Asian Studies student Tennille Bernhard, who is also a research assistant at Murdoch University, has been awarded one of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Undergraduate Scholarships.
The prize, valued at up to $53,500, will allow her to complete the last year of her undergraduate degree in Indonesia through the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS).
“I didn’t expect it, but I was hopeful that I’d be given this opportunity,” Ms Bernhard said.
“Next semester, I’ll be studying language in Yogyakarta, before heading off to do some field research in West Java in the second half of the year.”
Ms Bernhard’s scholarship will also fund an internship at the end of her studies.
“I’m passionate about disability-inclusive development and hope to work with universities in Indonesia to improve access and equity,” she said.
“People living with disabilities don’t get a lot of support to study in Indonesia, and I’ve always wanted to do something useful, so this could be a good fit.”
Postgraduate students Marianne Nyegaard and Melissa Johnston also received scholarships worth up to $63,500 and will head to Indonesia next year.
Funded by the Australian Government through its Australia Awards initiative, these prestigious prizes were established to support closer research and education ties between Australia and its neighbours.
This year saw the introduction of a new category, the Australia India Education Council (AIEC) Research Fellowship, awarded to one Indian researcher and one Australian researcher. Dr Christopher Vas from Murdoch’s Executive Education Centre is the 2014 Australian recipient.
“Australia is working hard to strengthen its relationship with India, and this Fellowship is an important part of that,” Dr Vas said.
“It’s a great opportunity for Murdoch University too, as our research strengths are well-aligned with challenges both countries will face in coming decades.”