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Bond student awarded Prime Minister's Australia Asia Award

Bond University Bachelor of Environmental Management (Sustainable Development) student, Julia Steele, has been awarded the opportunity of a lifetime after securing one of Australia’s most prestigious scholarships to study overseas.

As one of only 20 undergraduate students Australia-wide to receive a 2013 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award, Ms Steele will spend one year in the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan where she will undertake study towards her Bond University degree and gain practical experience through an internship.

Ms Steele said she is honoured to have received the scholarship and is looking forward to commencing her studies.

“I will be commencing the study component of my time abroad at Soochow University in Suzhou where I will initially take Mandarin and cultural classes.  I’ll then travel to Taiwan and spend six months undertaking an intensive language program,” said Ms Steele.

“Once these studies are complete, I’ll return to the PRC to undertake my internship with the Institute of Desertification at the Chinese Academy of Forestry.  Here, I’ll get hands on experience and learn about China’s extensive actions against desertification, which refers to the process of arable farming land becoming desert through intensive farming practices.

“This issue spans across meeting food production demands and addressing water scarcity – overall ensuring the food and water security of the nation,” she said.

The Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Awards aim to develop internationally-aware, skilled future leaders and to establish enduring education and professional linkages between Australia and Asia.

With her departure set for February, Julia said she is looking forward to immersing herself in Chinese and Taiwanese culture.

“China and Taiwan are culture-rich, fast-moving and evolving countries, which I will immerse myself in while completing the Award.”

Ms Steele is not the first Bond student to be recognised with this scholarship and joins fellow students Tom Harrison and Jenny Leo who were awarded Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Awards in 2010 and 2012 for their studies in International Relations and Law.

Bond University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Saunders said the award of these prestigious scholarships demonstrated Bond’s ability to produce some of Australia’s best and brightest students.

“This award is an outstanding personal achievement for Ms Steele. The award reflects the tremendous commitment she has to her studies, as well as the strong support we provide to ensure our students’ success at Bond University,” said Professor Saunders.

“The Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Outgoing Undergraduate Awards are only offered to a select few scholars each year; they represent a unique opportunity for students and the University to build and strengthen international alliances, further deepening our Australia-Asia ties,” he said.

Mr Jinheng Feng from the People’s Republic of China was one of 20 international students also honoured at the award ceremony as a holder of a 2012 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Incoming Postgraduate Award. Mr Feng is currently studying at Bond University in the areas of Justice and Law Enforcement.

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