The Victorian Government Hamer Scholarships Program is a language and cultural immersion program designed to build the Asia-engagement capabilities of Victorians and to help strengthen cultural awareness and partnerships between Victoria and Asia. The program provides scholarships for Victorians to undertake intensive language study at nominated universities or institutions in China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea.
Key datesApplications open: 11 February 2019
Applications close: 17 March 2019
The Hamer Scholarships program provides $10,000 each for China or Indonesia, or $15,000 each for Japan or Korea.
To be eligible for consideration for the scholarship candidates must be:
- aged 21 or above during the time of submitting the application
- Australian citizens or permanent residents (residents of Victoria only)
- willing to study a language at nominated institution, for at least five months
- not in receipt of any other language study grant, funding or scholarship
- preference will be given to those already in the workforce.
- candidate has provided a clear study plan, study timeline and outline how funds will be spent
- candidate has provided a compelling case outlining how the scholarship will benefit their future study and/or career path and organisation through not only increasing language skills but developing partnerships and networks. While the Hamer Scholarships program is a language study scholarship there is an expectation that recipients will also seek to further their professional in-country networks
- candidate has provided a compelling case outlining how, by undertaking the scholarship, this will benefit Victoria
- candidate has provided evidence of being able to cope in a foreign environment
- candidate has demonstrated a clear commitment to using the language skills in the future
- candidate must demonstrate a clear understanding of professional in-country networking
Hamer Scholarship Award Winner: Tyson Murphy
Tyson Murphy was awarded a Hamer Scholarship in 2016 which he used to study written and spoken Mandarin at Suzhou University located near Shanghai.
The course gave Tyson important skills to interact with Chinese people culturally, which also "flowed on to my ability to engage with Chinese people in a business environment". Applying for a Hamer Scholarship was a "logical stepping stone" said Tyson. Working in the Victorian Aboriginal health sector for 10 years was invaluable in developing cultural competence, with the Asian piece of the puzzle arriving when he wrote a paper on the Victorian Aboriginal leadership model and its potential application in Asian businesses.
Tyson was completing an MBA in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur at the time of applying for the scholarship, and with the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement "starting to gain momentum," Tyson found himself inadvertently working towards where he finds himself today, “becoming a Hamer Scholar and starting a business in the cultural brokerage space between Australia and China."
Based in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan, Murphy’s organisation, the Australian Movement is helping Australian companies navigate the language and cultural barriers, and the red tape to move products and services to Southwest China, which remains a largely untapped opportunity. With 81 million people live in Sichuan province alone, it’s the fastest growing economy in the region.
Hamer Scholarship Award Winner: Louise Clegg
Louise Clegg was awarded a Hamer Scholarship in Nanjing, China, in 2015. She has gone on to become the Business Development Manager at Evolution Health, a Victorian international healthcare supplements company.
Louise manages a portfolio that includes one of the fastest growing probiotic brands in China. Her role requires her to understand and deal with Chinese consumers, the ever-changing environment of Chinese ecommerce and export distribution and pricing.
“My cultural experiences of living; working and studying in Nanjing have helped to provide in-depth insights and cultural understandings of Chinese consumers’ needs,” said Louise.
"The Hamer Scholarship Program has also contributed to my Chinese language capabilities, allowing me to maintain important relationships with our partners and conduct business dealings in Chinese."
Louise uses her knowledge of the fast-moving consumer goods export distribution market in Australia, and how that translates into China, to increase the success of Evolution Health’s major brand.
Hamer Scholarship Award Winner: Iain Uren
After completing a Hamer Scholarship program in China, Iain Uren began working at Ausfine Foods International, a commodity trade company specialising in meat and dairy.
Iain began as a Logistics Coordinator and later became an Assistant Trader, helping to seek new customers in China. In both roles, Iain was able to use his language skills and cultural understanding straight away.
The knowledge he gained during the intensive in-market scholarship program also enabled him to engage successfully with existing clients.
"Since undertaking a Hamer Scholarship and pursuing my career in international commodity trading and finance, it has been a great feeling to use my Mandarin as it helps build a positive rapport with clients from all around China,” said Iain.
“As an assistant trader working closely with the Meat Division Director, I’ve been able to use my language skills to discuss Ausfine Foods’ export capabilities and the breadth of our international trade experience."
Recently, Iain became a Finance and Risk Analyst, and now works more closely with Ausfine Food’s Dairy Division. He manages the company’s Position Report, which coordinates the hedging and derivative trading of Whole Milk and Skim Milk Powders, both major commodities in China.
Iain is looking forward to being involved in the establishment of a new Ausfine Foods office in China, already one of the company’s biggest export destinations.
Outside of work, Iain is involved in an orchestra that will be performing in China as part of the Shanghai Tourism Festival. Iain uses his Chinese language skills to act as the band’s spokesperson and is teaching Chinese to one of the other musicians.