For the first time in 2 years, ACICIS had the absolute pleasure to finally host 14 students in-country for the Summer Agriculture Professional Practicum (APP) from January to February 2022. Eight Australian universities were represented by our students, including the University of Melbourne, The Australian National University (ANU), University of Western Australia (UWA), RMIT University, Murdoch University, Curtin University, The University of Adelaide, and Deakin University. With a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant, they have all successfully completed the APP with flying colours.

Participants of this year’s APP took part in intensive 2-week academic program activities that included a series of agriculture and environment-related seminars and field visits, in addition to an in-depth 40 hour total of language courses offered by Atma Jaya Catholic University’s Language Centre. To better prepare APP participants for their 4-week, real work thorough placements, our speakers for the lecture series provided students with an overview of the Indonesian agricultural and environmental system. Ranging from high profile academics, government officials, NGO directors, and practitioners, these seminars addressed a broad range of subjects, such as important agricultural concerns that Indonesia is facing, climate resilience strategies, food security and distribution in Indonesia, and how the IA-CEPA affects the agricultural sector.

APP participants also had the privilege to experience two field trip locations in Jakarta, from urban farming and permaculture sites to mangrove forests and conservation areas. At Agro Edukasi Wisata (AEW) Ragunan, participants had first-hand experience of witnessing sustainable farming and permaculture practices in Indonesia, and seeing how it is applied in the context of the local wisdom, especially in a highly urbanised area like Central Jakarta. And lastly, at Taman Wisata Alam (TWA) Mangrove, APP participants deepened their understanding of the contemporary issues of mangrove ecosystem and management in Indonesia, and how the local communities, governments, and stakeholders contribute to its restoration and conservation.

As the final and most important phase of the program, APP participants then spent a total of their last four weeks interning at host organisations all around Indonesia. For the 2023 Agriculture Professional Practicum, ACICIS partnered and collaborated with 8 host organisations, including environmental consultants, livestock businesses, and international and local NGOs in the fields of food production and distribution, marine debris, forestry, reef conservation, and mangrove conservation. Among these organisations are Koalisi Rakyat untuk Kedaulatan Pangan (KRKP), Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme Indonesia (NTFP-EP Indonesia), Reef Check Indonesia, Environment Institute, Rikolto Indonesia, Mangrove Nusantara, Divers Clean Action (DCA), and Australian Rural Exports Pty. Ltd. (AUSTREX). Throughout the entirety of their placements and internships, our students were overseen by their organization mentors who have had countless field and technical experience in their professions, as well as by our very own Academic Program Officer, Dr. Ari Rakatama.

It is with smiles on our faces and great pride and joy that we congratulate each and every one of our 14 students on their outstanding performance and achievement in the 2023 Agriculture Professional Practicum. We wish nothing but the best for these students in their future endeavors, and hope that they return back to Australia a different person.