And that’s a wrap! A big congratulations to the ACICIS Semester 43 (August 2016) Development Studies Immersion Program (DSIP) students for completing the program with flying colours! The program concluded with two days of presentations where the participants shared and reflected on their experience throughout the semester.

After completing six weeks of Indonesian language study,attending seminars and visiting various development sites in Yogyakarta, our 13 DSIP students had the opportunity to work on development projects from a large range of areas. 12 of our students chose to undertake the DSIP Development Placement, where they were able to gain experience working in community-based development organisation. 1 student chose to complete the Student Community Service module, where students are placed in local villages and take part in community development projects. Some of the students were even lucky enough to explore the development issues outside of Yogyakarta!

Diana Course from University of Tasmania, was placed on Nusa Lembongan Island to intern with Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF). During her internship, Diana assisted MMF with their projects on monitoring manta rays surrounding the Nusa Penida district and micro-plastic research. Diana has more than 20 years of experience in programming and software development and assisted MMF in monitoring their environmental dive log data and data analysis.

Natariga Panyawatcharakun from RMIT University had the opportunity to travel to Berastagi town in the highlands of Northern Sumatra as part of her placement with Yayasan Sheep Indonesia (YSI). Having expressed a passion in disaster risk management and reduction, Natariga was welcomed by two of YSI’s division teams: Community Empowerment and Advocacy Program in Yogyakarta and Emergency Response, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program in Berastagi. Through her experience with YSI, she learned how to conduct an assessment (based on the Sphere Project’s Standards) on water and sanitation conditions at Internally Displaced Persons’ camps surrounding the currently-active Sinabung Volcano.

Candice Brady from Murdoch University was working with the team from Rumah Inspirasi Jogja, a grassroots organisation that aims to educate the community on the importance of sustainability and waste management. Throughout her time with Rumah Inspirasi, Candice assisted them with their social enterprise project for the youth of the community, where she realised that businesses can be created to form stronger relationships between friends and people in the village. Candice also volunteered teaching English at a high school and in the community, and put together a Sustainability Report and website for Rumah Inspirasi.

Noona Auderset and Toby McCrae from University of Tasmania spent their eight-week development project period assisting Rumah Impian with providing care and assistance for street children in Yogyakarta. Noona and Toby worked primarily at the Hope Shelter, teaching different workshops for the children after school, such as mural painting, cooking and gardening. They also initiated a fundraiser for Rumah Impian through a fun Trivia Night, where they were able to successfully secure several sponsors.

Peter Morley from Murdoch University undertook his development placement with Yayasan SAMIN and was involved with the Trafficking, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and Sexual Exploitation Children in Travel and Tourism (SECTT) programs. During his placement, Peter’s tasks and duties were centred on the education programs addressing online sexual exploitation, child sex tourism, and child trafficking, as well as attending meetings with other service providers.

Natassia Bell from RMIT University and Jake Turvey from Murdoch University assisted Project Child Indonesia’s Research Division team with an investigation into the daily eating and drinking habits of children in Yogyakarta. From this research, Natassia and Jake helped put together a 7-week course curriculum for Project Child addressing various nutritional issues, in hopes that the curriculum will contribute to Project Child’s after school classes and partner schools.

Emma Saikovski from Murdoch University, was also placed at Project Child Indonesia in the Social Enterprise and Fundraising Division. During her placement period, Emma wrote a business proposal for the upcoming Project Child Store. Being a certified Yoga teacher in Western Australia, Emma also ran a Yoga & Meditation fundraising event at one of Yogyakarta’s renowned spa centres, raising around one million rupiah and tickets sold out within the first two days.

Aster Haile from RMIT University did her development placement at Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Indonesia, an organisation that aims to accompany, serve and advocate the refugees and asylum seekers who are currently in Indonesia. In 2016, JRS Indonesia hosted the Jesuit Refugee Service Asia Pacific Regional Meeting, and Aster helped with note taking and report writing for the event. She also assisted with JRS’ Research Centre, translations, data input and analysis, and supported English classes for refugees in Yogyakarta.

Emma Hardy from Monash University undertook her placement at Rifka Annisa Women’s Crisis Centre, an organisation working with women, children and men to mitigate the issue of violence in Indonesia. Emma worked with the Public Relations and Media department, assisting them with the Rifka Goes to School Program, research and reporting, translations, office visitor sessions and company profile video. Throughout her placement, Emma had the opportunity to visit schools in the Gunung Kidul region of Yogyakarta with Rifka Annisa team, where they informed and educated teachers on issues such as bullying and violence, as well as the best approaches to mitigate them. Emma’ favourite experience was visiting several local Islamic leaders with the Rifka Annisa team to discuss the issues of child marriage in the community.

Bendik Stormo from University of Sunshine Coast completed his placement with Yayasan Satunama. He ran two projects on Community Disaster Management by himself at a school in Keningar village, and with the villagers of Sumber village. His tasks and duties include making modules, running the activities at the villages, and putting together reports for both projects. He also helped the communities boost their tourism potentials by creating two videos, exposing the highlights of the area, which includes a violin fact

Myora Kane from University of Queensland chose to undertake the Student Community Service – or locally called ‘Kuliah Kerja Nyata’ or KKN – facilitated by Gadjah Mada University (UGM). For eight weeks, Myora lived in a rural area of Yogyakarta named Beji Village, Gunung Kidul, with other students from UGM. Myora assisted the community of Beji Village with the promotions of their tourism through marketing via social media, documenting the traditional musical arrangement using the Beji’s own traditional musical instrument of rinding, translating the Cultural and Art Catalogue of Beji Village, developing the caping craft industry, as well as assisting the village with their preparation to compete in the Cultural Competition in Wonosari. Myora also taught English, and, using her background in engineering, she assisted her fellow KKN participants in installing water filters for the village.

Job well done to all of the DSIP Semester 43 participants! We are all very proud of you and thank you for a fantastic semester learning about the development scenes and issues in Indonesia. We hope that this experience has given you a lot of positive learning as an oleh-oleh to bring back home. Congratulations and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours!