In Semester 48 (January 2019), ACICIS was very pleased  to welcome nine students onto the Development Studies Immersion Program (DSIP), seven of whom undertook the program with the support of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP).

Students commenced the semester with six weeks of intensive Indonesian language study with INCULS at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) and immersion into development issues in Indonesia through seminars and case study visits. After a week of semester break, which is also time used to finish the development research essay, the students undertook an eight week Development Placement where they interned with an array of organisations that focus on different aspects of development within the Yogyakarta region. Here is what some of them got up to!

Jessica Cong from University of New South Wales interned at Credit Union Dharma Prima Kita, an organisation that provides financial services for its members. CU Dharma Prima Kita is also part of the credit union cooperative, Puskopdit Jatra Miguna. During her placement, Jess had the opportunity to observe and understand the internal business operations of credit unions from administrative, consultancy, and legal aspects. She also assisted the team during client consultations and home visits. Furthermore, Jess was an English Tutor for staff and undertook data analysis and mapping work using Google’s ‘My Maps’.

Will Egan-Griffiths from RMIT University worked with Project Child Indonesia, an NGO that focuses on children’s health and ensuring clean environments for those living in coastal and riverside communities of Indonesia. Will assisted the Project Child team to develop an assessment plan for their Drinking Water Program, wrote articles for their website, and provided assistance in proposal writing. Will also had the opportunity to get involved in Project Child’s community visits and events with Kali Code community.

Bethany Holmes and Bianca Hall from RMIT University interned with ViaVia Travel Jogja – an organisation that aims to provide responsible and sustainable tourism options to tourists in Indonesia. Both students worked together to assist the ViaVia team in their current project, Kleco Project, located in Kulon Progo Regency, requiring them to use a Community-Based Tourism (CBT) approach. They provided assistance by researching CBT in Southeast Asia, developing the SWOT analysis of Kleco Project, and writing a recommendation report based on CBT in Kleco using ASEAN’s CBT Standard. The Kleco Project allowed them to have community visits with the ViaVia team where they were able to meet and discuss with locals in Kulon Progo.

Carter Anne Jones from Baylor University in the USA undertook her internship at the ASEAN Studies Center (ASC) Universitas Gadjah Mada, a multi-disciplinary research institution that provides critical and objective assessments on various prominent issues surrounding ASEAN. At ASC, Carter helped the team with ambassadorial lectures and Bincang ASEAN events. She also wrote two ASEAN Notes and a working paper as well as assisted the proof-reading and editing of journal submissions.

Miranda Lucas from Monash University had the opportunity to intern at SAMSARA, an organisation that focuses on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women in Indonesia. As part of the Education and Advocacy division, she was involved in designing SAMSARA’s campaigns and workshops for a range of communities. Miranda was even able to plan and organise a discussion on Consent Culture at the Faculty of Law at Universitas Gadjah Mada. The placement with SAMSARA allowed Miranda to meet and to interact with a broad range of communities in Yogyakarta.

This semester Rumah Energi hosted Nicole Lucas (Murdoch University) for a placement in their Yogyakarta and Central Java offices. Rumah Energi’s mission is to make renewable energy accessible for households, specifically biogas, through their ‘Biogas Rumah’ (BIRU) – biogas for houses – program.  During the eight week placement, Nicole gained first-hand experience in the community program implementation of biogas by participating in the site-visits to dozens of kampung (villages) around Central Java, the Special Region of Yogyakarta, and East Java provinces. She also assisted the Rumah Energi team to write up site-visit reports and BIRU ‘success stories’ in an effort to promote the program and its good work. Nicole also participated in a two-day biogas reactor construction training program. Furthermore, she had the opportunity to attend the Rumah Energi stakeholder meeting with government agencies.

Macey Mayes from the University of Louisville, USA, completed her placement with the Politics and Democracy Department of Yayasan SATUNAMA, an organisation that focuses on community empowerment, governance, and political awareness on the basis of rights, respect, and resilience. Macey worked on topics related to the Indonesian election, such as female representation in Indonesian politics, the 2019 election, and election fraud, including the effects of Indonesia’s 30% gender quota. During her placement, Macey had the opportunity to visit BAWASLU (Badan Pengawas Pemilihan Umum- election supervisory agency) of Special Region Yogyakarta and meet several heads of political parties and female candidates for interviews, as well as talk about Indonesian and US politics at the University of AMIKOM Yogyakarta.

Kirsty Stewart from Murdoch University interned at Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ), a non-profit animal welfare and equality organisation that fights animal cruelty and is committed to improving animal welfare through proactive education, campaigns, research, and rescues. During her placement, Kirsty assisted AFJ in daily animal care and community events for campaign and fundraising. She also had the opportunity to attend a symposium about animal rights issues at UGM.

The DSIP was brought to a close in June with academic presentations from all students, wherein the students reflected upon their individual eight week placements to their peers, Host Organisation mentors, and ACICIS team members.

We would like to congratulate our students on their achievements and contributions, as well as extend thanks to our wonderful Host Organisations! A big congratulations to all the DSIP Semester 48 troopers! ACICIS wishes you all the best going forward. Terima kasih banyak and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours!