Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS Law Professional Practicum?
I have an interest in working in the Asia-Pacific region and I wanted to develop practical legal skills in the region. I also wanted to gain greater knowledge of commercial law practice, and improve my Indonesian language proficiency at the same time.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
Yes, I received a New Colombo Plan grant. It helped cover some of the ACICIS tuition fees and facilitated my participation in the program.
Q: How will the Law Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
The practicum has been beneficial in providing me with greater commercial awareness, a nuanced cultural understanding and confidence to exercise my legal skills as a lawyer in the Indo-Pacific area. I now also have a greater comprehension of substantive and procedural aspects of Indonesian law in key areas such as Labour Law, Indonesian human rights and Islamic law which has furthered my interest to work in the legal sector within the Asia Pacific region. The program has also allowed me to cultivate a strong network of legal colleagues and friends whom I hope to work with in the future. The practicum has also allowed me to make some strides in improving my Indonesian language proficiency which I continue to foster and develop back in Australia through self-study and language exchange meetups hosted by the Australian-Indonesian Youth Association NSW chapter.
Q: Which organisation are you interning with? What are your roles and responsibilities?
I interned at the Jakarta office of Norton Rose Fulbright (TNB and Partners), a global law firm focused on commercial law. I completed rotations in the ‘Banking and Finance’ team and ‘Corporate’ team. I completed a range of legal tasks such as, and not limited to, writing legal memorandums, legal research into telecommunication companies and stock financing, responding to client questions through complex problem solving, reading over contracts and event of default clauses and even visiting the court. The firm also provided me with comprehensive workshops on various topics such as commercial arbitration, dispute resolution, foreign investment, due diligence.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
I greatly enjoyed the work culture of the host organisation. Not only was everyone at the firm incredibly welcoming and amicable but I felt like I really connected with the people. During the lunch break, a portion of the Associates at the firm would all eat together in the kitchen/ eating area which differed from my experiences in Australia where workers often eat at their desks, alone or with only a few other people on a regular basis. This helped build friendships, a sense of joviality and community. The firm also ran yoga sessions once a week in the evening which was a great way to de-stress with other colleagues. I think the culture of a law firm is still similar in some respects to Australia and while the hours are long, everyone is tight-knit and supports each other.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
Absolutely! I would love to work there in the future.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
While living in Jakarta I spent my weekends volunteering at a community organisation called ‘Rumah Pohon’, located on the border of Banten province. The organisation is focused on developing imagination and soft skills (creativity, problem solving, communication skills, leadership, team work, and empathy) for children aged 5-18 years who have been economically unfortunate. Many of the children are street children and/ or have grown up in abject poverty. My main role was teaching English to the children. Aside from this, I also spent my spare time studying Indonesian, talking to the locals and visiting some of the cultural attractions in the city.
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
Ketoprak, Tempe Goreng, martabak (both the sweet and savoury!), Gado Gado, Beef Rendang, bebek goreng (fried duck). I became a frequenter at Bakmi GM for their mouth-watering pangsit and noodles.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Selamat makan! Because there is no sincerer love than the love of food!
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
I mostly visited places in and around Jakarta such as Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Bintaro, Kota Tua, Jalan Surabaya, Monas tower, Wayang Puppet Museum and Museum MACAN (a contemporary/ modern Art museum). I also made a visit to Bandung to meet old friends.