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Humanitarian goals a reality for student on 'New Colombo Plan' Scholarship

December 4, 2014

Marryum Kahloon wants to leave her mark on the world, and the Bond University scholar is one step closer to her dreams after being awarded an elite scholarship under the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan.

The diligent student is one of 60 undergraduates across Australia to be awarded a New Colombo Plan Scholarship, a program that provides opportunities for stand-out students to study in the Indo-Pacific region for one or two semesters of their degree.

The Australian Government initiative aims to strengthen Australia's people-to-people and institutional relationships in the Indo-Pacific region, through study and internships undertaken by students throughout Australia.

Marryum, who originates from Pakistan, relocated to South Africa in 1994 where she completed much of her schooling and eventually immigrated to Australia in 2008, and has already notched up a long list of achievements.

The 21 year old was awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship to Bond University in 2011, the longest standing and most prestigious scholarship the University awards to only a handful of Australia's best and brightest students annually on the basis of their demonstrated academic achievement, exemplary leadership and dedicated community achievements.

"My unique international experiences have made me aware that universal problems, such as gender equality or homelessness, are intrinsic problems that we all face globally, albeit in a variety of different forms," Marryum said.

"I'm currently studying a Bachelor of Law and International Relations (Business) at Bond University, and I am very interested in learning more about the ways the law can be utilised to help people."

Marryum said she hopes her New Colombo Plan Scholarship will take her to China, so she can hone her conversational Mandarin language skills.

"Bond's diverse study options mean that as part of my degree I've been able to minor in Mandarin," she said.

"I am hoping that on the New Colombo Plan Scholarship I will be able to study at Fudan University in Shanghai, and complete an internship at a Chinese law firm or quasi-governmental organisation where I can participate in humanitarian work."

Marryum was the 2013-2014 President of the Bond University Law Students’ Association, and participated in the Jessup International Law Moot, the world's largest and most prestigious moot court competition, as well as the Beijing Foreign Studies University Intellectual Property Law Moot.

"A real highlight of my degree was attending the Beijing Foreign Studies University Intellectual Property Law Moot, held in Beijing, which focused on real-life intellectual property disputes that have arisen in the Chinese business sector," she said.

"I have Bond to thank for so many of my opportunities - especially the Beijing International Property Law Moot, which was a huge inspiration for me to aspire to return to China on the New Colombo Plan Scholarship," she said.

Marryum has big plans for the future, and is certainly on the road to achieving them.

"My ultimate aspiration is to work for the United Nations in global development, using the law as a tool to aid people worldwide," she said.

"I feel that I have been incredibly fortunate in the opportunities I have been given, and that I have an obligation to maximise the utilisation of them by giving back to the community in the best way I am capable of."

John McPartland, Director of Bond International, said the New Colombo Plan Scholarship would be a transformational experience for Marryum.

"The New Colombo Plan Scholarships are all about deepening relationships between the regions, and we are extremely proud of Marryum's success in securing  such a prestigious scholarship," Mr McPartland said.

"Her hard-working approach and outstanding achievements are to be commended, and I am certain she will be an exceptional representative of Bond University in her semester abroad."

ENDS