The Victorian Government announced the recipients of the 2017 Hamer Scholarship Program on 28 June 2017.

Victoria's Minister for Small Business, Innovation formally awarded 14 scholarships for study in China, 11 for Japan, nine for Korea and six for Indonesia. It's also the first time Victorians will be given an opportunity to study in China's Sichuan province since the formal signing of the sister-state relationship between Victoria and Sichuan in 2016.

Hamer Scholarship recipients are given the opportunity to undertake intensive language training while also developing cross-cultural links and lasting relationships that can result in new trade and investment opportunities for Victoria.

This year's cohort will join more than 250 Victorians who have been awarded a Hamer Scholarship since the program began in 2012. It marks the eighth round of Hamer Scholars for China and the fifth round for Indonesia, Korea and Japan. "Through programs such as the Hamer Scholarships, we're strengthening the cultural links between Victoria and our friends and neighbours in Asia," said the Minister at the Award ceremony.

Past Hamer Scholars have gone on to successful careers, including Lisa Renkin – Deputy Commissioner for Greater China and an experienced international health and development specialist – who received a scholarship in 2013.

Other Hamer Scholarship alumni include a Trade Commissioner in Beijing and the founder of marketing firm GAO Group International – a boutique international management consultancy and marketing agency specialising in Asia Pacific and Middle East regions.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 allocated an additional A$1 million in funding to ensure the continuation of the Hamer Scholarship Program into 2019.