Thursday, 22 November 2018 01:19

Huawei selects 29 top Australian students for the 2018 global ‘Seeds for the Future’ program


Huawei Australia has announced it has selected 29 undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) students to take part in its Seeds for the Future program, a unique business and cultural experience program.

In partnership with the Australian Technology Network of Universities and supported by the Australian Government New Colombo Plan, the 29 students will travel to China for three weeks of cultural and hands-on IT lessons and training.

That's five more students than in 2017, with iTWire having covered the program extensively over the past few years, as seen with links to previous coverage as well a range of video interviews conducted by me with the 2016 delegation of students and also the 2017 delegation here, with both articles also including full video of both year's graduation ceremonies.

Now, for those needing a refresher, we're reminded that "Huawei’s Seeds for the Future fosters local Information & Communications Technology (ICT) talent, promotes interest in the telecommunications sector and encourages a greater understanding of the people and opportunities within Australia’s largest trading partner, China".

It's clearly an immersive program that gives the students the opportunity to "participate in a wide range of Chinese cultural and business experiences over the course from learning Mandarin at the Beijing Language and Cultural University, to visiting The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China".

"Students then visit Huawei’s Shenzhen Headquarters for product and services training with Huawei’s industry leaders."

Huawei Australia chief executive George Huang thanked the Australian Government for its continued support of the Seeds for the Future program and stressed the importance of industry collaboration with universities.

He said: “Each year Huawei brings together young people from around the world to participate in the Seeds for the Future program.

“Industry training and education is vital to ensure Australia’s next generation of ICT professionals are well prepared to contribute to our industry when they enter the workforce.

“Exposure to Huawei’s world-leading research and development environment will help the students to understand the commitment and focus required to continually move the industry forward.”

Jenny Nguyen, a 2017 Seeds for the Future participant from QUT, and now a Systems Engineering Engineer at Boeing, said the program was a true highlight of her university education so far, and you can see my video interview with Nguyen (and other students) in my 2017 coverage here.

She added: “From exciting cultural activities to our time at Huawei University, the range of cultural appreciation and business insights was invaluable.

"With global leaders like Huawei investing in the engineers, architects and IT professionals of the future, it’s exciting to think what lies ahead for me.”

Lisa Connors, the manager of Huawei's Seeds for the Future Program, said: "Next year marks our 15-year anniversary in Australia. While there have been some incorrect things said about our company recently, the great thing about this program is that it is a real investment in Australia’s ICT future.

"The benefits for Australia are long term having better educated, better engaged and shaped globally aware students who will go on to become leaders in our industry.

"Huawei is extremely proud to be involved in helping facilitate this knowledge transfer which will leave a long lasting legacy."

As Huawei reminds us, "Seeds for the Future is a global initiative, implemented in 96 countries worldwide. Since 2013, Huawei Australia has provided over 75 Australian undergraduates with the opportunity to learn about China and to experience Huawei’s dynamic global business.

"Through funding from the Australian Government and ATN members, the Seeds for the Future initiative is recognised as a valuable investment in cultivating young Australian talent in the STEM industry. The program is in its fifth year in Australia and is growing in momentum."

So, who are the 2018 Huawei Seeds for the Future participants?

They are as follows:


  • Reezvy Ali – University of Technology Sydney
  • Joseph Cerdan – University of Technology Sydney
  • Adrienne Fidelino – University of Technology Sydney
  • Lorna Hennessy – University of Technology Sydney
  • Cassandra Phoon – University of Technology Sydney


  • Michael Barbera – Queensland University of Technology
  • Steven Bickley – Queensland University of Technology
  • Michael O'Brien – Queensland University of Technology
  • Kenneth Cheung – Queensland University of Technology
  • Jake Smith – Queensland University of Technology
  • Alexandra Tran – Queensland University of Technology
  • Yuval Bernstein – James Cook University
  • Timothy Coulter – James Cook University
  • Connor Fitzsimmons – James Cook University
  • Jason Owens – James Cook University
  • Elijah Thomas – James Cook University

South Australia

  • Michael Bishop – University of South Australia
  • Riley Bowen – University of South Australia
  • Nicole Carter – University of South Australia
  • Jordan Comley – University of South Australia
  • Vanshika Kapoor – University of South Australia
  • Akash Saini – University of South Australia


  • Stephanie Batten – RMIT University
  • Bradley Denney – RMIT University
  • Claire Taylor-Cuthbertson – RMIT University

Western Australia

  • Munsif Khan – Curtin University
  • Ryan Pyrc – Curtin University
  • Alexander Rose– Curtin University
  • Mia Walters – Curtin University

More information on the Seeds for the Future: China Experience program can be found at Huawei’s global website here, with Huawei's Australian Seeds for the Future website here

Here's some additional info about the Australian Technology Network of Universities and the New Colombo Plan:

"The Australian Technology Network brings together four of the most innovative and enterprising universities in the nation: Curtin University, RMIT University, University of South Australia (UniSA) and University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

"The ATN is committed to forging partnerships with industry and government to deliver practical results through focused research. It educates graduates who are ready to enter their chosen profession, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and eager to claim a stake in building sustainable societies of the future.

"ATN universities teach over 220,000 students, or almost 20% of Australia’s student population. With nearly 1 in 4 international students choosing to study at an ATN university, the ATN is also the largest provider of international education, both with its onshore and offshore students.

"The ATN’s aim is to help secure Australia’s reputation as the clever country, and contribute to its social and economic wealth, while championing the principles of access and equity that have ensured its members are the universities of first choice for more students."

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – New Colombo Plan

"The New Colombo Plan a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

"The New Colombo Plan involves a scholarship program for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, and a flexible mobility grants program for both short and longer- term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research."


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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