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Issue 2 - March 1, 2010 enews home

Fulbright Scholarship to connect NT’s best to the US

From left: Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Training, Mr Gary Barnes, Regional Vice President, Blackboard Asia Pacific, Mr Zach Johnson, US Consul-General Michael Thurston, and CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover

From left: Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Training, Mr Gary Barnes, Regional Vice-President, Blackboard Asia Pacific, Mr Zach Johnson, US Consul-General Michael Thurston, and CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover

By Richie Hodgson

A new Fulbright scholarship is set to advance the expertise and experience of Northern Territorians.

The scholarship, which will enable recipients to study in the US for up to 12 months, was officially launched at a ceremony held on 16 February at Charles Darwin University.

Attendees included US Consul-General Michael Thurston, Regional Vice-President, Blackboard Asia Pacific, Mr Zach Johnson, and the Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Training, Mr Gary Barnes.

Jointly funded by CDU, the Northern Territory Government and Blackboard Asia Pacific, the Fulbright Northern Territory Scholarship will allow university, government and even private individuals from the NT to be judged against other Territorians only, to expand their professional horizons and impart local knowledge to the US.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said that the scholarship would benefit the University and represented an opportunity to focus support for projects which meet the particular needs of the Northern Territory.

“The NT has unique Indigenous studies, art and culture, tropical and desert knowledge and environmental management through education, research and professional sectors which would be of interest to the US,” he said.

US Consul General Michael Thurston, also a Member of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission Board, commended the sponsors on their support for the scholarship and said that “the new scholarship would foster broader educational and cultural exchanges between the peoples of the NT and the United States”.

CDU was recently approached by Blackboard Inc Asia Pacific, the provider of CDU’s online Learning Management System since 2002, with an offer of collaboration in establishing an NT Fulbright Scholarship.

Regional Vice-President, BlackBoard Asia Pacific, Zach Johnson said: “Blackboard was very pleased to co-sponsor the scholarship and to increase study opportunities for NT scholars in the United States.”

Executive Director of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, Dr Joe Hlubucek echoed Mr Johnson’s sentiments that the annual Fulbright Northern Territory Scholarship would give NT residents a specific opportunity to apply for the award.

“It will also foster closer working relations between the Fulbright Commission and the NT and make NT scholars more aware of the other Fulbright Scholarships which are available to all Australians for study in the US, as well as scholarship opportunities for CDU to host US Scholars,” he said.

The annual scholarship is valued at up to $46,000, with the first applications to be invited in June this year. The successful candidate will be selected on the basis of merit and the significance of the project to the Northern Territory.

The program is recognised as the largest and most prestigious bi-national scholarship program to promote education and cultural exchanges and has been operating between Australia and the United States for 60 years.