Darwin local and Charles Darwin University (CDU) student Neve McDermott has been awarded a prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship that will see her study social work in Nepal.
The New Colombo Plan (NCP) is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.
Ms McDermott, a Bachelor of Social Work student, will travel to Nepal in 2022 for six months where she will gather an understanding of the country’s main social causes and systems.
Ms McDermott, who moved to Darwin in 2019 from Western Australia, hopes to collaborate with at-risk demographics, such as women, who she hopes to base her future practice around.
“Whilst in Nepal I hope to develop my language skills, connect with Nepali social work students and enjoy all the local hangouts,” Ms McDermott said.
She will then relocate to India for six months where she hopes to work with an NGO specialising in women’s health education.
“This wonderful journey will hopefully deepen my cultural capabilities back home, diversifying my professional practice, which will allow me to engage with broader populations on home soil.”
Ms McDermott said she’s halfway through her degree and the scholarship represents an incredible study opportunity.
“I’m an avid traveller and I’m keen to learn about different approaches to social work in different countries.”
CDU’s College of Health and Human Sciences Dean, Professor Dominic Upton, said there were 10 NCP scholarship submissions from CDU students this year.
“All domestic students who maintained a high academic standard could apply and this year I’m pleased that we had 10 high-calibre applications,” Professor Upton said.
As international borders open, the 2022 cohort of 125 scholars will travel to 22 host locations across the Indo-Pacific.
The New Colombo Scholarship offers studying of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants program for short and longer-term study, internships, mentorships, and research.