New Colombo Plan

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

The New Colombo Plan involves a scholarship program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants program for both short and longer-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, announced the New Colombo Plan ASEAN Fellowship at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit 2018 in Sydney.

New Colombo Plan 2018 Singapore Scholar Hayley Winchcombe, from the University of Western Australia, is the inaugural New Colombo Plan ASEAN Fellow.

Joint media release: Strengthening ASEAN-Australia Education Exchange

How to get involved


President Tony Tan

“I am confident that the New Colombo Plan will play an important role in strengthening our education and people-to-people ties. The New Colombo Plan also reflects the Australian Government's broader focus on enhancing its engagement with Asia.”

President Tony Tan Keng Yam, of Singapore at the University of Adelaide on 17 June 2014.
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.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP at the University of Sydney on 16 May 2014.

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.
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.
Last Updated: 11 July 2018

New Colombo Plan

For New Colombo Plan internship and mentorship opportunities visit the NCP internship portal.

NCP internship portal

Contact us

The New Colombo Plan Secretariat, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade