Future stars of our region awarded prestigious global scholarships

Ashleigh Smith and Annabel Biscotto.Ashleigh Smith and Annabel Biscotto.
A budding foreign policy strategist and aspiring international prosecutor are among the Curtin students to be awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarships for 2023.

Curtin Bachelor of Laws and Arts (International Relations) student Annabel Biscotto will complete her final year at the National University of Singapore and undertake an Interpol internship.

Curtin Bachelor of Laws and Arts (International Relations) student Ashleigh Smith, aged 19 from White Gum Valley, will study a semester at the Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan including Japanese language training.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne congratulated the two Curtin students on being recognised among the best and brightest across the Indo-Pacific region.

"Our future on the global stage looks bright with the talent, commitment and drive both Annabel and Ashleigh have to deliver their grand plans internationally," Professor Hayne said.

"The New Colombo Plan scholarships are reserved for the Indo-Pacific region’s most promising future leaders, so it gives me great pleasure to congratulate them both on these exciting opportunities."

Ms Biscotto said she would also undertake a full-time internship at the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore.

"It has been a goal of mine to study overseas since participating in a student exchange to Italy in high school and I am very grateful to finally turn my dream into a reality with the support of the New Colombo Plan scholarship," Ms Biscotto said.

"I’m looking forward to gaining practical experience at the state-of-the-art research and development facility by learning about the new technology used to address transnational crime. My passion for furthering Australia’s involvement in this space will be deepened by the breadth of my global studies in Singapore and internship with Interpol, allowing me to promote meaningful young Australian engagement."

Ms Smith said she dreamed of working as an international relations practitioner within the Australian public service to develop Australian foreign policy.

"As the Australia-Japan partnership is one of the oldest and closest relationships, we need to continue to develop our capabilities to allow effective engagement with Japan," Ms Smith said.

"It is hard to put into words how grateful I am to receive this scholarship. The scholarship will enable me to fulfil a lifelong dream of engaging with the Japanese language, culture and people during my time at Kwansei Gakuin University."

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government that aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.

The program encourages a two-way flow of students between Australia and the rest of our region, complementing the thousands of students from the region coming to Australia to study each year.

For more information about the New Colombo Plan, visit here.

Curtin University would like to pay our respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.