Two Central Queensland law students, Jacob Cookson and Makaela Fehlhaber, are bound for Malaysia and Hong Kong after being awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships.
Two Central Queensland law students, Jacob Cookson and Makaela Fehlhaber, are bound for Malaysia and Hong Kong after being awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships. Contributed

CQ law students score prestigious international scholarships

TWO Central Queensland law students are bound for Malaysia and Hong Kong after being awarded prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarships.

Makaela Fehlhaber and Jacob Cookson both attend Bond University on the Gold Coast.

Ms Fehlhaber graduated from The Cathedral College in Rockhampton and has been studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Relations.

The scholarship, funded by the Federal Government, will allow her to spend a semester at the University of Malaya next year to research the legal implications of international commercial surrogacy arrangements and the use of IVF.

Ms Fehlhaber will also undertake an internship in the area of human rights and learn the Malay language.

"Interning will allow me to gain a firsthand experience of the issues concerning international commercial surrogacy arrangements,” she said.

"This has been a prominent issue in Malaysia following the 'Baby Gammy' case.

"This area of law is still developing, particularly concerning the nationality of children conceived in these arrangements.”

Mr Cookson, who attended St Brendan's College in Yeppoon, has been studying for a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Bond University.

He will now go on to spend a semester at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and hopes to secure an internship at a top-tier law firm or at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.

Mr Cookson, who will undertake Mandarin language training, is the convenor of the Bond Aid Program which supports sustainable development in Nepal and said he was passionate about developing relations with the Indo-Pacific region.

"I was in the Bond University Student Association office when I found out (about being accepted for the scholarship),” he said.

"I got a message from Makaela that said, "I'M GOING TO MALAYSIA” and so I checked my email right away.

"It took a moment for the news to sink in, but then I was jumping around the office!”

New Colombo Plan Scholarships are keenly sought by Australian students and are awarded annually to up to 120 high-achieving undergraduates who demonstrate leadership in their community.

They spend one to three semesters in the Indo-Pacific region, proposing their own program in one of 40 eligible countries.

The value of the scholarship can be more than $60,000.