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: 8 am on 11 February 2019
Applications close: 11.59 pm on 17 March 2019
Want to know more?
- Hamer Scholarships Overview PDF, 156.7 KB – promotional flyer
- Hamer Scholarships Guidelines PDF, 14.5 MB – detailed information about the program including how to apply, eligible language institutes and selection criteria
- Indonesia Factsheet – why study in Indonesia?
PDF, 125.9 KB
- Sichuan Province Factsheet – why study in Sichuan? PDF, 780.8 KB
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: Clarice Campbell
Clarice Campbell was awarded a Hamer Scholarship for Jakarta, Indonesia in 2016 and undertook her language program at the University of Indonesia at the start of 2017.
She has gone on to become the Director, TAFE Victoria, Indonesia at the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) Office, Jakarta within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
Clarice builds and maintains linkages and relationships with leading organisations, government agencies and industry bodies responsible for skilling the Indonesian workforce. 12 Victorian TAFE institutes fall within Clarice’s portfolio under the banner ‘TAFE Victoria’ where she seeks out large-scale commercial opportunities for them to deliver as a consortium in-country.
“Before I undertook the Hamer Scholarship I had been studying Indonesian for over 10 years but it was the Scholarship that really provided me the opportunity to find meaningful professional connections outside of the academic connections I had made so far" said Clarice.
"Without the Hamer Scholarship I would not have been able to spend as much time as I did in-market to get out there and seek out professional opportunities" Clarice Campbell
Outside of her work, Clarice is the Director of Operations of the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) which is a non-government, youth-led organisation that aims to better connect young Australians and Indonesians to Australia and Indonesia related opportunities.
She is also an alumni of Monash University’s Indonesian Studies Program and the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP).
“The course I undertook at the University of Indonesia and my internship at the Jakarta VGTI office provided me with the opportunity learn new skills that were professionally relevant and the skills that I have built up from this experience will assist me throughout my professional life.”
Clarice has been able to leverage on those skills to secure her position in-market following her internship when her current position was advertised.
Hamer Scholarship Award Winner: Alice Slevison
Alice Slevison was awarded the inaugural Hamer Scholarship in Nanjing, China, in 2012. She has worked as a policy officer on the China Desk at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and has researched Sino-Australia strategic and defence issues at Australia’s preeminent strategic studies think tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra.
Alice currently works as the Senior Asia-Pacific Analyst at a security risk management consultancy in London where she consults with companies working in China to answer their most pressing business questions.
"My time in Nanjing as a Hamer Scholar provided me with a platform which I have been able to build a China-focussed career across government, the think tank sector and the private sector. A recent career highlight was being asked by BBC World News to provide my insights on Sino-Japanese relations at their London studio. I am keenly aware that the Hamer Scholarship put me on a journey that has led to such great opportunities" Alice Slevison
Outside of work, Alice volunteers her time to the Young China Watchers in London, and the Australian online community, Asia Options, which promotes study, internship and work opportunities across Asia in the hope of facilitating a more Asia capable Australian society.
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 his ability to engage with Chinese people in a business environment.
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.
"Applying for a Hamer Scholarship was a logical stepping stone" Tyson Murphy
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.
"My cultural experiences of living, working and studying in Nanjing have helped to provide in-depth insights and cultural understandings of Chinese consumers’ needs" Louise Clegg
"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."
Her current role requires her to understand and deal with Chinese consumers, the ever-changing environment of Chinese eCommerce and export distribution and pricing.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" Iain Uren
As an assistant trader working closely with the Meat Division Director, Iain has been able to use his language skills to discuss Ausfine Foods’ export capabilities and the breadth of the company's 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.
Julian Fang – Hamer Scholar 2018
I’ve had an incredible experience in Chengdu as a Hamer scholar. I have become conversational in Mandarin, learnt about Chinese history and culture and gained new professional skills – all within 5 months. Looking back, I’ve been able to do this thanks to a wide support network which helped me make a smooth transition to life in Chengdu. Previous Hamer scholars helped by answering questions I had before arrival and upon arrival I was introduced to various individuals and groups who made me feel comfortable and were very supportive with my professional pursuits.
The Mandarin classes at Sichuan University were comprehensive and were divided into basic grammar and vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading comprehension and writing. Students can try classes at various levels in the first week, later settling on an appropriate class. My schedule meant I was free from midday on weekdays and during those times I enjoyed practising my Mandarin in everyday situations. There were various ways to get immersed into the language and cultural experience and these included joining university excursions to notable sites, involvement in the Australia-China space with groups such as the Australia-China Youth Association, participation in local events organised by ‘Home In Chengdu’ as well as self-guided travel.
I cannot think of a better opportunity to learn Mandarin than what the Hamer Scholarship provides. The support in relation to personal and professional development is invaluable and the relationships formed with other scholars will no-doubt be a highlight. In terms of language learning, nothing beats living in-country and taking intensive classes, yet this is only one part of the overall Hamer experience! If this sounds appealing than I would encourage you to apply for a Hamer Scholarship.
Mirai Kirsanovs - Hamer Scholar 2018
The Hamer Scholarship is unique in that it provides an opportunity for Victorians already in the workforce to step away from their desk for a medium-term exchange into an immersive experience in a market that is relevant and significant not only to the recipient, but for Victoria and Australia more broadly.
A Hamer Scholarship combines the chance to improve your language skills through intensive study and real-world application with building professional and personal networks which can be immediately applied as a resource in your workplace on returning to Australia.
Being based in Southwest China for me was a no-brainer. As my work is largely in the tourism and leisure sectors, Chengdu has been the perfect base to explore trends, business practice and develop networks in these areas that have further developed my understanding of Australia’s largest tourist market. During my time in Chengdu I have met with inbound and outbound tour operators, attended relevant events and conferences and of course explored Sichuan’s many tourism and leisure draw cards.
There is no substitute for lived experience, particularly in a market that develops as rapidly as China. The first-hand experience that the Hamer Scholarship has provided has significantly contributed to the value and contribution I am able to make in my career. The past 7 months have been an extraordinary adventure I would not have otherwise been able to have and I cannot recommend the Hamer Scholarship highly enough to anyone interested in applying.