Samuel headed to Indo-Pacific in 2020

La Trobe University student Samuel Chung has been awarded a prestigious Federal Government scholarship to study overseas in 2020 as part of the New Colombo Plan (NCP).

The NCP supports scholars from around Australia to travel to the Indo-Pacific to study, live, learn a language, and gain valuable work experience.

The Bachelor of Laws/International Relations and Diploma in Languages (Chinese) student is among 125 scholarship recipients this year announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP.

La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International), Professor Richard Speed, congratulated Samuel on his inspirational achievement.

“Samuel has been given a fantastic opportunity to chase his dreams and build on his professional skills in the Indo-Pacific,” Professor Speed said.

“He has the unique chance of representing La Trobe and Australia as he develops his skills, network and career in the region. I wish him well on the exciting year ahead.”

Samuel, who aspires to work in international law or Australian politics, will study International Law at Singapore Management University and continue his studies in Mandarin part-time.

“The subjects I have selected at Singapore Management University will enable me to broaden my public policy mindset, which will complement my career aspirations,” Samuel said.

“I plan to be overseas for two semesters. I hope to travel, undertake intensive Mandarin Chinese training and complete internships, both legal and governmental, in the periods of the program that I am not studying.”

He said studying in the Indo-Pacific should expand his global mindset.

“I hope to gain a well-rounded knowledge of law and international relations by contrasting the legal and political systems I encounter in the Indo-Pacific with those in Australia,” Samuel said.

“I hope to increase my professional network through my interactions with fellow NCP scholars as well as the people I meet overseas and boost my language skills and cross-cultural awareness, which would bring diversity into the future workplace I choose.

“In my opinion, there are not enough Australian-Mandarin speakers if our country is to properly negotiate international treaties and draft foreign policy agreements with Asian superpowers in the 2020s and beyond.”

La Trobe University Bachelor of Criminology/Laws student Emily Abdilla was also named a New Colombo Plan Alumni Ambassador for 2019 to 2020.

As La Trobe University’s official NCP representative, Emily will be a crucial point of contact for new NCP students and University staff, and act as an advocate for the value of Indo-Pacific study and work experience.

Emily is also the recipient of a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility grant which supports Australian undergraduate students to participate in semester-based or short-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in the Indo-Pacific.

PHOTO (left to right): Emily Abdilla, Samuel Chung and Brett Smith - Senior Coordinator La Trobe Abroad

Media contact: Dragana Mrkaja – 0447 508 171 –