marine Biology at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. Courtney plans to undertake an internship with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature on their subset, Mangroves for the Future Project in Bangkok. She will also study Thai as part of her scholarship. Courtney is a first generation university student who came to university as a mature age student. Courtney has spent time volunteering as a teaching assistant in India and high school STEM mentor in Australia.

“Spending my childhood in Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands, I have always had such a strong curiosity for countries in the Indo-Pacific.” Courtney said.

“The New Colombo Plan scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for me to combine my interest in the region with my love of science."

Jade Bujeya is a Bachelor of Science and Diploma of Languages student at La Trobe University’s Bendigo and Bundoora campuses. Jade will study Introduction to Abstract Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Real Analysis, Studies in French Writers at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. Jade plans to undertake internships in the field of mathematics and as a language assistant after her studies, which will include lessons in French and Korean. Jade is the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship for academic achievement and the Freemasons Victoria Secondary Education Award for community engagement. Jade has worked as an advocate for LGBTIQA+ and young people, through her volunteer work with Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP and the Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Youth Advisory Group. Jade is the founder and operator of the Study Space Project in her hometown, which will provide young people with a space to further their education and improve their skills in self-discipline, independence, hard work and perseverance.

“I’m excited to work as a language assistant through the New Colombo Plan, and support high school students in learning English,” Jade said.

“I hope to encourage international students about to commence their tertiary education to consider Victoria as an exchange location during their studies.”

Stephanie Hilton is a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Diploma of Languages student at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus in Bundoora. Stephanie will study Tumour Biology, Human Aging, Fundamental Pharmacology and the Advanced Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme in Science (UROPS) in Life Sciences at the National University of Singapore in Singapore. Stephanie plans to undertake an internship focused around Biomedical Research and Palliative Care. Stephanie is a Hallmark scholar and Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship recipient. Stephanie is currently a volunteer eMentor with In2science, working to inspire year 9 and 10 regional students in the area of STEM.

“Based on my family experiences and passion for biomedical sciences, I am considering a career in palliative care,” Stephanie said.

“As a New Colombo Plan scholar, I hope to engage with key organisations and stakeholders internationally to help plan for ageing populations globally.

“This scholarship is an opportunity for me to fully engage with science in the Indo-Pacific to help shape Australia’s future.”

Media Contact: Dragana Mrkaja – 0447 508 171 /