2022 New Colombo Plan Scholar - Lilly Deluca
Lilly Deluca is a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science (Ecology) student. As a recipient of a 2022 New Colombo Plan Scholarship, Lilly has been funded for her exchange and internship experience in Singapore.
Lilly has a keen sense of adventure and welcomes any opportunity to explore the world around her. She is particularly interested in sustainability and conservation, and the points at which her two degrees intersect.
Can you describe to us the moment you found out you were accepted as an NCP Scholar?
It was during exam period, and I was studying in the Barr Smith Library when I saw an email notification pop up on my phone from the New Colombo Plan. I hadn’t felt very confident about my interview, so I snuck away to open it in private, not knowing what to expect. I read the email twice to make sure I had read it correctly, but sure enough the email was telling me I had been successful in my scholarship application. It was a real challenge to focus on my exam study for the rest of the day!
What made you choose your scholarship destination?
Singapore always seemed like an obvious choice as a common law country and the legal capital of the Indo-Pacific, but also because of Singapore’s unique ecology – Singapore epitomises the challenges of incorporating natural systems into an urban environment. I liked that Singapore presented opportunities to learn and grow in terms of both my study areas.
But perhaps above all, I was drawn to Singapore because it is truly a cultural melting pot – the diversity of people and richness of language and culture (with four national languages!) is unrivalled.
Have you been overseas before?
I have done a little bit of travel in Italy, Egypt, and the US, and I am also very fortunate to have completed another semester exchange program right before COVID hit, at the University of Alberta in Canada. Though, I have never been to Singapore and haven’t spent much time in Indo-Pacific region, so I am very excited to explore and learn more about both over the course of my program.
What is something you’re most excited about regarding your exchange?
I am especially looking forward to meeting new people and forging meaningful relationships with Singaporean locals and other scholars alike. I’m also excited to travel, not only within Singapore, but throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
What’s something that surprised you about the process of applying for an NCP Scholarship?
I was pleasantly surprised by the breadth of, and weight awarded to, the different selection criteria. It was refreshing to see qualities such as resilience, leadership and community engagement valued equally with academic achievements. I think the consequence of that has been an incredibly diverse cohort of scholars, both in terms of the diversity of academic fields and the diversity of life experiences possessed by scholars.
How will your overseas experience help you advance in your field?
By undertaking a range of internships after my exchange, hopefully in the private, public and NGO sectors, I will be able to bring a unique perspective to legal practice in Australia. My proposed internships and program overall will also see me connect with people and leaders from across the region and open doors to future collaborations and career opportunities overseas.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
My vision for my future is ever changing and evolving. At this stage, in ten years I hope to be practising as a lawyer in the areas of public and environmental law, and perhaps to have completed or commenced my Master of Laws. I think my New Colombo Plan program will help me to carve out that vision!