Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS Law Professional Practicum?
I was enthusiastic to apply for the Law Professional Practicum for three key reasons:
- Professional and personal growth: I wanted to immerse myself in practical experience and to be encouraged to reflect on my personal experience in developing new skills, new attitudes, and new ways of thinking. I understood that this experiential learning process would help to foster my independent thinking and develop the reflection skills needed for critical thinking. Also, the opportunity to further develop my professional skills by interning abroad and cultivating a global network had proved to be incredibly appealing to me. In addition, I was intrigued about taking part in law lectures presented at Atma Jaya Catholic University and learn about issues affecting societies, economies and countries within the Asia-Pacific region, to help me develop greater international awareness.
- Cross-cultural experience: I wanted to enhance my understanding of the bilateral relationship that Australia and Indonesia share and thus be able to facilitate the exchange of ideas.
- Social networking: I wished to align myself with people that I could learn from and who welcomed personal development and growth.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
Yes, I am incredibly grateful to have received financial support from the Australian New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. This grant helped to reduce my financial load. For instance, it helped to cover the cost of my trip to and from Jakarta, as well as part of the cost of my accommodation. Overall, it served to facilitate my involvement in the ACICIS Law Professional practicum and thereby provide me with the opportunity to study at Atma Jaya Catholic University, develop my Indonesian language skills, intern at Januar Jahja & Partners and improve my cross-cultural skills in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Q: How will the Law Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
“Learning to learn is getting better at knowing when, how and what to do when you don’t know what to do” (Boud, 2003).
This statement perfectly encapsulates the whole Professional Practicum experience for me. This is because throughout each component of the program – whether it was language classes, law lectures, field trips/travel or my internship, I was constantly developing knowledge, and learning how to learn through self-reflection. I now understand that self-reflection goes beyond what is said to happen in the world and instead requires an assessment and a critical analysis of the assumptions that underlie one’s beliefs. I am aware that reflection and life-long learning are interconnected, and that learning to think for oneself is vital. Thus the Professional Practicum has helped me develop new skills, new attitudes, new ways of thinking and encouraged the process of critical and reflective thought that will not only allow me to bring more value to a workplace, but also add value to every aspect of my life outside the professional field too.
Furthermore, the Professional Practicum prompted my understanding about the fact that because people have vastly different experiences of life, divergent perceptions of justice are important for the proper functioning of the legal order, and that general legal transplantation should not be seen as the most effective strategy. These teachings were specifically obtained from my internship. To further explain this, I found that international treaties, conventions, and domestic policies were ineffective in developing and enforcing Intellectual Property laws in Indonesia due to the problematic legal transplant of laws that did not originate from Indonesia but rather from foreign countries and had incompatibilities with Adat norms and Indonesia’s low economic and technological development. Instead, for the law to be beneficial, it must be applicable in the context to which it is imposed, otherwise people will not use it and will not encourage organisations to operate to enforce it.
As a result, this Professional Practicum has provided me with commercial awareness, refined my cross-cultural understanding, expanded my theoretical knowledge of intellectual property and it’s procedural practises, and gives me confidence to exercise my legal competence as an Intellectual Property lawyer in the Asia-Pacific region in the future.
Q: Which organisation are you interning with? What are your roles and responsibilities?
I interned at Januar Jahja & Partners (law firm specialised in Intellectual Property). My time here provided me with:
- Theoretical knowledge about intellectual property/learning new legal and procedural practices related to understanding the substantive frameworks of this area of law;
- Fostered my independent thinking skills required whilst conducting Trademark Registrability Searches and Search Reports;
- Developed my intercultural collaboration via interactive and informal learning.
Some of my assigned tasks include:
- Drafting registrability search reports by conducting WIPO and PDKI similarity searches;
- Drafting of emails;
- Assisting the European Trademark Association with their Indonesian Trademark Book Project;
- Construction of case briefs for recent Trademark cases in Indonesia;
- Advising international firms on the current status of their application numbers by using PDKI;
- Conducted legal research on IP challenges in the Digital Era (safe harbour regulations, platform rights and obligations, IP rights in virtual worlds) and presented my findings in a boardroom meeting to facilitate group discussions and help colleagues prepare for the 2020 ASEAN IP Conference. I also conducted advanced legal research on the WIPO Madrid Protocol in Indonesia.
- Published an article on “The History and Update on the Implementation of the Madrid Protocol in Indonesia”.
Shadowed solicitors during courtroom appearances at the Commercial Court of Central Jakarta.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
I have found that social participation in the Indonesian workplace is key to informal learning, and I believe that this is slightly different from Australia. This is because the opportunity to share information in Australian firms can be hindered by a competitive culture that makes employees less collaborative and less willing to share. In essence, I found that the workplace in Jakarta places greater value on collectivism, whilst individualism is more prevalent in Australian workplaces. For instance, colleagues at my host organisation would discuss cases/problems together at lunchtime, help direct me to recommended online resources, and provide me with their borrowed library books to help me learn more about Indonesian Intellectual Property Law. Not only did these lunchbreaks build friendships and a sense of community, but they also illustrated the importance Indonesians place on working together. I also discovered that Indonesians seek to establish trust in relationships through participation in community-based activities such as eating together at lunch rather than the performance of tasks typically displayed in task cultures like within Australia. To illustrate this, if I was invited to join my employees at lunch but decided to skip lunch to finish a work project, my refusal to participate may have suggested a lack of commitment to the group and therefore my relationship with them. However, Australian employees may view I was committed to the relationship implied by me continuing the work. This highlights the complexities of working across national cultures, however provides insight into the effects of national culture on collaboration in the workplace.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
A for Absolutely!
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
My spare time during Monday-Friday was fairly limited. Initially I spent free time at local cafés/libraries studying for our language exam. Once the internship commenced, I filled my time by completing set readings/research, preparing meals for the week, shopping at Plaza Indonesia/Grant Indonesia (My excuse… I was helping the economy), going to the movies and going to the local gym. Nevertheless, the weekends however provided ample time for travel and exploration within/outside Jakarta. On one weekend, for example, a group of my friends joined me on a mini excursion to visit the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre (CRLC) in Bogor. During our time at CRLC, we learnt about how this centre provides educational support to refugees, and as a way to make a lasting impact on the lives of people seeking asylum, we donated gifts.
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
It’s nearly impossible to choose just one place, so I’m going to provide two places 😉 The Burgreens restaurant was my favourite because they made healthy food taste absolutely delicious – I simply don’t know how they do it! Heha Skyveiw was another favourite restaurant of mine. This is located in Yogyakarta and as its name suggests, there are sunset views! The ambience of the restaurant and its surroundings gives it a 10/10 rating. If you are health conscious, but still want something tasty, Gado-Gado is going to be your dish #iwasarepeatoffender #noshame. For something sweet, a dessert called Bakpia Pathok (a round, slightly flattened pastry filled with a sweet mung bean mixture) is Enak, and will please any sweet-tooth like me haha.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Disclaimer: This may or may not be my favourite phrase or situation to be in.
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
Hmmm where do I start… Okay so during our fieldtrips within Jakarta, I visited Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During my internship I was able to make an appearance at the Commercial Court located in Central Jakarta. Other places visited include:
– Bogor: Tea Plantations, Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre (CRLC);
– East Java: Madakaripura waterfall, Sea of Land, Mt Bromo’s Crater, Mt Bromo Sunrise viewpoint at Kingkong Hill, Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Jodipan Colourful Village, Tumpak Sewu Waterfall;
– Central Java: Borbodour temple, Punthuk Setumbu Borbodour, Chicken Church and Heha Skyview.
And because I can’t explain just how beautiful Indonesia is; these pictures may help paint what 1000 words cannot…