It's Down Under for lucky eight


He was naturally happy to go to the University of Queensland in Australia to do his Bachelor in Economics but sad to leave his girlfriend behind. 

“I will miss her tremendously but with the advances in technology, there will be many ways for me to keep in touch with her.  

Wise andCheah with(from left)Szu-Mei,Audrey,Jasbir,Michelle,Hiresh,Rajeswari,Sharmilla andShih Yenat thescholarshippresentationceremony.

“I’m already looking forward to coming home for the winter break. I’ve got my flight ticket booked for June,” said Hiresh. 

At the presentation ceremony recently, Australian High Commissioner James Wise was on hand to present the recipients with their certificates. 

“As Malaysia celebrates 50 years of independence this year, Australia is celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations with Malaysia. 

“Make the most of your experiences there and help spread the word about your country,” said Wise. 

Also present at the ceremony was Malaysia Australia Alumni Council president Puan Sri Susan Cheah. 

The MACC scholarships was launched in October 2001 based on the spirit of the Colombo Plan which had allowed 4,000 Malaysians to study in Australia from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s. 

Since the inception, the MACC has awarded more than 80 students with scholarships worth a total of RM4.5mil, including this year’s RM500,000. 

Under the scholarship, the eight recipients will receive a full or partial fee waiver for their course of up to three years in an Australian university. 

Former The Star reporter Sharmilla Ganesan remembers the day she heard the good news. 

“I didn’t expect to get it as there was only one Master of Arts scholarship, so imagine the surprise when I received the phone call while I was driving to work,” she said. 

Sharmilla, 24, will be pursuing her Masters of Arts in Communications at RMIT in Melbourne. 

Sin Shih Yen recalled jumping for joy after learning that she had secured a scholarship to study at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. 

“Unfortunately, nobody was home when I got the news,. I made sure I kept the news to myself and surprised my parents when they got home from work,” she said. 

The 18-year-old, who recently completed her South Australian Matriculation Programme at Taylor’s University College, will be pursuing her Bachelor of Commerce.  

The other recipients were Jasbir Kaur Dhaliwal, Audrey Tricial Kraal, Michelle Boey, Rajeswari Eliyathaby and Ong Szu-Mei.  

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