Joint release with Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop

Today at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, we announced ways to deepen the engagement between the future leaders of Australia and the ASEAN region.

Australia is committed to practical and meaningful partnerships with the ASEAN region. These initiatives will build on our flagship education programs and enable talented ASEAN and Australian emerging leaders to learn from each other to shape a positive future.

We have established an annual New Colombo Plan ASEAN Fellowship to support an Australian undergraduate whose NCP scholarship focuses on our engagement with the ASEAN region.

The inaugural New Colombo Plan ASEAN Fellow is Hayley Winchcombe, from the University of Western Australia. Hayley will study politics and Asia-Pacific studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and intern with organisations promoting ASEAN interests, including in Singapore and Indonesia.

This Fellowship builds on the successful NCP program, which in its first five years will be supporting over 13,500 Australian undergraduates to live, study and undertake work-based placement in ASEAN nations.

We will also award 50 Australia Awards ASEAN Scholarships to the next generation of leaders from ASEAN countries to undertake post-graduate study in Australia. Their studies will contribute to positive outcomes for the region, including poverty reduction, human rights and gender equality.

The new ASEAN-Australia Infrastructure Skills Dialogue initiative will bring together industry, government, vocational education and training representatives to discuss ways to address the skills challenges facing the region.

In 2019, Australia now, an annual flagship program that showcases Australia and builds our reputation and connections in a select country or region, will focus on youth dialogue and exchange in the ASEAN region.