Murdoch University student Sarah Watson will be presented with a Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award in Canberra on November 22, 2010.
Ms Watson, who is studying a double degree in Asian Studies and Wildlife Conservation, will be given funding to study and complete an internship in Indonesia in 2011.
She will attend the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta and the Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang in East Java where she will conduct a field study examining the traditional plant-based medicine used by the Dayak Tomun people of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).
Ms Watson will also undertake an internship in the same region at Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia, a non-governmental organisation focused on the conservation of orangutans.
Kalimantan is home to the largest population of orangutans outside a protected area and is threatened by unsustainable logging, mining and conversion to oil palm.
Ms Watson said she was overwhelmed by the award and believes her year in Indonesia will be an invaluable experience.
“I was so shocked and excited when I found out about the award,” Ms Watson said.
“The financial support will make the year so much easier but I will also meet a valuable network of people and learn how to get things done by working with Yayasan.”
The Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award gives 20 postgraduates and 20 undergraduates an opportunity to study in Asia. The awards aim to deepen education and professional linkages between Australia and Asia and provide an opportunity for Australian universities and the Australian Government to work in partnership to identify and reward high calibre scholars.