New Colombo Plan testimonials

President Joko Widodo

"The New Colombo Plan (is) an initiative that provides opportunities for young Australians to study in 40 Asian (and Pacific) countries since2014. So far, Indonesia is the most popular country visited."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo noted on Instagram following the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, Saleumxay Kommasith

"The New Colombo Plan, launched in 2014, has evolved into something that reflects how Australia today sees Asia and the Pacific as a whole and its strong commitment to enhance its engagement in the region."

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, Saleumxay Kommasith, at the ASEAN- Australia Special Summit in March 2018.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman

"I'm pleased to support the New Colombo Plan, which is helping the next generation of Australian business leaders obtain first-hand experience studying and interning in our region.

The skills these young Australians are gaining will be invaluable to Australia's economic future."

Peter Coleman Woodside CEO and New Colombo Plan Business Champion, 12 June 2017.
Thomas Da Jose

It was one of the best years of my life. It connected me to a tremendous network and it opened my eyes to how many opportunities there are for young Australians who want to make a difference. I had the passion, but the New Colombo Plan showed me the pathways.

Thomas Da Jose, University of Technology Sydney New Colombo Plan 2016 Thailand Scholar. 1 June 2017.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

"I am glad that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had the vision to champion the New Colombo Plan … (it continues) the spirit of exchange and build(s) and renew(s) the connections and goodwill between our peoples into the next generation."

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,, during his address to Parliament of Australia on 12 October 2016.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi

"Our people-to-people links are stronger now than ever before, thanks to programmes such as the Australian Volunteers, the Seasonal Worker Programme, Australia Awards scholarships and the New Colombo Plan."

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi on Australia Day 2018.
Universities Australia chair Margaret Gardner

"The New Colombo Plan has been a brilliant intervention. It has helped students who would not have the capacity to fund themselves to have that study abroad experience and it has also broadened the number of countries that Australian students go to for a study abroad experience."

Universities Australia chair Margaret Gardner to the National Press Club of Australia on 28 February 2018.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

"China supports pursuing a New Colombo Plan with Australia and understands that Madam Foreign Minister personally puts a lot of energy into this initiative. We stand ready to work more closely with Australia in areas of education, culture, sports, youth and sub-national relations and write a new chapter of friendship between our two countries."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his visit to Australia on 9 February 2017.
Mr. Chirachai Punkrasin speaking

"The New Colombo Plan provides thousands of Australian students with opportunities to study and undertake internships in ASEAN Member States. Beyond professional knowledge and skills development in relevant fields, this program has provided invaluable opportunities to create genuine mutual understanding and life-long friendships among the youths of both ASEAN and Australia."

H.E. Mr. Chirachai Punkrasin, Ambassador of Thailand at the Launch of the Australia–ASEAN Council BRIDGE School Partnerships Program on 30 May 2016, Canberra.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaking in front of a New Colombo Plan podium

"Our country will benefit enormously from having young ambassadors from Australia who have an understanding of and an insight into the region that only comes from living and studying and working there."

Former Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP at the University of Sydney on 16 May 2014.
Last Updated: 5 April 2019