In July 2018 (ACICIS’ Semester 47), we welcomed four students onto ACICIS’ Development Studies Immersion Program (DSIP), three of which undertook the program with the support of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan initiative. Students started the semester program with six-weeks of Indonesian language study with INCULS at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and began learning about various Indonesian development issues through a seminar series and case study visits to various development sites in Yogyakarta.

The students then undertook an eight-week placement at either a local organisation or for a local community. Two students undertook the DSIP Development Placement, where students intern for a local organisation working in an area of development within the Yogyakarta region. The other two students chose to complete the Student Community Service stream – locally called Kuliah Kerja Nyata or KKN – facilitated by UGM. The KKN is a compulsory program for many local students – and is generously made available to ACICIS international students – whereby students relocate to a particular community in need to develop a response to an immediate local development issue.

The DSIP was brought to a close in December with academic presentations from all students, wherein the students shared details about and reflected upon their individual placements.

We would like to congratulate our students on their achievements and contributions, as well as extend thanks to our wonderful Host Organisations!

DSIP Final Presentation Group Photo

Michele Roche from Murdoch University undertook her placement with Mitra Wacana Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) Yogyakarta, a non-government organisation (NGO) working in various women’s issues, including migrant workers, trafficking of women and children, gender-based violence, domestic violence, health and reproduction and HIV AIDS. During her internship, Michele had the opportunity to work on Mitra Wacana’s women and children’s learning centre project (Pusat Pembelajaran Perempuan dan Anak or P3A), which enabled her to visit and engage with the community in the Kulon Progo Regency. Michele was actively involved in the evaluation of this project by creating a work plan, designing questionnaires, collecting data, and producing a comprehensive report of the P3A project evaluation.

Michele Roche Final Presentation
Michele Roche Final Presentation Group Photo

ACICIS was delighted to be working with the Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies (Pusat Studi Sosial Asia Tenggara (PSSAT) of UGM again in 2018. PSSAT is a research centre that focuses on social issues in Southeast Asia. PSSAT hosted Taylah Bell from Murdoch University for her eight-week internship. Taylah assisted PSSAT in writing two articles about social issues in Myanmar, proofreading and editing articles for IKAT – The Indonesian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, published by PSSAT – and attending various PSSAT discussion events. Moreover, Taylah had the opportunity to be a speaker herself at a SEA-Chat event – a discussion forum that invites students to discuss issues related to Southeast Asia. Here, Taylah presented a Comparative Analysis of Blasphemy Laws in Singapore and Indonesia.

Taylah Bell Final Presentation

Aleesha Hanczakowski, from Murdoch University and Katherine Keane, from The University of Adelaide, chose to undertake KKN for their DSIP placement. Aleesha and Katherine had the opportunity to live in a rural area of Yogyakarta named Jatiayu Village, Gunungkidul, which is 50 kilometers away from Yogyakarta city. They lived here with other students from UGM for eight weeks and worked on a project profiling health issues in the village. Their KKN placement enabled Aleesha and Katherine to be fully immersed in the Indonesian village life while contributing to their Australian degrees.

Aleesha lived in Tuwuhan sub-village with five local UGM students. For her individual program, Aleesha initiated and launched a mental health campaign. Aleesha produced a presentation on how to talk about mental health, in collaboration with Katherine Keane, and a survey for youth to complete about their lifestyle. Aleesha also mapped Tuwuhan housewives’ lifestyles and used the information to create informative brochures about health. Aleesha also sought to engage young women in arts and set up an English class for teenagers. All this was not enough, and Aleesha also assisted her fellow KKN peers on another program during the placement.

Kath lived with six local UGM students during her KKN placement and had the opportunity to carry out her individual KKN program at Tegalsari sub-village. Kath initiated a mental health awareness campaign as well as mapped the lifestyle of Tegalsari mothers through surveys. Kath also assisted the Karang Taruna-youth organisation by creating a Facebook page to improve organisation communication by giving them an effective online platform. Kath created and distributed brochures about the quality of a healthy lifestyle, including ways to improve one’s lifestyle. She designed fitness programs for teenagers and mothers, and assisted children and teenagers in and English language study group.

Congratulations to all of our DSIP Semester 47 participants! We are all very proud of you and thank you for a wonderful semester learning about the development issues in Indonesia. ACICIS wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavours! Terima kasih banyak!