In July 2019 (ACICIS’ Semester 49), we welcomed sixteen students onto ACICIS’ Development Studies Immersion Program (DSIP), fifteen of whom undertook the program with the support of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP).

Students started the semester program with six-weeks of Indonesian language study with INCULS at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). They began learning about various Indonesian development issues through a seminar series and case study visits to different development sites in Yogyakarta. After a week of semester break, students finished up their development research essays and started their eight-week Development Placement, where they interned with an array of organisations that focus on different aspects of development within the Yogyakarta region. 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 fantastic Host Organisations!

This semester, ACICIS partnered with PPMK Bantul (Pemberdayaan Perempuan Untuk Memerangi Kemiskinan / Empowering Women to Fight Poverty), a non-profit organisation which works to empower poor women through microcredit, health, and scholarship programs. Ruby Watters from The University of Sydney was placed here and she was deeply involved in many of PPMK’s projects such as designing English curriculum, English tutoring for children and PPMK staffs, translating documents, and cataloguing book donations. She was also able to engage with the assisted communities during the numerous home visits.

Kolini Taefotu and Bethany Doherty from The University of Sydney interned with Yayasan SAMIN (Sekretariat Anak Merdeka Indonesia or The Indonesian Secretariat for Free Children). Both students were able to join in field research with SAMIN team, which enabled them to interact with communities and stakeholders through various focused group discussions. Beth and Kolini were tasked to write field note reports and a research paper to deepen their knowledge on child protection policy comparison in Australia and Indonesia. They were also able to attend the Festival HAM (HAM=human rights) for three days in Jember, East Java.

Rifka Annisa, a women’s crisis centre with the mission to eliminate domestic violence against women through empowerment this semester hosted Erin Van Zetten (Monash University) and Sabrina Johnson (The University of Sydney) for their eight-week placement. During their internship, they had the opportunity to learn about domestic violence and mental health, and sex education issues through literature reviews, interviews, and workshops. Erin and Sabrina also had the chance to talk about sex education in Australia and Indonesia twice on radio shows, and were also able to join in a community visit with the Rifka Annisa team in Gunungkidul.

Lachlan Colgrave from RMIT University had the opportunity to intern with Center for Digital Society (CfDS) UGM, a research centre which focuses on contemporary digital society issues. Lachlan was tasked to write a commentary research paper and critical question article to be published on CfDS website. He also actively assisted CfDS in organising its various events and was able to present his case study in a Public Digital-Future Discussion. Besides this, he generously dedicated his spare time to be a volunteer in the mental health department of Yayasan SATUNAMA.

Chloe McNeil (the University of the Sunshine Coast) undertook her placement with Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), an NGO which works to counter crimes that threaten orangutan and their natural habitats. At COP, she assisted with numerous administration tasks such as approaching schools in Yogyakarta as part of the COP school visit program, creating PPT and translation, and developing a proposal for new branding ideas. Chloe was also involved in assisting with COP events for the school camp, a visit to classes at UGM, and an International Organisation Fair at UPN Yogyakarta. Moreover, she had an opportunity to prepare and to lead a fundraising event.

Cassandra Stamatescu (Monash University) had the opportunity to intern at Harapan Fian, an organisation which focuses on advocating and on supporting underprivileged children. During her eight-week placement, she provided assistance with teaching English for children, designing a new website, creating flyers for social media, and designing postcards for donators. She also had the chance to join several regular children gatherings and attended a workshop at PKBI Yogyakarta.

This semester, Project Child Indonesia (PCI), which works on poverty alleviation and child welfare in the coastal and riverside communities, hosted Adam Hegedus (University of New South Wales) and Isabelle Peters (The University of Sydney) for their placement. Adam worked primarily in designing the program planning for the next three years, scoping of the plan, creating activity designs, and completing a strategic review and recommendation report for PCI. During his internship, he was also able to visit three sites of sekolah sungai (river school) in Yogyakarta and sekolah pantai (beach school) site in Pacitan, East Java. Besides this, he assisted PCI in conducting its organisational workshop. Isabelle assisted the team in creating campaign videos about the PCI program, designing social media content, writing an article for the PCI website about community engagement, and assisting the team in organising the volunteer goodbye party. She also had the opportunity to deepen her knowledge in community engagement by visiting all sekolah sungai in Yogyakarta and sekolah pantai site in Pacitan, East Java.

Cindy Uzzell (Charles Darwin University) completed her placement with RedR Indonesia, an international humanitarian agency working for improving international emergency relief. She completed a wide range of tasks by assisting Red R team with numerous proofreading and writing articles for the RedR website, including designing social media content and an email newsletter. Besides this, she was actively involved in helping the RedR team at their training events out of office.

ACICIS was delighted to be working with the Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies (Pusat Studi Sosial Asia Tenggara (PSSAT) of UGM again in 2019. PSSAT is a research centre that focuses on social issues in Southeast Asia. PSSAT hosted Amelia Harvey (RMIT University) and Krishna Samtani (The University of Adelaide) for their DSIP placement. Amelia was tasked with proofreading and editing articles for the IKAT journal – The Indonesian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, published by PSSAT. She also had an opportunity to assist with the PSSAT SEA Movie (Southeast Asian Short Film Festival) event. In addition, Amelia was able to talk about foreign domestic workers in Singapore at SEA Chat (Southeast Asian Chat) presentation at UPN Yogyakarta. During her spare time, Amelia volunteered at ASEAN Studies Center (ASC) UGM. Krishna also worked on assisting PSSAT in numerous proofreading tasks for IKAT journal and papers. He also had a chance to talk about the Tengger tribe at Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Ampel Surabaya, and attended a meeting at the headquarter of Tribun news media in Yogyakarta along with the PSSAT team. For PSSAT events, he assisted the team with the SEA Movie event and was in charge as MC for one of the sessions.

This semester, we were thrilled to work with The Learning Farm (TLF), an organisation with a residential organic farm for street and other vulnerable youth which provides training camp. This organisation, which is located in Cianjur, West Java, hosted Lauren Hamilton (Murdoch University) for her DSIP placement. At TLF, Lauren assisted the team in planning as well as teaching English for training participants, proofreading and translating documents, and assisting the team in organising the gathering events for youth such as movie nights, craft-weaving workshops, and camping.

For Semester 49, we worked once more with Yayasan Rumah Energi (YRE), an NGO with a mission to make renewable energy accessible for households, specifically biogas, through their ‘Biogas Rumah’ (BIRU) – biogas for houses – program. YRE hosted Karen Bennet and Ho Yeon Lau from Murdoch University for their internship. Karen spent most of her placement period in Lombok to assist Rumah Ilham, a local partner of YRE which was running their project on combating plastic waste. She supported the team in conducting field research, strategic marketing development plan for five years, and desk research on rural women entrepreneurship stories. Ho Yeon Lau assisted the YRE team in various site visits and quality control inspections as well as writing up campaign success story for YRE’s website. He also had the opportunity to attend multiple stakeholder meetings with government agencies, profit companies, and YRE partner organisations in various regencies in provinces of Central and East Java to expand YRE project in promoting biogas and bio-slurry fertiliser for agriculture.

Congratulations to all of our DSIP Semester 49 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!