La Trobe’s New Colombo Plan Scholars

La Trobe University is celebrating after a record number of La Trobe students were awarded New Colombo Plan Scholarships.

The prestigious Federal Government scholarships support Australian undergraduate students to live, work, study and immerse themselves in the Indo-Pacific region.

This year attracted the highest number of applicants, with five La Trobe students selected to receive generous scholarships to further their studies and enrich their lives overseas for up to one year.

La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Richard Speed congratulated the students on successfully navigating an incredibly challenging and competitive application, interview and selection process.

“These talented, articulate and ambitious La Trobe students are about to embark on a life-changing adventure that will both broaden and deepen their knowledge of their chosen fields, as well as enable them to experience life and learn a language among the diverse cultures of our region,” Professor Speed said.

“Our New Colombo Plan Scholars will gain valuable insights that will benefit them professionally and personally throughout their lives, and I wish them all the best for their exchange.”

The successful La Trobe students, who will undertake their travels when it is safe to do so, are:

Hammad Shahin, B Laws / International Relations, Scholarship to ACICIS – Parahyangan Catholic University, Indonesia then the National University of Singapore

“I’m so grateful because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and an experience I know will pave the way for my future ambitions. Every previous New Colombo Plan Scholar I have personally met or engaged with online has testified to how life-changing their scholarship experience has been for them and I still can’t believe that I’m going to be able to live that experience instead of just hearing about it,” said Hammad, a proud member of the Syrian-Lebanese and Australian Alawi Muslim communities.

Ebony Watts, B Education (Secondary), NCP Fellow for Japan, Scholarship to Kyushu University, Japan

Ebony plans to become a history teacher, and said the scholarship will enable her to gain first—hand experience of being fully immersed in another culture.

“Finding out I was successful has changed my perspective on the importance of educators on an international scale. One day, when I teach history in Australia, I want to be able to authentically and confidently cover the history of a variety of cultures,” said Ebony, a student at La Trobe’s Bendigo Campus.

Nathan Grigg, B Engineering Honours (Industrial), Scholarship to study in Japan

Nathan said he was ecstatic to be taking up his scholarship

“I’m very eager to learn more about the contrast between Australian engineering and Japanese engineering,” he said.

“Being thrown into their culture, communities and study, I hope that I will be able to improve as an engineer and person. The Internet has made connectivity so easy that any aspiring student must be prepared for cross-cultural experiences in the workplace and everyday life.”

Grace Thornbrough, B International Relations student, Scholarship to EWHA Woman’s University, South Korea

“I am very excited for what this opportunity will hold for me and my future,” Grace said.

“I think it will be something that will have rippling effects for me for the rest of my life, granting me chances and opportunities that I wouldn’t have thought were possible. As an international relations student, I am particular eager for the connections I will make abroad and at home.”

Grace said she was excited to embrace the language, people, food and other aspects of South Korea’s rich culture while learning about its relationships with countries like Australia.

Zi La, B Biomedicine, Scholarship to EWHA Woman’s University, South Korea

Zi said she was still coming to terms with the ecstasy of being presented with such a wonderful and unique opportunity.

“Aside from the obvious excitement, I am eager to develop and build upon new and existing skills during my studies abroad, as well as gain everlasting experiences and relationships during my internship that I can bring back to strengthen, diversify, and compliment communities in Australia.”

Zi aimed to create and foster institutional and interpersonal links as she strived to play a major role in the allied health industry.



La Trobe Abroad manages the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, working closely with La Trobe Asia, Careers & Employability, and the La Trobe University Excellence Academy to support and encourage the students through their applications.