New Colombo scholar to study Indonesian haze

Geography student Laura Porter-Jacobs was this week awarded a prestigious New Colombo Scholarship at an event hosted by Deputy Prime-Minister Julie Bishop.

Ms Porter-Jacobs, who is doing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Geography, will head to Indonesia in July to study the haze in Kalimantan for her Geography honours.

She is one of five University of Melbourne students and 100 students around the country to receive a scholarship. The other awardees from Melbourne are: Emily-Rose Guarnuccio (Arts), who is going to China; Nicholas Modrzewski (VCA - Singapore); Xavier Ekkel (Commerce - Korea) and Sayle Johnston (Arts - Indonesia).

The New Colombo Plan, run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 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.

Julie Bishop said the 2016 New Colombo Plan scholars had been selected on the basis of their academic performance, community leadership and a proven commitment to forging long term relationships with the Indo-Pacific.

"This talented group of students will be impressive young ambassadors for Australia in the Indo-Pacific region, as they undertake studies, gain industry experience and learn about another culture while fostering friendships and networks that will last a lifetime," Ms Bishop said.

"Australia is investing in the next generation of leaders who will continue to advance and build on our important bilateral relations in the Indo-Pacific region."

On top of her studies, Ms Porter-Jacobs also works as the Communications and Administration Officer at the Melbourne Energy Institute.

Photo L-R: Nicholas Modrzewski (VCA - Singapore); Emily-Rose Guarnuccio (Arts - China); Laura Porter-Jacobs (Arts - Indonesia) and Xavier Ekkel (Commerce - Korea)