Australian Embassy

Media release - 20 March 2018

Australia announces new defence post-graduates scholarships for Vietnam and other ASEAN countries


At the recent ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, Australia announced the ASEAN-Australia Defence Scholarship, which will fully fund 11 scholars to complete a two-year ‘Master of Strategic Studies’ Post-graduates degree in Australia. Starting 2019, Australia will fund one representative from each ASEAN state, including Vietnam to study in Australia and an Australian scholar.

“This program will be the first of its kind for ASEAN defence officials. It will see ASEAN’s and Australia’s best and brightest working together to share their experiences and develop their strategic thinking,” said Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Australian Minister for Defence.

“It will help us build our collective capacity to deliver sophisticated and effective regional defence cooperation in a dynamic regional security environment”, said the Minister.

Colonel Nerolie McDonald, the Australian Defence Attaché to Vietnam said: “Australia commenced the Defence Cooperation Program with Vietnam in 1999. Since then, we have provided more than 2,000 training positions for Vietnamese defence personnel including Defence scholarships in Australia and Vietnam. This new initiative will be such a great addition to the bilateral and multilateral defence relations.”

“I am confident that personnel from the Vietnamese People’s Army will seek to take up this opportunity. Vietnamese Defence students are outstanding performers in our Defence Cooperation Program courses and I know they will do well again in this program,” said the Defence Attaché.

ASEAN and Australia share common security concerns and regional challenges, and have been

working together to achieve the common goal of protecting and promoting a stable rules-based

global order. Australia strongly supports the contribution of the ASEAN-led regional security

architecture to security and stability in South East Asia. This includes fostering practical defence

cooperation within the ADMM-Plus framework. The ASEAN-Australia Defence Scholarship will support the ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action to implement the Strategic Partnership, notably by enhancing defence cooperation.

More details of the scholarship will be announced in the coming months through the Australian Defence Attaché Office in Vietnam.