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Dominic will be first CQUni student to study in New Caledonia, thanks to scholarship

Published:26 November 2019

1. Dominic McCarthy with a New Caledonian flag. 2. Dominic with a New Colombo Plan sign. 3. With Associate Vice-Chancellor (NSW Region) Shehan Thampapillai and CQUni's 2020 NCP Alumni Ambassador, Bridget McDade. 4. With Yves Lafoy - Official Representative of New Caledonia to Australia.

Dominic McCarthy's diverse talents and interests in language, dance, youth issues and education have led to an opportunity to study in New Caledonia, as part of an 18-month program.

The Bachelor of Business student will become CQUniversity's first to study in the Pacific nation, thanks to a fully-funded scholarship from the prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program.

The scholarship was presented in Canberra, on Monday 25 November, by Australia's Foreign Minister, Senator Marise Payne.

Dominic has been studying at CQUni Brisbane but has recently moved back to Mackay, ahead of his overseas excursion next year.

The talented student will leave Australia on 5 January 2020, commencing a five-week French intensive at the Centre de Rencontres et d'Échanges Internationaux du Pacifique (CREIPAC).

In February 2020, Dominic will begin at the Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, studying two semesters of his Bachelor of Business in French.

He also plans to undertake a mentorship with the Australian Consul General in Noumea throughout 2020.

In January 2021, Dominic plans to commence a six-month internship with the Pacific Community, an international development organisation based in Noumea, including a mentorship under their Deputy Director-General.

In addition to his New Colombo Plan Scholarship, Dominic has been selected as the NCP New Caledonia Fellow. This is an honour recognising the top New Caledonia scholar, and demonstrates impressive academic results, leadership and involvement in university and community life.

As a Fellow, Dominic may occasionally be invited  to high-level events as an ambassador for both the NCP and Australia.

Dominic  speaks highly of the flexibility and portability that has enabled his varied journey with CQUniversity, including starting out with the Start Uni Now (SUN) program while still at high school.

"After graduating in a few years, I hope to gain employment in the government sector, within international relations and development," he says.

"As I also study French, I am particularly interested in working across these cultures and nations."

As a talented dancer, Dominic was the only Queenslander to sit the Advanced 2 male ballet exam in 2018. He's also studying a Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management with the Australian College of Dance, continuing his 13-year journey as a ballet dancer.

Dominic has found time to be a Youth Advisor on the Queensland Youth Advisory Council, working with the Queensland Family and Child Commission to develop strategies for stronger families and safer communities.

He has also represented young people on the Queensland Youth Engagement Panel, assembled by the Minister for Youth to consult on different policies that increase engagement and opportunities for young Queenslanders.

Dominic holds the distinction of being CQUniversity's first Student Mentor to take up the role as a 'first year'. He also set up the CQUni Coffee and Conversation Club (for which he is president) to connect students online, and has previously served as the Domestic Student Representative on the Queensland International Student Advisory Panel.

In his spare time, Dominic has been volunteering at Parkrun Southbank and as a Welcomer at the the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

Dominic was also a mentor at the Gen [in] Student Innovation Challenge Finals. He was awarded the 2019 Arts & Culture Award at the Mackay Regional Council Australia Day Awards.

He also won the 2019 Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre Jack Sturgeon Bursary for local arts, in July 2019, and was the keynote speaker at the Young Language Ambassadors' Conference in Townsville and Cairns this year.

Dominic first contacted CQUGlobal to enquire about overseas study opportunities during his first week at CQUni, and completed his first CQUGlobal Outbound program, Unbound's UN Sustainable Development Goals Vietnam, in July 2019, receiving a $3000 NCP mobility grant.

He was one of only four students to seek a nomination from CQUniversity for a New Colombo Plan Scholarship in 2020.

* The New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to undertake semester-based study and internships or mentorships for up to 19 months in 40 participating Indo-Pacific locations. Each Australian university can nominate up to 10 students per year.