AUSTRALIAN High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Todd Mercer welcomed the first Australian New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholar to study in Brunei, Alana Tolman, to the Australia Day celebrations at his residence over the weekend.
Tolman will be studying at Universiti Brunei Darussalam for the next 12 months under the prestigious Australian government scholarship scheme.
The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region. The New Colombo Plan is intended to be transformational, deepening Australia’s relationships in the region, as well as ensuring a more Asia-aware Australian workforce for the future.
When announcing the 2015 NCP Scholars in December 2014, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs noted, “The young Australian men and women who are receiving (NCP) awards are among Australia’s best and brightest. They have distinguished themselves for their academic excellence, community leadership and determination to contribute to Australia’s future engagement with the region.”
Tolman would otherwise be in her second year of a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Asian Studies double degree at the Australian National University in Canberra. During her time in Brunei, she will be taking courses at UBD to deepen her understanding of Brunei and Southeast Asian cultures, economics and politics. She is also looking forward to practising her Bahasa Melayu, and undertaking an internship with a local NGO or law firm.
The High Commission will also be welcoming a group of students from Flinders University, Adelaide, under the NCP mobility programme later this year. The Developmental Education students will be undertaking a short-term placement with SMARTER Brunei.