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Three Bond students awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships

The Federal Government has awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships to three Bond University students.

Makaela Fehlhaber (Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Relations), Jacob Cookson (Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Biomed) and James Rosengren (Bachelor of Commerce/ Bachelor of Laws) were recognised at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on November 26.

The scholarships will allow the trio to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region.

In addition to the scholarship, Mr Rosengren was selected as the New Colombo Plan Fellow for India, recognising him as the top India scholar among the intake of 2019 students. He will study in Delhi, learn Hindi, and hopes to secure an internship with a major Indian business.

Mr Rosengren said his interest in India was sparked by a trip to the subcontinent.

“When I travelled, I only had a glimpse of what these cultures were like, a glimpse of the lives they lead,” he said.

“My time in India barely scratched the surface in some regards, and that is why I believe the opportunity presented by this scholarship is so extraordinary.”

Ms Fehlhaber will study at the University of Malaya and research the legal implications of international commercial surrogacy arrangements and the use of IVF to conceive a child. She will also undertake an internship in the area of human rights and learn the Malay language. 

“Interning will allow me to gain a firsthand experience of the issues concerning international commercial surrogacy arrangements,” she said.

“This has been a prominent issue in Malaysia following the ‘Baby Gammy’ case. This area of law is still developing, particularly concerning the nationality of children conceived in these arrangements.”

Mr Cookson will study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and hopes to secure an internship at a top-tier law firm or at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. He will undertake Mandarin language training.

Mr Cookson is the Convenor of the Bond Aid Program which supports sustainable development in Nepal and said he was passionate about developing relations with the Indo-Pacific region.

“I was in the Bond University Student Association office when I found out (about his scholarship success).

“I got a message from Makaela that said, “I’M GOING TO MALAYSIA” and so I checked my email right away. It took a moment for the news to sink in, but then I was jumping around the office!”

New Colombo Plan Scholarships are keenly sought by Australian students and 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.

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.

Bond alumna Eve Bramley secured one of the scholarships in 2017, studying Law at Fudan University in China and then undertaking an internship with King & Wood Mallesons law firm in Shanghai.

As a result of the internship the company offered Ms Bramley a position in its Perth office and she will start a graduate law position with Minter Ellison in Perth next year.

“Interestingly this also came about because of Shanghai connections -- I met two of Minter Ellison's Shanghai partners at an Aussie drinks event hosted by the Australian Consulate,” she said.

“They encouraged me to apply for a job in their Perth centre as one of them was from Perth. The scholarship) certainly helped me to land the graduate job that I hoped for and provided me with practical corporate law experience. 

“Aside from that, I had the most incredible time in Shanghai -- I made the most amazing friends, had the ability to travel China and Asia and live in a fast-paced and exciting metropolitan city.”

Past Bond New Colombo Plan Scholars:
2018: Jasmine Valcic (Bachelor of International Relations / Bachelor of Laws)
Study destination: Mahidol University, Thailand
2017: Holli Sargeant (Bachelor of International Relations / Bachelor of Laws)
Study destination: Singapore
2017: Eve Bramley (Bachelor of International Relations / Bachelor of Laws)
Study destination: Fudan University, China

Find out more about New Colombo Plan Scholarships and how Bond University students can apply for 2020.

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