Mukhlis Mah and Roanna Gonsalves have won Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Awards, receiving up to $63,000 to study and undertake an internship in Asia.  

An Advanced Science student, Mah will use his award to study at the University of Nottingham’s China campus in Ningbo, where he will take subjects for his Geochemistry/Mathematics major while also learning Mandarin.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing a new culture, in particular a new student culture,” he says.

Leaving for Ningbo in second semester next year, Mah will also undertake an internship at a Chinese organisation following his exchange.

"I would like to do my internship at an organisation involved in groundwater or geochemical-based research.

“I love working at this intersection of geology and chemistry. This experience will be a good opportunity for me to hone my problem-solving skills.” 

For Roanna Gonsalves – a PhD student researching Indian literary culture – the PM’s award provides the opportunity to spend a year in India, undertaking fieldwork at the Centre for the Study of Society and Culture and a writing position at Sangam House, a writer’s residency in Bangalore.

“In recent years there has been a flowering of grassroots English language literary culture in India.

“As a writer and researcher I’m curious about this change in the social fabric and literary culture of urban India, and what we can learn from it here in Australia,” she says.

UNSW is also currently hosting Vietnamese student Minh Cuong Duong, who is completing his PhD as part of his Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Incoming Postgraduate Award.

Duong – one of 20 international students to receive the award – is researching the instance of hepatitis in hemodialysis patients with end-stage renal disease as a way to understand its risk factors and how it affects patients’ medical treatment.

“My research aims to explore preventative measures and early detection signs of the hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B infections,” says Duong, who will undertake an internship or work placement following the completion of his doctoral research.  

The Prime Minister’s awards provide 40 scholarships annually to Australian university students – 20 at undergraduate level and 20 at postgraduate level. They aim to strengthen education ties between Australia and its neighbours and to develop skilled future leaders.

Media contact: Cassie Chorn, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 5405