Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
I chose to undertake the ACICIS Development Studies Practicum for the holistic learning experiences presented through in-country immersion. As a student in the Master of International Development at RMIT, I was excited for the opportunity to gain practical experience working in the development sector and develop my Indonesian language skills.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant?
Unfortunately, I was not eligible for the New Colombo Grant. I was fortunate enough to be able to receive an Endeavour Postgraduate Mobility Grant through my university.
Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career? Would you like to return to Indonesia again in future?
The professional practicum has enabled me to combine my professional and personal interests in environmental management and community development. During my time here I was also able to further develop my intercultural competency, time management, problem solving, communication and critical reflective skills. Experiences such as these also help you to discover just how strong you are as a person and what you are truly capable of achieving.
Q: What organisation did you intern with?
The organization I interned with was Gili Eco Trust, based on Gili Trawangan. Helping out with Gili Eco Trust is different from your typical 9-5 office internship. We each contributed to the organizations activities by conducting regular beach/land-based clean ups, collecting data for the Anchor Watch Project, assisting at Bank Sampah (the island’s recycling facility) and helping out at the Eco Shop. As a group we were often called to help out with activities outside of our regular planned events or solo projects. One of my favourite learning experiences included helping out with Cats of Gili during one of their clinic events. This included catching stray cats, ferrying them via bicycle to the clinic and releasing them after a good night’s rest.
The focus of my solo project was the Global Alert App. Based on the concept of environmental citizen science, the purpose of the app is to encourage users to log and report ‘trash hotspots’. My tasks included developing a user manual for incoming interns on how to log, report and view trash hotspots on Gili Trawangan using the app. This manual also instructed interns on how to perform administrative functions such as clearing sites that had been cleaned (converting these sites to ‘green’). During my time I was also responsible for writing a case study on how Gili Eco Trust are using the Global Alert App as a way to promote awareness of waste dumping on Gili Trawangan. The data collected through this app plays a critical role in strengthening the organizations case for the implementation of a new Eco Rangers Program. As an additional minor solo project, I was able to contribute to visual merchandising in the Eco Store.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
The work culture at Gili Eco Trust is very friendly, collaborative and relaxed. Our mentors were always open minded and willing to support our ideas and support our personal and professional development. While the environment was very chill, there was always plenty to do and learn.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in the future?
Definitely. While it has been challenging at times, it was also an incredibly rewarding experience that I will never forget.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
I like to go out and explore. I am always searching for good kopi and delicious food, plus it gives me the chance to practice my language skills. It is also important to take the time to unwind, relax and recharge. One of the best aspects of living on an island for four weeks was just sitting and listening to sound of waves crashing on the beach after a morning kopi.
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
Budi’s Warung in Gili Trawangan. It’s a wonderful little family owned business across from the office. Everyone was always so welcoming and friendly. Everything I tried there was amazing, especially the Gado Gado, fried tempeh and the strong coffee that kept me energized throughout my practicum! Special mention also to Banyan Tree for their awesome healthy vegetarian food, Kayu Cafe, Coffee & Thyme and Pituq Warung.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Perpustakaan (library). I felt a great sense of achievement when I could finally pronounce it correctly and it just stuck in my head after that.
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
Before commencing my practicum on Gili Trawangan I was lucky enough to spend some of my free time exploring Yogyakarta, where we visited Borobudur, Prambanan Temple and Taman Sari.