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STUDENTS honoured at New Colombo Plan gala event 

Two top-ranked students chosen as Fellows for their host countries as part of the 2016 New Colombo Plan.

Two top-ranked candidates from UOW have been selected as Fellows for their host countries as part of the 2016 New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholars program, announced at a gala event in Canberra. 

They received their fellowships from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop, MP, and the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) sponsored event. UOW’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Strategy), Professor Joe Chicharo were among the guests. 

Joshua Montgomery, 22, a second year Bachelor of Medical and Health Sciences student was named NCP Bhutan Fellow and Yang-Ming Goh, 20, a second year Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Scholar was named NCP China Fellow. 

These titles are awarded to the highest-ranked NCP scholars in each host location. For each location within the Indo-Pacific region, the top-ranked candidates are acknowledged as NCP Fellows. In addition to the benefits provided to all scholars, NCP Fellows are awarded A$1,000 to purchase study or learning materials in preparation for or during their NCP scholarship.

Fellows are encouraged to play a strong role in promoting the NCP while in-country on their scholarship program and as part of the NCP alumni network. In this regard they may also be invited to participate in particular activities and events, either in Australia or offshore.

Joshua’s host university will be the Royal University of Bhutan. Hailing from Canberra, Joshua described UOW as a “fantastic university” and he was hoping his time overseas would help him find the direction he wants to take within the public health system.

He hasn’t ruled out working in an area like ‘Doctors Without Borders’ within the Pacific region. Joshua will be spending several months at Mahidol University in Thailand before going to Bhutan.

Yang-Ming’s host university will be Beihang University in China. Originally from Newcastle, Yang-Ming, an electrical engineering student who is on a BlueScope cadetship, said she loved being in Wollongong and hoped the fellowship would lead her to “discover more down the track”.

As an accomplished pianist, music also plays a major part in her life.

She once thought music could be her career. However, Yang-Ming believes that through electrical engineering she can have a massive influence on our future. Yang-Ming hopes to work in the fields of power generation and green energy.

Two other NCP Scholars from the University of Wollongong were also announced at the gala event. Ahmad Khochaiche, 21, a third year student undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce (Dean’s Scholar) degree will have as his host institution Nanyang Technological University while Hugh Cooney, 19, a first year Bachelor of Mathematics (Advanced) will also be studying at Nanyang Technological University.

The NCP 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.

It involves a scholarships program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grant for both short and longer-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research.

Photo caption: Pictured at the NCP event in Canberra (from left) are NCP Fellow Joshua Montgomery; UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Strategy), Professor Joe Chicharo; Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop, MP; NCP Fellow Yang-Min Goh; UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings; and NCP Scholar Hugh Cooney. [Absent from photo is NCP Scholar Ahmad Khochaiche who was participating as a leader on a 40K Global program in India].