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Bondies secure prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships

November 28, 2020

Bond University students Chloe Burns and Josiah Neal have each secured prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships.

Two Bond University students will study in South Korea and Vanuatu after being awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships.

Chloe Burns and Josiah Neal secured the Federal Government scholarships worth more than $60,000 each.

For Southport resident Ms Burns, 19, her scholarship in South Korea shapes as a life-changing experience. 

“Going through high school at Saint Stephen’s College, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would get an opportunity like this in my first year of university,” Ms Burns said.

“Mum started crying. She said she was so proud of me.

“I’m also the last of three living at home. My two older brothers have already left, so her and dad are a bit sad to be empty-nesters but obviously thrilled for me too.”

Ms Burns is studying a Bachelor of International Relations at Bond and said it had always been her goal to study overseas.

“I’ll be able to gain so much knowledge and experience over there and bring that back to the workforce.”

She will travel to South Korea later next year to study Political Science and intern in the area of sustainable development to build a professional network before returning to start a career in foreign affairs in Canberra.

“I’ve always had an interest in sustainable development and South Korea has developed such a long way since becoming a nation in 1948,” she said.

“I’m trying to get the most out of the scholarship. It might be a bit overwhelming when I first go over there but I want to try to make as many connections as possible and make a network for myself.

“I’m not proficient in Korean but I’m planning on doing language training and accelerated programs.”

The NCP scholarship aims to deepen Australia’s people-to-people and institutional relationships with the region and increase the number of work-ready Australian graduates with regional experience.

Mr Neal, of Toowoomba, will study the connection between common law and customary law systems in Vanuatu.

“The Pacific represents a wonderful opportunity for Australia to demonstrate its development capabilities and show its more altruistic side,” Mr Neal said.

“The end goal for me is a role in a government department in the foreign affairs space or something adjacent to that.”

Mr Neal plans to study at the University of South Pacific School of Law in Port Vila next year under the mentorship of eminent academic Eric Colvin.

“It will be great to work with Dr Eric Colvin who taught at Bond from its opening in 1989 all the way to 2011,” he said. 

“He has a fantastic academic profile, he’s an alumnus of both Oxford and Cambridge and he has also specialised in South Pacific law.”

Mr Neal is studying a Bachelor of International Relations and a Bachelor of Laws at Bond University.

New Colombo Plan Scholarships are awarded annually to up to 120 high-achieving undergraduates who demonstrate leadership in their community.

They spend one to three semesters in the Indo-Pacific region, proposing their own program in one of 40 eligible countries.

The value of the scholarship can be more than $60,000.