Griffith University: Stellar six students score New Colombo Plan Scholarships

Six Griffith University undergraduates will spend time overseas learning from our Indo-Pacific neighbours after being named as recipients of the 2022 New Colombo Plan Scholarship.


Lilia Ben Dekhil.
The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is an Australian Government initiative which aims to deepen Australia’s relationships with the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/ Bachelor of Environmental Science student Lilia Ben Dekhil will travel to Singapore to learn about its Right to Repair system and then Vanuatu, to assist the island nation in developing its e-waste recovery schemes.

“I am determined to use the law to shape how technology can support the environment,” Lilia said.

“The Right to Repair promotes circular economy principles by reducing the environmental impacts of e-waste and decreasing needless production, yet, extraordinarily many consumers do not have this right yet.”

The Right to Repair is a legal concept and an environmental movement that would see consumers allowed to repair devices without restrictions placed on who can fix them by manufacturers.

“Singapore has recently introduced an extended producer responsibility system for e-waste management, while Vanuatu has turned to Australia to learn how e-waste schemes can safeguard its natural assets while protecting communities,” Lilia said.

“This experience will allow me to understand Australia’s potential in developing similar initiatives to Singapore and assist Vanuatu in developing its own schemes.”



Griffith University Vice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd said 2022 was an ideal time for the recipients to work on strengthening relationships in the Indo-Pacific, as the world started to re-open again after two years of closed borders due to COVID-19.

“I am delighted that we have been successful in having six students awarded prestigious NCP Scholarships this year,” Professor Todd said.

“As international travel restrictions ease, it is important that we ensure our graduates are ready to take on their role as global citizens.”

“These six NCP scholars and the many others who participate in NCP-funded short-term mobility experiences will be well-placed to contribute to the future relationships Australia has with its neighbours in the Indo-Pacific.”


Indio Myles.

Kimberly Wong.

Dean McCarthy.

Meg Fitzgerald.

Phoenix Potoi.












Proud Mithaka man and Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice student Dean McCarthy will travel to Fiji to understand more about community policing programs, like the country’s Duavata Community Policing model, and how they could be used to reduce rates of Indigenous people in custody. Dean has also been named the 2022 NCP Indigenous Fellow, making this the second consecutive year a Griffith University student has received this honour.

Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/ Bachelor of Government and International Relations student Meg Fitzgerald will spend time in Cambodia and Thailand, broadening her understanding of child exploitation and human trafficking, while also fostering a relationship between the countries and Australia.

In Fiji, Indonesia and Maldives, Kimberly Wong (B. Urban and Environmental Planning/ B. Science) plans to gain an understanding of how Australia can empower, educate and enable youths in climate action.

Phoenix Potoi (B. Government and International Relations/ B. Asian Studies) will head to China to learn about Chinese political philosophy, while Indio Myles (B. Communication and Journalism/ B. Business) will expand his investigative and environmental reporting skills in The Philippines. Indio has also been recognised at the NCP Fellow for The Philippines.

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