From Japanese musical instrument technology to South Korean green energy philosophies and Fijian conservation methods, three Curtin University students will add global expertise to their studies in these areas after being chosen as 2024 New Colombo Plan Scholars.
As part of the prestigious program, Curtin students Brodie O’Breza, Leigh Abbott and Angela Ho will spend extended periods overseas and incorporate different cultural points of view into their studies.
They will also spend significant time learning the languages of their host countries.
Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said the University was proud of the trio.
“The New Colombo Plan is a wonderful initiative and being named a Scholar is a significant achievement,” she said.
“Ms O’Breza, Mr Abbott and Miss Ho have an invaluable opportunity in front of them to learn fresh insights and gain international industry experience.
“I have no doubt they will make the most of the program and represent Curtin with distinction.”
Ms O’Breza will travel to Fiji to further her Coastal and Marine Science and Environmental Management studies and undertake an internship focusing on conserving the marine areas around the country’s various islands.
“I am a Torres Strait Islander from Saibai Island and my heritage initially drew my interest to the Pacific Islands listed in the program and found Fiji to best align with my culture, interests and personal goals,” she said.
“I look forward to being immersed in a new culture and exploring internship opportunities in Fiji’s marine parks and remote islands.
“I plan to then take this newfound knowledge and apply it to my own culture in the Torres Strait Islands.”
Studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Mr Abbott will travel to Japan to investigate how various metro areas are moving towards being “smart cities” which incorporate information and communication technology to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide a better quality of service.
This requires advancements in audio-signal processing — a field in which musical instrument companies excel.
Mr Abbott’s internship will take him to Hamamatsu, where many leading musical instrument companies are headquartered.
“Hamamatsu is known as the City of Music and my internship will see me investigate how musical instrument companies play a role in its smart city ambitions,” he said.
“Collaborations between the audio technology sectors of Japan and Australia present numerous opportunities for growth and innovation.
“I’m thrilled to be awarded an NCP scholarship and am excited for the journey ahead.”
Studying a Bachelor of Laws and Arts double degree, Miss Ho’s scholarship will see her visit two countries, beginning in South Korea where her studies will include climate change law and international corporate governance.
She will spend time in the bustling business world of Seoul to learn about best-practice sustainable development investment, before travelling to Vietnam to investigate how to transfer these practices to a developing country.
“I see Vietnam’s fast-growing economic and climate tech landscape as an exciting opportunity to understand how it conducts business to secure its energy needs for a growing middle-class population,” she said.
“I hope to leverage what I learn when I return to Australia, to apply them to the country’s transition to sustainable energy.
“It’s such a privilege to close out my time at university with a New Colombo Plan Scholarship, which sets my trajectory so affirmatively on the path of sustainable climate finance.”
Established in 2014, the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan aims to encourage undergraduate students to study and undertake internships abroad to deepen Australia’s relationships in the Indo-Pacific region.