Kay Doust is a 2018 Development Studies Professional Practicum participant from Murdoch University. Kay is studying a Bachelor of Arts with a double-major in International Aid and Development and Sustainable Development. Kay received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant to support her participation on this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
My motivation to undertake the ACICIS practicum was twofold. Firstly, to gain practical experience working in the development sector in a foreign country. Secondly to gain deeper knowledge of Indonesia and the Indonesian people and experience for myself, living and working in a majority Muslim nation.
Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
The practicum gave me a taste of the challenges working in countries with different perspectives on governance, democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and social and environmental priorities. There were obvious differences in social values, for example, Indonesian society places great importance on family.
I learnt not to jump to conclusions because they are often wrong. Nothing is ever as simple as it appears to an outsider. I think it is difficult to find work in the development sector and I have decided to take subjects that will make me more employable at home also.
Q: What organisation will did you intern with? (Explain your roles and responsibilities)
I was interning with CARE Indonesia who have a strong ethic of gender equality. My role was to review the literature both within and external to CARE for use in a new “Resilient Women” program. I worked with program managers and we all shared lunch together daily. Everyone was made to feel part of the team.
At the end of my internship we all had a meeting and I was asked to discuss what I had found. I was made to feel my work was valued and I had made a worthwhile contribution.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in the future?
I am considering a longer NCP internship, perhaps next year. I contacted a grass roots conservation group that I would like to work with to get a feel for working in a smaller organisation.
I would not like to live long term in Indonesia but I would most definitely consider work opportunities. It is a fascinating culture.
I do not think Indonesia is dependent on Australia at all, but I think strategically, friendships between Indonesia and Australia are very important.
Q: What did you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
I visited galleries, gardens, cafes, places of interest. Getting around Jakarta was a hassle and made exploring challenging if you were further out.
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
My favourite places to eat were the restaurants and cafes in Kemang. Mama Rosies was tasty. My favourite Indonesian food was Crispy tempeh.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
I visited Bogor, Cisarua (refugee community), Marunda, Yogjakarta, Bandung, Kalimantan (Tanjung Puting National Park = fantastic) and Ubud in Bali.