In January-February 2018, ACICIS Study Indonesia welcomed 27 students onto the Journalism Professional Practicum (JPP). Students came together for this program from a number of Australian universities including Monash University, RMIT, Murdoch University, QUT, The University of South Australia, The University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, The University of Tasmania and The University of Western Australia. Of this year’s JPP students, 19 received a New Colombo Plan mobility grant to assist them on this program.

For the first two weeks of the program, students undertook intensive Indonesian Language classes at Atma Jaya University in Jarkarta, and attended seminars in which they learned about Indonesian politics and media, and cross-cultural reporting. During the Indonesian Politics 101 seminar, ACICIS was honoured to hear from Dr Philips Vermonte, the Executive Director of the Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Dr Yanuar Nugroho, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Analysis and Oversight of Strategic Issues on Social, Cultural and Ecological Affairs at the Executive Office of the President of Indonesia. To complement the students’ understanding of politics in a media landscape, we also invited the senior editor of The Jakarta Post, Mr Endy Bayuni, and Dr Ross Tapsell, ANU lecturer and researcher specialising in media and culture in Southeast Asia.

“I really enjoyed the seminar as it enabled us to have a better understanding about the media and current condition in Indonesia, I think we were really lucky to have high-profile speakers in the past two weeks,” JPP 2018 participant.

JPP students then went on to undertake a professional placement in Jakarta. Students were placed at a total of 16 local and international non-profit and media organisations, including The Conversation, Reuters Indonesia, Agence France Presse, Forbes Indonesia, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Tempo, The Jakarta Post, and Jakarta Globe.

During their placements, students were pursuing stories on topics ranging from animal rights, written by Allison Hore (UTS) for The Jakarta Post, to LGBT issues and Indonesia’s controversial law amendment proposal, written by Samantha Goerling (UWA) for The Conversation Indonesia.

“I didn’t expect writing about stories in Indonesia to be this complex, it’s tough but it’s really exciting, I gain new knowledge every day and now I have a better understanding about Indonesia,” JPP 2018 participant.

After 6 weeks of conversations with Go-Jek drivers, Nasi Goreng sellers, their colleagues in newsroom, and politicians in press conferences, the JPP students undoubtedly have reached higher level of understanding of Indonesia’s politics and media. When it all came to an end, Ben Rodin, a student from The University of Melbourne, concluded the program in an eloquent speech at the closing ceremony at Atma Jaya with a simple question: “What will you do next, now that you know what you know?”

ACICIS is wishing the best for all JPP 2018 students going forward, and we would also like to thank all stakeholders involved in the program for their endless support. Terima kasih banyak and see you in the ACICIS’ JPP 2019.