Annabelle Smith is a participant in the 2020 Law Professional Practicum from Monash University. Annabelle is studying Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Science . Annabelle received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS Law Professional Practicum?
Prior to commencing the LPP, I had never visited Indonesia but had always wanted to go! I also was looking for an opportunity to gain practical legal experience. By chance, I came across the LPP in Monash University’s Law Student Gazette and decided to apply for the program!
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
I was fortunate enough to receive the New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Grant to support my study in Indonesia. Without the NCP Grant I likely would have been unable to undertake the LPP, as I was ineligible to receive OS-HELP and had limited other sources of funding available to me. The NCP Grant covered almost all of the program tuition fees and gave me the financial freedom to make the most of my time in Indonesia! Additionally, the NCP Program provided cultural awareness training to students which was useful before coming to Indonesia.
Q: How will the Law Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
The LPP provided me with invaluable experience and a unique opportunity to gain work experience as a legal intern and in-house researcher within a non-governmental organisation. This professional development opportunity and practical experience has provided me with great insight into the practice of law outside of a commercial setting, which will no doubt, serve me well in my future career. Additionally, the LPP was an excellent opportunity for me to expand my international network and build professional connections.
Q: Which organisation are you interning with? What are your roles and responsibilities?
I interned with Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari (LTKL). LTKL is a non-governmental organisation specialising in achieving sustainable development throughout Indonesia through collaboration with a range of stakeholders. My role at LTKL was as an in-house legal policy researcher. During my internship, I conducted a research project investigating fire prevention policy in Australia compared to Indonesia, focusing on the policy of the Siak District of Sumatra. At the end of the internship, I presented my research to a selection of panellists, including an expert in fire prevention policy from Sumatra. Between researching, I spent time getting to know my colleagues, singing karaoke, eating many delicious Indonesian foods and learning about Indonesian culture!
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
The work culture in Indonesia was highly collaborative and more informal than in Australia. Further, in Indonesia, due to the concept of jam karet (rubber time), time was variable and subjective. Hence, lateness was generally acceptable and even, expected. This meant I had the freedom to start and finish work for the day when I wanted to.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
I would certainly love to return to Indonesia in the future and maybe work in Indonesia for another short period, but not indefinitely. There are simply so many other places in the world I would love to visit!
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
On the weekends, I spent most of my time travelling around Indonesia and exploring the city of Jakarta. I also liked to find new hangout spots around the city, go and see a movie with friends and discover delicious new places to eat!
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
My favourite Indonesian foods are tahu kriuk, satay tempe, kwetiau jamur, cap cay and gado gado. I had the best food at local warung in Jakarta, Milas Vegetarian Resto in Yogyakarta and at Portibi Farms in Sukabumi.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
My favourite Indonesian expression is ‘berapa lama?’ (‘how long?’) simply because I always picture the animal, llama, in my mind when I say it.
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
During the practicum, I travelled throughout West and Central Java. I visited Yogyakarta, Semarang, Bandung, Bogor, Taman Nasional Ujung Kulon and the organic Portibi Farms in Sukabumi. Below is a photo of me at Kampung Pelangi (Rainbow Village) in Semarang.