Recent law graduate Michael Norris was recently awarded the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Undergraduate Award, an elite scholarship awarded valued at AUD$53,000.
The scholarship is intended for Australia’s ‘best and brightest’ students to develop long-standing linkages with Asia in the 21st century. The Award is highly competitive and receives hundreds of applications from all universities in all disciplines across Australia. From this pool, 20 winners are chosen after applicants navigate a battery of hurdles. It is a highly prestigious award and is likened to the Rhodes Scholarship in its rigour.
The $53,000 allows Michael to study and take internships in China. He will be studying at China’s top university, Tsinghua University (with which the Adelaide Law School has an exchange agreement), before undertaking an internship at a prestigious think tank and a global law firm. His studies will include advanced Chinese and independent study regarding governance standards in China’s pension system.
Michael commenced Adelaide University studies in 2009. He is currently completing his double degree in Law and Arts. In 2009, he also started a Diploma of Language (Chinese) to further understand the grammatical structures of the language. He is currently fluent in Chinese and speaks with an authentic Beijing accent.
Michael is the youngest committee member of the Australia-China Business Council (SA). As a result of his part time employment, he worked on the third-largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) of a Chinese company in Australia. He also volunteers as the SA State Manager of the Engaging China Project, which aims to bring in Australian university students and young professionals into Australian high schools to share their experiences of studying, travelling, living or working in China.