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Doors open for Endeavour scholars

by Katrina Phelps

Catherine Kain.Becoming a mature-aged student can be a big step, but having successfully tackled that hurdle UniSA’s first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Scholarship is now taking on the challenge of undertaking Honours in a non-English speaking area and relocating her family for up to two years.

Catherine Kain talks about ‘thinking young’ and she is certainly the picture of vibrancy – clearly excited about the experience that lays ahead for her, as well as for her husband and 11-year-old twins as they prepare to move to China mid-year so Catherine can undertake her thesis.

“Receiving the scholarship to undertake Honours in China was a great opportunity and I couldn’t let that go,” Catherine says.

“If the door opens, then why not see how far it opens up. I couldn’t believe it when I received notification of the award.

“We (the family) are all in it together.”

Catherine is one of several UniSA students and staff who were successful in achieving an Endeavour Award from the Australian Government program that supports educational exchanges.

Catherine and her family are no strangers to overseas exchange. Catherine and her husband Scott have both spent the past four years studying a Business double degree during which they undertook two exchange programs at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“Our exchange to Hong Kong was an enriching experience and an invaluable introduction to China,” Catherine says.

The upcoming exchange will prove to be somewhat more challenging as they will be living in Tianjin where English is not as commonly spoken. While Catherine acknowledges that the task of researching in a foreign country will be tough, she is eager to begin her research.

“I am delighted to be in the position to build on my experience in the property industry through research,” she says.

Her thesis will focus on the property aspect of urbanisation, in particular a comparative view of housing affordability in China and Australia.

Five other Endeavour Award recipients from UniSA will be undertaking their own travelling experiences this year.

Thanks to an Endeavour Executive Fellowship, UniSA Senior Lecturer in the School of Education Dr Tom Stehlik, will be travelling to the University of Eastern Finland in July to undertake research into school governance and teacher education in Finland.

Law Lecturer Dr Clare Sullivan from the School of Law will also be spending the latter half of this year overseas thanks to an Endeavour Research Fellowship.

Student Jethro Adams also received an Endeavour Research Fellowship for research travel to India; while under the same Fellowship, Yi Man Li will travel to Hong Kong and Dr Wen Zhang from the SA Water Centre for Water Management and Reuse will spend time in the US.

The next edition of UniSA News will feature an article about the education, cyber security and water topics being explored by Drs Stehlik, Sullivan and Zhang.

A number of Endeavour Awards were also received for overseas students or researchers to spend time at UniSA. Under the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, Ahmad Yousef Mohammad Abu Helwa from Jordan will visit UniSA, along with Nani Sri Handayani from Indonesia.

Under the Endeavour Executive Fellowship program, Sumin Dan from China is currently at UniSA. Joining her is Avudainayagam Subramanian from India.