The New Colombo Plan involves a prestigious scholarships program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships.
In 2018, I was awarded the New Columbo Plan Scholarship to study abroad in India, with a primary focus on the underrepresentation of local artisans. I also used this as an opportunity to engage with local artisans and enhance my technical design skills.
Textile patterns that I had designed in India were then selected by a panel of renowned Sydney-based textile designers, and were sent back to Indian block printer, Sufyiyan Khatri, to be made into rugs and sold.
The New Colombo Plan is intended to be transformational, deepening Australia's relationships in the region, both at the individual level and through expanding university, business and other links.
Over time the growing cohort of New Colombo Plan alumni will play an increasingly important role in Australia's relationships with its neighbours to become an influential and diverse network of Australians with direct experience in the Indo-Pacific, strong professional and personal networks across our region, and a driving force in Australia's future prosperity.