New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia’s future - study in the region.

Virtual Public Health Study Tour

Geroge Lines is a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from University of Western Australia. George undertook the Virtual Public Health Study Tour in January 2021.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake this virtual program?

I am doing the Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) and am required to do exchange as part of my degree. Due to COVID and general expense I wanted to choose a short exchange that would meet the requirements. VPHST would be a perfect choice because I am also studying public health.


Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Why do you think the NCP is an important initiative?

Yes, I did receive a NCP. The NCP initiative is important because it strengthens Australian-Indonesian professional relationships. The future of the Indo-Pacific will require stronger alliances for all countries to prosper and the NCP builds some of those connections.


Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual program?

The most rewarding aspects were networking elements with professionals and colleagues and their insight about Indonesian culture and society.


Q: What did you find to be the most challenging about your experience on the Virtual PHST?

The most challenging part of the tour was staying engaged during the long sessions. Especially to the end of the program, maintaining focus sometimes became challenging


Q: What public health issues in Indonesia have you become more interested in/aware of as a result of this virtual tour?

I became more interested in dengue as I learnt about the different types of dengue and about the Wolbachia program.


Q: What was your favourite virtual fieldtrip?

I enjoyed the Wolbachia field trip the most because I was most interested in their facilities and how they manage their specimens.


Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program?

I found the most informative part of the tour was Professor Reeve’s lecture on Indonesia. It gave me good insight on politics, community and other macrosocial forces that act on Indonesia.


Q: How do you think the Virtual Public Health Study Tour will influence your future career or studies?

It has inspired me to focus more on my microbiology major because I learned how many communicable diseases are present in Indonesia. I am more keen to learn about these diseases and would be more likely to study them in Indonesia due to the proximity to Australia as well as it availability of diseases to research.


Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?



Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

Saya sekarat


Q: Describe your experience of the Virtual PHST in three words:

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