The New Hamer Scholarships Program
The Victorian Government Hamer Scholarships Program is a language, cultural immersion and business engagement program that builds the Asia capabilities of Victorians and Victorian businesses.
The Hamer Scholarships Program provides $10,000 each for China or Indonesia, or $15,000 each for Japan or Korea.
The program has been revamped in 2020 with a sharpened business focus, supporting Victorian businesses to strengthen their Asia-engagement.
Hamer Scholarship recipients undertake 5-6 months of intensive language study in China, Japan, Korea or Indonesia while delivering an in-market business project that progresses the market development and/or export objectives of their employer in the chosen market.
Key datesApplications open: 8 am on 17 February 2020
Applications close: 11.59 pm on 29 March 2020
Want to know more?
- Hamer Scholarships Flyer PDF, 91.1 KB – program overview
- Hamer Scholarships Flyer DOCX, 876.5 KB – program overview (accessible)
- Hamer Scholarships New Program Guidelines PDF, 302.4 KB – detailed information about the refreshed program including how to apply, eligibility and selection criteria
- Hamer Scholarships New Program Guidelines DOCX, 87.1 KB– detailed information about the refreshed program including how to apply, eligibility and selection criteria (accessible)
What you get
The Hamer Scholarships Program provides $10,000 scholarships for China and Indonesia and $15,000 scholarships for Japan and Korea for 5-6 months (minimum) language study at an approved institution. The Scholarship supports recipients to develop their Asian language skills, cultural competency, professional networks and market knowledge – assisting businesses to build the people-to-people contacts and market insights needed for doing business with Asia.
- Demonstrate your capability to successfully undertake intensive language study overseas and to deliver your in-market business project (e.g. experience of coping in a foreign environment, managing a heavy workload and competing priorities, any prior language learning experience, etc.)
- How will your participation in the Hamer Scholarship Program support your company to access economic opportunities in the selected market?
- How does your in-market business project support your company in achieving its longer-term market engagement and/or export objectives in Asia?
- Why is a scholarship/government support needed?
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is a resident of Victoria. Victorians living, working or studying in China, Indonesia, Japan or Korea may also be considered, however, preference will be given to those currently residing in Victoria. Proof of age, citizenship or permanent residency is required and will only be accepted in the form of passport identification and permanent residency documentation
- Be employed and endorsed by a Victorian business that meets the Employer Eligibility criteria
- Be aged 21 or above at the time of completing the application
- Have at least three years of professional employment in their current field
- Be willing to study a language at a nominated institution for a minimum duration of 5-6 months. Alternative universities, institutions or non-language courses will not be considered
- Be willing to complete an in-market business project that is endorsed by the candidate’s employer
- Not be in receipt of any other grant, funding or scholarship for study in the elected country
- Agree to participate in future program evaluation activity for up to 5 years
- Be a legally structured business registered in Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN). (Businesses that are not registered in Victoria but have a significant operating presence in Victoria may also be deemed eligible and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis).
- Meet all industrial relations obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards
- Have an operating presence in Victoria
- Have a trading history of at least two years
- Be engaged in or seeking to engage in market development and/or export activity with the nominated Scholarship country
- Be willing to develop and endorse an in-market business project with the candidate
- Agree to participate in future program evaluation activity
Mirai Kirsanovs, GAO Group International
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 to their company and Victoria 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.
Sotirios Pestrivas, Ruben Guitars
I believe that when dealing with cultures that are vastly different to your own, particularly in a business environment, it is of the utmost importance to show your respect by way of learning about their culture and language.
By undertaking the Hamer Scholarship, learning Japanese, and living in Tokyo, I have been able to gain first-hand experience in the Japanese way of life and how this may translate in a business environment. For my future endeavours this means that I can make a strong first impression by being mindful of the cultural nuances and unwritten rules that are essential for a long and successful relationship.
For Ruben Guitars, who have ambitions to grow internationally, having someone who can speak Japanese and has in-market experience will ensure they have the best chance of success when forging new relationships.
William Taing, Beanstalk AgTech
Awarded a Hamer Scholarship in 2013, William honed his language and cultural capabilities studying at Nanjing University in Jiangsu. Since completing his scholarship, William managed Chinese agribusiness investment interests for Victoria and went on to lead a Premier's visit to China.
In 2018, William co-founded Beanstalk AgTech, an innovation agency working with large agri-food corporation, MNCs and NGOs to mainstream world-first technologies to solve waste and climate resilience challenges across the APAC region.
As a registered service provider for the Asia Gateway Program, Beanstalk AgTech supports Victoria’s leading agri-food businesses to expand into high-growth Asian markets and has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Singapore. In 2019 William was listed in the 40 Under 40: Most Influential Asian-Australian Awards in the entrepreneurship category.
Jesse Kestenberg, Coles
Jesse’s in-market Hamer Scholarship experience helped him to move into his ideal job upon returning to Australia. He now works in the Export Team at Coles where he is able to pair his background in Supply Chain and Finance with the Asia capabilities he developed on his scholarship to support business between Australia and China.
Awarded a Hamer Scholarship in 2018 while employed as a Finance Analyst in the Supermarket Division at Coles, Jesse’s scholarship enabled him to study intensive Mandarin at Nanjing University for two semesters and immerse himself in Chinese culture.
“The Hamer Scholarship has enabled me to accelerate my language far beyond what I initially thought was achievable. I am now preparing to sit the advanced level fluency exam.”
Being on the ground in China, Jesse was able to not only develop his language skills, but also grow his in-market networks and understanding of the business landscape.
“As well as making significant progress in my language skills, I had to chance to explore many different cities and formed many friendships along the way.”
Iain Uren, Ausfine Foods International
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.