Griffith University has more New Colombo Plan Scholarship recipients than any other university this year, with nine students to receive the prestigious scholarship.

The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program is an Australian Government initiative providing opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to undertake semester-based study and internships or mentorships in the Indo-Pacific.

Bachelor of Business student Harry Rodgers hopes to gain a greater understanding of inclusion and stigma surrounding people with disabilities.

Griffith students fromGold Coast, Nathan and South Bank campuses will jet overseas in 2020 and 2021 to countries like Japan and Taiwan, spending time learning a local language and immersing themselves in local culture while learning from experts in their chosen fields.

Professor Sarah Todd.

Vice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd said the fact nine Griffith students were awarded the increasingly competitive scholarship, out of a maximum of 10 per institution, reflected the high caliber of students nominated.

“These scholarships will truly transform the recipients’ lives and may well determine the focus of their future careers,” Professor Todd said.

“I know all nine, regardless of the destination they are heading to or the program they are studying, will return with an increased awareness and understanding of the issues and challenges facing our neighbourhood, and Australia’s role in the region.”

Previously, the total number of successful New Colombo Scholarships given to Griffith students in one year was seven.

Anna Stirling

Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Government and International Relations student Anna Stirling said she was thrilled to receive the scholarship.

“My initial response was of shock, which turned to excitement,” Anna said.

“I thought it would be such a great experience and opportunity which would help me launch into my future career, helping the oppressed and disadvantaged.”

During her time overseas, she hopes to learn about human rights and how that knowledge can be applied to help end sex trafficking.

Rachael Grant plans to learn about creating child-friendly cities.

“The fastest growing crime worldwide is human trafficking, particularly that of women and children, which most often takes on the form of sexual exploitation,” she said.

“It was my passion for justice and seeking an end to sex trafficking in East Asia that led me to undertake my double degree in Laws/Government and International Relations.”

Gabi Cooper, Katharina Gutjahr-Holland, Harry Rodgers, Jessica Farrell, Julia Hill, Odin Lowsey, Rachael Grant and Tanner Noakes join Anna in receiving the prestigious scholarships.

They will be studying everything from sport empowering those with disabilities and socioecological factors impacting on access to healthcare, to challenges and limitations for teachers and the impact globalisation has on law firms.

Seven of Griffith’s nine New Colombo scholars with Griffith University International Director Heidi Piper at a Canberra ceremony.