Q: Why did you decide to undertake this ACICIS Professional Practicum?
I loved the idea of going and learning while overseas in a completely new environment. I spent some of my teenage years growing up overseas, and have lived in quite a few places outside of Australia, so I knew it would be a welcome challenge and something I could learn a lot from.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
I did and I was very grateful. Without the grant I would have likely been unable to participate in the program due to the costs associated with living and travelling overseas.
Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
The experience and exposure to new places and people would be beneficial in any field I choose to pursue, even if I chose to study something outside of Biology. At the moment with my degree in Conservation Biology, the Professional Practicum helped me to see how vast and diverse biology and environments are across the globe, and how important it is to involve the local communities.
Q: Which organisation are you interning with? What are your roles and responsibilities?
I was placed with Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF), and the internship took me to several different places. During my time with them I stayed near Ubud in the main office, got the opportunity to travel with founding members and the CEO to Borneo, and the majority of the rest of my time was spent on Nusa Penida (a small Island off the coast of Bali).
On Nusa Penida I learned a lot about how they work with the local communities to conserve the Bali Starling, participated in monitoring programs, community engagement programs, teaching in the local school, and beach clean ups, to name a few of the things I did. Borneo taught me a lot about the reforestation projects, and we travelled on many boats across the rivers and planted many trees.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
My host Organisation of FNPF is used to working with people from overseas so there was almost no language barrier, everyone was really happy to explain cultural differences there and answer my never-ending questions. It really felt like a family, everyone seemed to love to eat and laugh together, which was amazing to be a part of!
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
I definitely think this could be a possibility. I adored my time there!
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
I couldn’t get enough of the natural environments in Indonesia – on Nusa Penida I went to some of the most insanely beautiful beaches. There were beaches where, just by snorkelling, you could easily see some of the most incredible reefs and animals (e.g. turtles and huge fish). Likewise, when I wasn’t on Nusa Penida I loved seeing the waterfalls and forests on the mainland, and Borneo had huge jungles where to get around you would travel down many rivers amongst the trees in small boats.
There were also plenty of interesting and delicious new foods and I loved trying them all.
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
Satay chicken! There were too many places for me to pick just one. I did like eating at the FNPF Nusa Penida main base.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Hati Hati. “Be careful.”
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
Bali mainland (stayed in Jimbaran and Ubud), Nusa Penida, Borneo (Kalimantan).