MEDIA RELEASE

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade





D9

13 February 1997

MINISTER MEETS KOREAN SCHOLARSHIP STUDENTS



The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, will meet four Australian students participating in the inaugural Young Australians in Korea program at his of fice in Parliament House at 11:30 am today (February 13). Senator Nick Minchin, a former AFS Exchange student, will also be present at the meeting.

The students - Kate Lawrence, Mardi McMillan, Lara Rodda and Kate Wilkie - depart for Korea on 18 February 1997. After one week's orientation in Seoul, the students will be billeted with Korean families for 12 months, while attending Junior Colleges in the regional cities of Taejon and Kyongju. The students completed secondary school in 1996.

The Australia-Korea Foundation is funding the Australian Young Scholars in Korea program, which is administered by AFS International Exchanges. The program gives Australian school leavers, who have studied Korean up to and including Year 12, the opportunity to live and study in Korea for a year. Its aim is to assist the development of a pool of young Australians, familiar with the Korean language and culture, who can contribute to Australia's future relationship with Korea.

The successful candidates were selected on the basis of language ability, personal qualities that will enable them to adjust to life in Korea, and motivation to use their language skills and knowledge of Korea in their future careers.

The Australia-Korea Foundation, was established by the Australian Government in 1992. Its charter is to support and encourage activities that complement the broad foreign, economic and trade policy objectives of the Government through the pursuit of second track diplomacy - promoting individual and group visits and exchanges and fostering institutional links in commerce and industry, science and technology, education, the arts, media and sport. The Foundation's Secretariat is located in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

There will be a brief photo opportunity at 11:30 am in the Minister's office. Interviews with the students can also be arranged through the contacts listed below.

Contacts: Stephen Huang, Director, Australia-Korea Foundation Carol McCormack, AFS International Exchanges

Ph (06) 261 3831 Ph O411 387 110