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Southern Cross marine science student awarded New Colombo Plan scholarship


Jessica Nelson
26 November 2018

Southern Cross University is celebrating the success of marine science student Jordan Ivey, who has been awarded a prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship for 2019.

Southern Cross University is celebrating the success of marine science student Jordan Ivey, who has been awarded Australia’s top federal government scholarship.

Lismore-based Jordan was among more than 100 recipients of the prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship announced by the Federal Government in Canberra this week. He is also one of six Indigenous recipients in the 2019 scholarship cohort.

The New Colombo Plan aims to boost knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

Jordan, 25, is studying a Bachelor of Marine Science and Management and will head to Fiji in early January. There he will undertake an internship with a local coral conservation group and conduct research supervised by Southern Cross University and the University of the South Pacific, based in Suva.

"This is a fantastic opportunity and I plan to put it to good use in research and activities that I hope bring new knowledge and carry real benefits for the marine environment," he said.

"I'm a proud Indigenous Australian and part of my family heritage is also from Vanuatu. Growing up by the sea in Australia, I was always aware of the strong cultural links between Pacific Islanders, Indigenous Australians and the ocean.

"This scholarship will allow me to consider those cultural connections alongside new research aimed at protecting coral that is under threat from forces including bleaching and climate change.

"More broadly, I'll be working towards enhancing the overall sustainability of a stunning marine environment, as well as building international relationships through Southern Cross and the University of the South Pacific."

Not bad for someone who almost didn't graduate high school. Jordan now plans to use his own example to motivate other young Indigenous people as they consider the paths they take in life.

A qualified mechanic who returned to study in 2016, Jordan is one of the most active members of the Southern Cross student community, serving as an Equity and Diversity mentor, student recruitment ambassador and school outreach presenter.

In October he was the co-recipient of the University's 2018 Sportsperson of the Year award for his significant leadership role as the Indigenous Games team coordinator for the Gold Coast and Lismore campuses, and competing at Unisport events and campus sporting challenges.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor, Professor Adam Shoemaker, congratulated Jordan on the scholarship.