EUKEY TWO: Former St Joseph's student, Grace Monahan with Stanthorpe SHS graduate, Professor Ian White.
EUKEY TWO: Former St Joseph's student, Grace Monahan with Stanthorpe SHS graduate, Professor Ian White. Contributed

Surprise meeting in Singapore

AN invitation to hear Prime Minister, Scott Morrison speak in Singapore might have been excitement enough for scholarship winner, Grace Manahan but the last thing she expected was to be sitting with a fellow Stanthorpian.

Professor Tim White, a graduate of Stanthorpe State High School is now the associate vice president of Infrastructure and Programmes at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore..

"As conversation went on, I mentioned I was from Stanthorpe,” she said.

"Tim said 'Me too!' That's not something you hear everyday.”

And not just that, the two both caught the Eukey bus to school but in different decades as Grace is from Eukey while Tim grew up in the Sugarloaf Road area.

The luncheon was hosted by Austcham Singapore, the Australian-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce while Grace was representing the New Colombo Plan program through DFAT, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"Of course, being an event for the Prime Minister, it would make sense to meet people from Australia,” she said.

"But you don't often expect people to know Stanthorpe well, let alone come from there.”

Ms Manahan is one of 120 people across Australia to have been awarded a scholarship through the New Colombo Plan, which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific and to introduce students to the business world in an international employment environment.

The New Columbo Plan program encourages Australian students to study in Asia and since receiving a scholarship in 2017, Grace has studied in Singapore and China.

When she received the scholarship, she was already residing in Tokyo and was undertaking a Griffith Business School Global Mobility Internship with INPEX Corporation,

A former student at St Josephs, she was enrolled in the double degree Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Government and International Relations course at Griffith University.

Professor Tim White has had an illustrious career. Since receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in mineral chemistry and crystallography from the Australian National University in Canberra , he has held posts in several Australian universities and been seconded for research projects in Germany, Japan and the United States.

His particular area of interest is the design and demonstration of advanced materials for environmental, superconducting, ionic conductivity and hydrogen storage applications.