Australian High Comm to launch Colombo Plan next week

National 1 minute, 43 seconds


THE Australian High Commission will launch the new Colombo Plan next week.

The Colombo plan looks to provide its university students the opportunity to study and undertake internship in Brunei and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

In a statement issued yesterday, the high commission said the programme – which will be launched on Monday – looks to provide Australians with increased knowledge of the region.

It also hopes to build leadership skills and foster people-to-people and institutional relationships.

The plan comprises a scholarship programme for studies up to a year, as well as internships, mentorship, and a flexible mobility grants programme for short and longer-term studies.

The statement said the launch was timed to coincide with the arrival of eight students and two staff from Adelaide’s Flinders University today.

The students will be undertaking a three-week work placement with the non-governmental organisation, Society for the Management of Autism Related Issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei, under the mobility grants programme.

During their stay, the students will learn about SMARTER’s treatment methodologies and work with SMARTER therapists and experts from the Brunei government at SMARTER treatment centres across the sultanate.

The High Commission said the programme will conclude with the Seventh Brunei National Conference on Autism on October 9 in the capital.

The three-day conference will showcase their findings and feature presentations from the Bruneian, Australian, Filipino and regional experts.

Australian High Commissioner Todd Mercer said he was pleased to welcome the Australian students to Brunei.

“They will return to Australia not only with new expertise in their field, but also valuable insights and understanding about Brunei and new friendships that will last a lifetime,” he said.

Smith, who is leading the Australian delegation, said she looks forward to the collaboration with SMARTER as they provide high quality programmes for individuals living with autism and their families.

“We have just secured funding for this programme for a further three years, so this will be the beginning of an ongoing collaboration for Flinders University and Brunei Darussalam,” she said.

The Brunei Times