In January 2019, ACICIS welcomed two students to Bogor for the Agriculture Semester Program (ASP) hosted by Bogor Agricultural University (IPB). Kirrily Simmer (Western Sydney University) and Cameron Stone (The University of Western Australia) were recipients of a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. After undertaking various academic subjects in agriculture at IPB for five months, students have recently completed a four-week professional placement in agriculture institutions. Let’s see what our students got up to on their placements!

Kirrily was placed at Rikolto in partnership with Gita Pertiwi, a local non-profit organisation in Solo, Central Java. During her internship, Kirrily participated in Gita Pertiwi’s regular activities, meetings and workshops. She also had tasks such as writing profiles about food-sharing, urban farming and healthy food canteen programs. Kirrily helped to translate documents into English for Gita Pertiwi’s website and promotional materials. Moreover, she was able to experience Halal bi Halal, an Indonesian event celebrated post-Ied-Fitr holiday to ask forgiveness and be forgiven.

Kirrily’s time with Gita Pertiwi shifted her perspective on how grassroots programs can help individuals in the modern era, but also lead to standardisation and systemic change. Kirrily’s placement broadened her perspective and ability to think critically about the food system that she grew up with in Australia. In her own words, Kirrily added, “my internship at Gita Pertiwi was the highlight of my Indonesian experience. Staying in Bogor and then undertaking placement in Solo were what I initially imagined before I came, it is amazing.”

Cameron undertook his placement at Australian Rural Exports Pty Ltd (AUSTREX), a livestock import company based in Tangerang. Cameron spent his four-week internship inspecting abattoirs and feedlots to learn about the ESCAS Protocol. He also conducted office administration activities such as End of Processing (EOPs) and leave notices. Furthermore, Cameron noted that some of his placement achievements were an enhanced ability to communicate with various stakeholders and gain an understanding of the cultural impact of livestock processes and Australia’s management of the supply chain. “Unlike in Indonesia, in Australia Muslim people make up a minority. This means that the halal process of animal slaughter isn’t widely practised. Something I was exposed to at the abattoirs was this process. It was certainly eye-opening to see how it is conducted and the importance of ethical procedures beforehand,” he added.

The semester was wrapped-up with a celebratory dinner and staff, students and their buddies exchanged gifts. ACICIS would like to thank IPB 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. We do hope that Kirrily and Cameron’s study and placement experiences will continue to enrich their academic, cross-cultural and personal development and bring a mutual benefit for all organisations involved.

Finally, ACICIS would like to congratulate Kirrily and Cameron for completing their semester of coursework at IPB, as well as their professional placements. We wish our students the best of luck in their future endeavours. Sampai jumpa lagi!