Student secures prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship

Student Nikki Singh with Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Simon Birmingham.

A Western Sydney University student has been successful in securing a prestigious Australian Government New Colombo Plan Scholarship (NCP) for 2018.

Nikki Singh is a Bachelor of Psychology student based at the University’s Penrith campus but will move to Yogyakarta, Indonesia next year to complete her studies at the Universitas Gadjah Mada under the NCP Scholarship.

The scholarships were presented to students at a ceremony at Parliament house in Canberra by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Simon Birmingham.

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduates to live, work and study in 40 locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

Nikki says she is passionate about encouraging bilateral relationships between Australia and the Asia- Pacific region.

“My parents came from India as skilled migrants and are living examples of the benefits that come with collaborating with the Asia- Pacific region. Living in Western Sydney and being surrounded by people from different cultures has broadened my lens on life,” she says.

Born and raised in western Sydney, Nikki says she is looking forward to experience the complexities of Indonesian culture and immerse herself in new experiences.

“I chose Indonesia because there are people from all over the world living there; it’s not homogeneous and is very diverse,” she says.

“It will be interesting to live on campus and talk to other students over there. Of course, I’m also looking forward to travelling around Indonesia and the surrounding countries,” she says.

After her time in Indonesia, she hopes to complete a six month internship in Nepal with a branch of the UN which will be an important stepping stone to her dream career as a crisis psychologist with Doctors without Borders.

As a young girl, Nikki was always interested in humanities and science and thought that studying psychology was the perfect fit for her.

“I know a lot of people find the statistics part of psychology boring but I think it really appeals to my left-brain nature. There are also a lot of opportunities with a psychology degree, it’s not confined to a single line or profession and I enjoy that flexibility,” she says.

In her spare time, Nikki is also a director of the Harman Foundation — a not for profit organisation aiding individuals and families going through grief and loss within the multicultural Western Sydney community.

“As part of my role we organised a charity dinner that raised roughly $90 000 for the launch of our Safe Home project, a shelter for culturally and linguistically diverse women and children who have been affected by domestic abuse or violence,” Nikki says.

She enjoys helping her community and was selected to be a member of the Youth Advisory Committee in Blacktown city council. As well as this, she works as an Applied Behaviour Analysis therapist for children with Autism disorder, which allows her to work with families in her community.


28 November 2017

Jessica Cortis, Media Assistant