Millicent Hookey was a participant in the pilot iteration of the Agriculture Professional Practicum, in 2019. Millie is a Bachelor of Agriculture student from the University of Melbourne. Millie received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Agriculture Professional Practicum?
An email went around the university about this program. I had not planned anything for the upcoming summer so I decided to apply for the program. I had never visited Indonesia or learnt the language and I’m the type of person that liked the challenge. I was fortunate enough to be accepted and the rest is history.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
I did receive the grant and it aided in my transport and accommodation around Indonesia. The grant allowed me to worry less about finances as it did give me a boost.
Q: How will the Agriculture Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
The practicum let me explore another market in Agriculture – the live export market. Having this experience helped me decide where I want to work after I graduate (this decision is particularly important now as I am due to graduate at the end of the year!)
I will definitely remember the valuable skills and lessons I learnt on this internship, which will allow me to stand out when it comes to job applications.
Q: Which organisation did you intern with? What were your roles and responsibilities?
I interned with Australian Rural Exports (AUSTREX). I read over the exporter regulations of Australian cattle and visited and evaluated abattoirs and feedlots all over Java to ensure that they were following welfare standards set by the Australian Government. I also aided in the discharge of Australian cattle into Indonesian feedlots.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
The team in the Indonesian office of AUSTREX was actually quite small (about 10 people), so the office was just one room. This made communication easy and I was able to ask questions quite freely. Furthermore, it was common in the office to do an activity outside the office together. We would play Badminton or go out for lunch or dinner together. This created a very close friendship between everyone in the office. It was great to be a part of that.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
I enjoyed my time there and would love to return for work. I talked to many industry heads while I was there and they all agreed that there are plenty of opportunities for Agriculture graduates in Indonesia.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
I liked to explore the natural scenery and go to markets. It’s good to get outside in this tropical country and the markets were the best place to practice your Indonesian. Yogyakarta was the best for this.
Q: Favourite place to eat and favourite Indonesian food?
My favourite place to eat was the local Warung at the end of my street, where my share house was located. I used to love getting Ketoprak there and a mango and avocado smoothie. My favourite Indonesian food was gado-gado.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Lezat! – (delicious). All the Indonesians loved when I pulled out this phrase.
Q. What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
During my practicum I went to many tourist destinations in Jakarta and Bogor, visited the Mount Salek volcano (Kowa Rota), went to Bali and visited Yogjakarta.