Wangaratta’s Scott Walsh is one of 100 hundred students to be accepted to the New Colombo Scholarship. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, said the Federal Government Program aims to give Australian students a rich cultural experience in the developing Indo-Pacific region.
“Students can undertake a number of learning activities, including internships, mentorships and semester-based study for professional development,” Ms McGowan said. “The scholarship is flexible and open-ended which is ideal for students in long-term study.”
Mr Walsh is heading to RMIT Vietnam on February 4. He chose Vietnam after being involved in a university project to design for the Mekong Delta for submission to an Engineering Without Borders competition. Although the submission was third placed, Mr Walsh’s involvement triggered an interest in the South East Asian country.
“This is an incredible opportunity to be able to bring back my experiences from the program,” Mr Walsh said. The aims of the program really appealed to me. I want to deepen my ties with the Asia area for when I go into industry, and hope to work for an international engineering firm.”
Studying civil engineering and business management studies at RMIT Melbourne, Mr Walsh will be qualified in 2017. The Rural City for Wangaratta‘s Career Building program has been beneficial, starting with council in tech services in 2011.
“Every time I come back there are new challenges. I’ve been fortunate to work on a diverse range of projects. These are practical skills and I have learnt how to communicate with a variety of people out in the field,” Mr Walsh said.
A former student at Appin Park Primary School and Galen College, Mr Walsh said the local education he received, and the strong relationships with teachers interested in his development, gave him the necessary skills to deal with university study and living away from home.
“We weren’t spoon feed information, there was heaps of independence to learn, and this really fast-tracked my development and helped me to study and live independently,” he said.
With close ties to Indi - born in Corowa and raised in Wangaratta – the engineering student is encouraging other Indi students to have a shot at the New Colombo Scholarship.
“I think this program is a huge opportunity for young people within North-East Victoria for years to come,” he said. “Extend yourself and open doors. Go somewhere you didn’t think you would visit, and choose a destination that will become more relevant to Australia.”
Nominations for the 2016-17 New Colombo Scholarship intake open on July 1, 2016. Mr Walsh is encouraging more students to apply for the opportunity to get abroad and broaden their horizons, experiences and knowledge. Visit the website for information and application guidelines here.