Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Minister for International Development and the Pacific has congratulated two undergraduate students from the Illawarra have been awarded Australian Government scholarships to live, study and intern in the Indo-Pacific.

 "University of Wollongong undergraduate students have won two of only 105 prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarships to support our nation's best and brightest to engage with our region," Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

Liam Frappell, a Bachelor of Engineering student from University of Wollongong will study Engineering subjects for two semesters at Beihang University for 12 months and plans to undertake mining and technology-related internships.

Ella Strachan, a Bachelor of Marine Science student from University of Wollongong will study Marine science research for one semester at the University of the South Pacific and plans to undertake internships in Samoa and India for 11 months.

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and intern in the region.

"New Colombo Plan scholarships recognise students' exceptional academic performance, community engagement and commitment to deepening relationships with our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific," Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

"While overseas New Colombo Plan scholars act as ambassadors for their communities, universities and indeed Australia. We can all be proud of our scholars' achievements and look forward to their contribution to Australia's relationship with the Indo-Pacific in the years ahead."

New Colombo Plan 2017 scholars were announced by Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham.

The NCP scholars will join more than 7,400 New Colombo Plan mobility grant recipients in 2017, taking the total number of students supported by the NCP in its first four years to 17,500.

"People-to-people links throughout the Indo-Pacific are vitally important in strengthening regional economic and prosperity and stability and I congratulate our New Colombo Plan winner, past and present for their achievements", Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

L-R: Vice-Chancellor of Wollongong University, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Ella Strachan, Liam Frappell, Minister for International Development and the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Asher Taccori.

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