17 September 2018
Westpac Bicentennial Foundation is encouraging aspiring leaders who are passionate about strengthening ties with Asia to apply for the Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship.
Offered in partnership with eight Australian universities, the scholarship valued at $12,000 will give recipients the opportunity to study for up to a year at a leading university in mainland China, Singapore or Hong Kong. It also includes a leadership development program delivered over a five month period, and lifelong membership of the Westpac 100 Scholars Network.
Susan Bannigan, CEO of Westpac Bicentennial Foundation said, “Asia literacy is fast becoming a key requirement for young Australians who want to shape the future of our country. The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship is for undergraduates who are intrigued and keenly interested in the opportunity to build stronger business and cultural connections across the region. It provides access to an immersive Asian experience and allows recipients to design their adventure to best support their areas of focus.”
Abi Rajkumar, a Development Studies and Law student at The Australian National University was awarded a scholarship in 2017, and spent a semester studying in Singapore.
“It was remarkable to be exposed to Asia's varying political climates and vibrant cultural diversity - being on the ground made all the difference. Having the opportunity to live and study abroad, make real connections with locals and be supported through the Westpac 100 Scholars network has empowered me to pursue my passion of preserving cultural heritage in a rapidly globalising world.”
“I have already commenced discussions with international non-government organisations (NGO’s) and inspiring political and business leaders to make an impact in this area after the completion of my law degree this year."
After completing his exchange to Shanghai in 2016, 2017 Westpac Scholar Damian Meduri secured an internship with the Australian Institute of International Affairs NSW. He is now a Policy Graduate with the NSW Government.
“As time goes on the value of the Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship is becoming clearer and deeper. I’m finding my network growing rapidly and I always have a solid community to rely on. The Scholarship has opened up many doors both professionally and personally. It is so much more than the actual exchange, and I’m still finding new benefits to my professional development.”
2018 recipients commenced their exchange last month, starting with a four-day residential program in Shanghai. During this time the 37 recipients ranging from social entrepreneurs, scientists, economists to engineers, had the opportunity to visit world-leading technology and innovation labs, seeing firsthand the inspiring development of the innovation ecosystem in China.