Prestigious Indo-Pacific Scholarships for Murdoch Students

Student Mobility Officer (Outbound) Jeannette Geesman with Colombo Plan scholars, Katie Skinner, Axel Diamond and Connor Nicholson

Three Murdoch undergraduates announced as recipients of the New Colombo Plan Scholarships at the official award ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, announced 125 New Colombo Plan Scholarships to talented undergraduates to live, learn and intern in the Indo-Pacific region in 2020.

New Colombo Plan Scholarships are open to Australian undergraduates aged 18–28 currently studying at Australian universities.

Our bright scholars are now preparing for this exciting opportunity to study and intern in the Indo-Pacific region next year.

The NCP is a once in a lifetime experience that involves full immersion into foreign cultures which will allow students to learn new languages and further their studies. 

About the recipients

New Colombo Plan scholarship recipient, Katie Skinner

Katie Skinner

Through the program, Bachelor of Science undergraduate Katie Skinner will spend six months in Fiji at the University of the South Pacific.

Her ultimate goal in life is to become a Veterinarian. She’d love to make a difference to the welfare of domestic, agricultural and exotic animals. 

Katie will also get the opportunity to intern at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Fiji and Yahoue Veterinary Clinic in New Caledonia.

Axel Diamond

New Colombo Plan scholarship recipient, Axel DiamondAxel Diamond has had a passion for Japanese culture and media since he was nine years old.

When he learned he could study both at Murdoch he jumped at the chance and he’s now studying for a Bachelor of Arts (Japanese and Games Art & Design). Axel says receiving the NCP scholarship is his greatest achievement to date.

“I’ve wanted to go on exchange for a long time, but I was always worried about money. Tokyo can be an expensive place to live, and I didn’t want to miss out on opportunities to travel and see unique things because of money. By getting this scholarship, I can focus more on my studies and internship and make the most of the experience.”

Axel will study at Rikkyo University in Japan and intern with a creative media company in Tokyo.

“I’m looking forward to being able to put my skills to work in a creative field and it will benefit me a lot in the long run when I’m looking for work.”

Connor Nicholson

New Colombo Plan scholarship recipient, Connor NicholsonSurprise recipient of the scholarship Connor Nicholson will head to the National University of Singapore. With Games Technology as his major, the Bachelor of Science undergraduate says he was amazed just to be nominated. 

‘I truly believe games is an incredible medium for story-telling and the further we advance with technology the better stories we can tell, and the better experience we can facilitate”

Connor will intern with a software development company and he’s looking forward to getting a real insight into the industry.


The students will be completely immersed in university life in the Indo-Pacific.  

Katie said, “I am extremely excited at the prospect of being able to speak French with natural-speakers and to grow my skills and experience in the language.”

She has opted to complete a short French course before leaving Perth to give herself a head start. 

Axel has also researched where he’ll be living along with the campus of his host university.

“Being in a foreign country and not being able to even ask others for help is a really scary experience, so if I can push myself to improve my Japanese even more between now and leaving, I will be able to limit anxiety around that.”

Connor intends to learn as much as he can about the culture of Singapore before he leaves. 

“I’m taking a holistic approach by keeping my mind as open as I can and understanding there’s going to be a lot of ‘new’ and embrace it.”

Good luck to Katie, Axel and Connor as they head off for their Indo-Pacific experience. 

NCP and Murdoch

The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is an exciting initiative of the Australian Government which aims to increase knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting undergraduates to study and participate in internships in the region.

These scholarships are in addition to the grants the university has received for Murdoch-led study tours. 

Murdoch has been allocated $171,600 to support 52 students to take part in five projects in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Bhutan and India.
Posted on:

2 Dec 2019

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