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Development Studies Professional Practicum

Jodie McGinnity is a participant in the 2019 Development Studies Professional Practicum from Murdoch University. Jodie is studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Security, Counter-Terrorism and Terrorism. Jodie received a $3000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant to support her participation on this program.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?

I decided to undertake the ACICIS DSPP Practicum to gain experience in my field that would be purposeful to my CV and to see the theory from my degree in action in a “real life” setting. The language component of the program was another contributing factor to my decision. In addition, having only a broad idea of where my degree may lead me into the work force, I hoped that the program would shed some light on potential job opportunities and places I may make a difference.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?

Yes, I received a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. The grant enabled me to cover my accommodation expenses whilst living in Indonesia. As a nearly full-time student who also works full time, the grant enabled me to take 6 weeks leave and afford the experience.

Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career? Would you like to return to Indonesia again in future?

The DSPP program has influenced my feelings towards working in Indonesia in my future career. I had not previously considered living in Indonesia, but my experience in Yogyakarta has changed that. I would now love to return to Java to work, because the culture is so rich, and the people are extraordinary.

Q: What organisation will did you intern with? (Explain your roles and responsibilities)

I completed my internship with an organisation called Dian Institut Interfidei. The primary purpose of the Interfidei is to facilitate inter-faith dialogue. I attended the internship with another student, Hannah Sjodin. The main contribution we made to the organisation was a short 20-minute video (in English) discussing the tolerance situation in Yogyakarta. We compiled our research with interviews from persons from many different faith organisations (such as Buddhist monasteries, Muslim Pesantren, university professors, Catholic Churches, Youth Peace Organisations, etc). We also contributed a social media strategy and catalogue of items for posts, attended many interfaith discussions at many universities and NGOs, and were fortunate enough to be able to visit a dozen places of worship where we learnt about their practices, rules and rituals.

Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?

The work culture is very different in Indonesia. In Australia, we work to very strict timelines for achievement of targets and goals. The work culture is more relaxed, yet still works towards achieving set targets. The arrival at the desired achievements evolves in a more organic manner.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?

Apart from visiting the many amazing tourist locations and restaurants, one of my favourite things to do was going to the Hair Spa for a Cream Bath! The treatment is amazing, but it is the interaction with the staff and the opportunity to practice my Indonesian that I really enjoyed. I also really enjoyed going to Kota Gede and learning how to make silver jewellery. That was definitely a highlight!

Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in the future?

Absolutely! There is so much to learn from each other, we can take the best from both the Indonesian and Australian cultures and apply them to maximise our knowledge and understanding.

Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?

There is so much delicious food in Indonesia, especially in Yogyakarta! It is too hard to choose a favourite, so here are my top 5:

  1. Little Tokyo – for fresh meat and vegetables that you cook on the gas burner yourself
  2. House of Raminten – the whole fish is a must! Delicious food that is so cheap you won’t believe it!
  3. The Spesial Hot Plate across from Prime Plaza Hotel is delicious!
  4. Mediterranea – when you’re craving Western delights, this food stands up to any great bistro in Australia
  5. Milas – amazingly tasty vegetarian, definitely worth a visit to the South

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

My favourite phrase is “Tidak apa-apa”! The best word we learnt was “mahasiswa” – once I learned how to say it smoothly, I couldn’t stop saying it!

Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?

During my practicum in Yogyakarta I was lucky enough to enjoy many local and tourist activities. Highlights were the Merapi  Jeep Tour, Prambanan, Borobodur at Sunrise, Kali Code and Volcanic Park,