ACICIS was very pleased to welcome 28 students from the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New South Wales, University of the Sunshine Coast, La Trobe University, Auckland University of Technology, Monash University, Swinburne University, RMIT University, University of South Australia, and the University of Cantebury (Supported by the Asia NZ Foundation), the students came from across Australia and New Zealand to undertake our Journalism Professional Practicum (JPP) in the fast-paced city of Jakarta. 22 students were studying on this program with the support of $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants. Coinciding with the gubernatorial election of Jakarta, this year’s JPP program gave the students an invaluable experience as young journalists.

The program started with two weeks of Bahasa Indonesia courses in Universitas Katholik Atma Jaya and seminar series from many prominent figures in news and media landscapes in Indonesia.  With speakers like Andreas Harsono (Human Rights Watch), Joe Cochrane (New York Times), Yuli Ismartono (Tempo), Ross Tapsell (The Australian National University), Natashya Gutierrez (Rappler), and Rory Asyari (Metro TV) the students were able to gain insights about changes to Indonesia’s media landscape, freedom of the press, and also the future of digital media for a country of almost 250 million citizens. The students also had the opportunity to undertake field trips to Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre in Bogor and Indonesia’s House of Representatives.

At the conclusion of the seminar series, the students began their four week professional placement. Students were placed at 18 host organisations ranging from news organisations, media consulting firms, government and non-government organisation in Jakarta. With visits to other parts of Indonesia such as Surabaya or Bali, students were also publishing many high quality works during their placements. The stories ranged from refugee rights in Rappler Indonesia by Han Nguyen (University of Technology Sydney), animal rights in VICE Indonesia by Julia Hende (Swinburne University), women rights in Jakarta for Jakarta Coconuts by Luke Michael (RMIT University), Chinese New Year Celebrations in Tempo by Gemala Darmadi (Monash University), Government subsidies to combat plastic polution in Jakarta Globe by Kaysee Watson (University of South Australia), Pesticides Apps in Rappler Indonesia by Holley Gawne (Swinburne University), the weaknesses of Indonesia’s passport stamping system in VICE Indonesia by Cassandra Martin (University of Technology Sydney) and Natalie Stuart (University of Technology Sydney), professional basketball in Indonesia in VICE Indonesia by Sean Teuma (the University of New South Wales), and the Indonesian Elections in Reuters Indonesia by Benjamin Weir.

The program was then officially closed in a closing ceremony at Universitas Katholik Atma Jaya and Australian Embassy in Jakarta. On behalf of ACICIS we’d like to thank all partners and organisations that helped ACICIS with this program.

Lastly, we’d also like to congratulate all students on successfully completing the program and in making the most of this program opportunity! We can’t wait to have you back as a future foreign correspondent or as media professionals in Jakarta!