Congratulations to alumna, Ashley Eadon, who has been awarded the prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship.

The federal government’s scholarships are worth as much as $67,000 and awarded to undergraduates to live, work and study in 40 locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

Ashley plans to travel to India and then take up an internship at the Australian embassy in Tokyo.

For Ashley, the journey is a chance to hone skills as she prepares for a career in peace-building, conflict resolution and education.

“I thought Japan would be a good place to learn about that, hopefully, at the embassy in Tokyo,” she said.

Before that, Ashley plans to spend three months at the Lady Shri Ram College for Women in New Delhi.

“India has one of the world’s fastest growing economies. There are massive numbers of people there and the country has a lot of potential on the world stage,” she said.

“But its challenges are interesting to me from a sustainable development perspective.”

Ashley previously helped establish Dear Cris (Connecting Rural and International Students), a program helping regional students make friends with people from different backgrounds to broaden their awareness and combat racism.

“Dear Cris is essentially a pen-pal program connecting students to those either interstate or overseas,” she said.

The program’s pilot ran this year, with plans for primary students at three Bendigo schools to take part next year.

“With technology advancements, people aren’t limited to just where they are. It’s all about expanding people’s horizons and getting them to think bigger – to think globally,” Ashley said.