UQ's Anastasia Laczko
27 November 2018

Five University of Queensland students are bound for the Indo-Pacific as 2019 New Colombo Plan fellows and scholars.

Undergraduates Jemima Kang and Kaelan Lockhart were yesterday named as fellows and Zachary Frazer, Han Tang and Anastasia Laczko as scholarship recipients under the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan program.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne announced the recipients at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

Aspiring robotic technologies leader Anastasia Laczko, who will travel to South Korea, spoke at the ceremony on behalf of all 2019 New Colombo Plan scholars.

“Every single scholar has a unique story of how they got here, but we’re all united by the same dream – to make a positive impact on the world,” she said.

“And I am certain with our courage, determination and passion, there is no doubt that we will reach this dream.

“My journey with the New Colombo Plan started last year in Dalian, China, where I was sponsored by a mobility grant to study innovation and entrepreneurship.

“As a half-Chinese second-generation Australian, it was a culturally eye-opening experience visiting China for the first time and being able to recognise similarities with my upbringing.”

Ms Laczko, who took part in the 2018 UQ Idea Hub Shanghai Startup Adventure, hopes to gain insight into the development of robotic technology in South Korea in 2019.

“Robotics is the pathway towards my dream of improving the lives of others, and the New Colombo Plan Scholarship will give me the chance to study innovative and cutting-edge technologies and learn from world-class researchers.”

Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship Director Dr Jessica Gallagher said the program would help students develop networks and skills that would give them a competitive advantage when they graduated.

“We are incredibly proud of our chosen scholars, including our two fellows who have been ranked the top candidates in Malaysia and Vietnam.

“International programs such as this help shape future leaders by providing students with diverse working experiences and a global mindset,” Dr Gallagher said.

The five UQ students will work and study in Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, India and Singapore, in social psychology, robotics, finance, electronic engineering and international law.

Another 270 UQ students will travel to the region next year under to New Colombo Plan Mobility Program funding announced in July.

Media: Dr Jessica Gallagher, j.gallagher@uq.edu.au +61 7 3346 7869; Ruby Wallace, ruby.wallace@uq.edu.au +61 3346 0665.