Following the success of the Summer 2022 Virtual Professional Practicum (VPP), ACICIS Study Indonesia welcomed 23 students virtually to the Winter 2022 Professional Practicum program, held from June to September. The students came from various background studies, such as agriculture, business, creative arts and design, development studies, journalism, law and sustainable tourism, from ten Australian universities: The Australian National University, Charles Darwin University, Griffith University, La Trobe University, Monash University, Murdoch University, RMIT University, University of New South Wales, The University of Melbourne, The University of Technology Sydney and The University of Queensland. 23 students completed the VPP with the support of a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. All students were supervised by the ACICIS Academic Program Officer (APO), Mr Pranoto Iskandar.

The VPP participants undertook an academic program which consisted of Indonesian language classes delivered by experienced lecturers from Pusat Pengajaran Bahasa (PPB) Atma Jaya University. The participants were also required to attend a series of seminars. The speakers, ranging from high profile government officials, academics, and practitioners, gave students a glimpse of Indonesia in preparation for their placements. The seminar series covered a wide variety of topics including significant politics and economy issues, sustainable business, human rights and ongoing case studies in Indonesia which were relevant to areas of research collaboration between Australia and Indonesia.

The VPP cohort had the opportunity to be involved in the virtual fieldtrips during the program. The students virtually visited an organisation called BGBJ (‘the seeds of Bantar Gebang’) at Bantar Gebang Landfill, the largest uncovered landfill site in Southeast Asia. BGBJ is an organisation that aims to develop a healthy and safe environment and break the cycle of poverty for the children and people who live and work at Bantar Gebang through education and skills training. The students were welcomed by Resa Boenard, BGBJ founder, who led them on a virtual walking tour around the landfill, recycling plant and surrounding neighbourhood.

The participants also had an opportunity to virtually visit the urban development on the riverbanks of the Kali Code (Code River). During this fieldtrip, students observed the conservation and river management efforts in the area. They participated in discussions with Pemerti Kali Code (individuals involved in urban planning, tourism and development along the Code River).

The students then commenced their nine-week placements at their assigned host organisations. ACICIS collaborated with 17 host organisations for the Winter 2022 Virtual Professional Practicum, ranging from local and international NGOs, research centres, government institutions, business consulting and and start-ups. These organisations included Associated Program for International Law (APINTLAW), Bagus Enrico and Partners, Damn! I Love Indonesia, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Environment Institute, Great Digital Media Indonesia, IDEP Foundation, Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), Jakarta Globe, Koalisi Rakyat untuk Kedaulatan Pangan (KRKP), LindungiHutan, Okusi Associates, Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi (PERLUDEM), SMERU Research Institute, Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) and Travelxism. Throughout their placement, the students were supervised by mentors who are experienced in their field.

We would like to congratulate all 23 students on their incredible work for Winter 2022 Virtual Professional Practicum. We wish all students the best in their future endeavours and we hope to see them all in Indonesia soon as ACICIS resumes in-country programs!