In August 2019 (ACICIS’ Semester 49), ACICIS welcomed 4 students onto the Agriculture Semester Program (ASP) to study at IPB University in Bogor. All students undertook the program with the support of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) initiative. ACICIS would like to congratulate our ASP Semester 49 students for successfully completing their semester of coursework at IPB and their professional placements in various agriculture institutions around Bogor.

Lucas Cary from The University of Western Australia was placed at the global headquarters of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor. He undertook his placement concurrently with his classes at IPB. At CIFOR he worked two days per week within the Sustainable Landscapes and Livelihoods (SLL) team and was engaged in research on how forests and trees contribute to wellbeing, food and nutrition security, ecosystem services, and biodiversity. Assigned with two major projects, ‘Hunting in Papua’ and ‘Leveraging Climate Finance for Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction’, Lucas’ main tasks included literature synthesis, report editing, bibliography construction, and infographic creation. Being placed at CIFOR has provided him with an opportunity to gain experience in a sector in which he has no prior experience. He also focused on tropical studies, which does not exist in Perth, Western Australia. He experienced firsthand the family culture and inclusiveness of CIFOR staff and enjoyed the fantastic campus life with friends. Lucas said “I contributed towards the CIFOR mission of working towards a world which is more equitable, where forestry and landscapes enhance the natural environment and human well-being”.

Isabel Ings from Curtin University was placed at PT Bogor Life Science and Technology (BLST) in Bogor. She undertook her placement concurrently with her classes at IPB. Isabel worked on a project with Biomedical Technology Indonesia, a sub-unit of BLST, which produce biological material for specific vaccines against Polio and Avian Influenza. She surveyed veterinary clinics, farms, and primate animal study centers in and around Bogor to establish medical testing facilities that were seeking a diagnosis of animals kept in their care. Isabel also worked with FITS Mandiri, a food industrial teaching system, to teach IPB University students about the production of commercial food products on a large scale. She completed a market analysis to assess the potential of the functional food of FITS appealing to an Australia market due to future plans of expansion. Besides this, she also volunteered at AUSTREX, one of Australia’s largest exporters of livestock in the Indonesian representative office in Tangerang. Throughout her placement, Isabel noted that her greatest achievements were to gain exceptional networking skills and to have made valuable connections with industry professionals during her time completing the Agricultural Semester Program. Isabel also noted that her growth in responsibility and professionalism will be carried on to her next ventures in the university and her future career.

James Haley from The University of Western Australia was also placed at PT Bogor Life Science and Technology (BLST) in Bogor, alongside his classes at IPB. James was interested in PT BLST because of its diverse portfolios, as BLST focuses on plants that it is in line with James’s passion. During his placement, James were assigned in seed processing and packaging of Callina Papaya seeds and organised them for transport and sale to various expos. Additionally, he assisted in diversifying PT BSI’s seed portfolio by securing a deal with Garden Express, translating or editing a variety of marketing and training materials. Moreover, James attended some expos throughout the semester, including the 34th National Indonesia Trade Expo in Tangerang and visited the Fruit Paradise agro tourism project in Subang, West Java. His duties included some horticultural training such as grafting, propagation techniques and transplanting. In James’s words “I learned skills which will be valuable to me later in my careers such as business modeling, marketing, seed processing, and horticultural techniques.’’

Being placed at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Bogor, Tayla Allison from Western Sydney University expressed her interest in research activities related to global conservation and community development. During her internship, she worked with the marine program team and helped with their shark and ray, marine protected areas, and fisheries projects. She also worked with a large team consisting of ecologists, marine biologists, and conservationists. Furthermore, Tayla had an opportunity from WCS to see all those aspects and strategies that they use to maximise their impacts and ensure smooth operations with support from local communities. She stated “The most important accomplishment for me was learning how to work in Indonesia, learning their workplace etiquette and cultural differences appropriate to work. This will help me to be more culturally sensitive when I arrive back home, as I understand better the differences in work styles for Asian cultures.”

The semester finished with a celebratory dinner and gift exchanges with other students, student buddies, and ACICIS staff. ACICIS would like to thank IPB University for hosting the program for another remarkable semester and to the valued Host Organisations for the professional placement opportunities and support provided to our ASP students.

Finally, ACICIS is very proud of all ASP 49 students’ achievements and we hope that the experiences they gained at IPB University and work placements can enrich both their academic and non-academic knowledge and these will increase their mutual understanding and cooperation between Indonesia and Australia. We wish our students a huge success on their goals and future career, sampai bertemu lagi!