Nitesh Raj Pant was a participant in the 2020 Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum from Charles Darwin University. Nitesh is studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts. He received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support his participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum?
I am currently a student at Charles Darwin University, studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts Screen & New Media. I was planning to enrol in 2 units for the summer semester and complete my independent units during summer break. Fortunately, I came across the information of The Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum program through the CDU Learning abroad program. This was a fantastic opportunity to take part in cross-cultural exchange and complete my 2 academic units during the summer semester.
In addition to this, I had a personal objective in my participation in the ACICIS program. Being born into a Hindu family in Nepal, I was keen to learn more about the early history of Hinduism and Buddhism in Indonesia. I was delighted to visit the world largest Buddhist Temple Borobudur (9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple ) and Hindu Temple Prambana (9th-century Hindu Temple) in Yogyakarta during my study.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
Yes, I have received New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant 2020. I also have received a quick grant from the Northern Territory Regional Arts Fund Grant (NTRA). I highly appreciate the opportunity provided by the New Colombo Plan 2020 Grant and Northern Territory Regional Art Fund grant for making my dream come true.
Alongside continuous encouragement that I received during the application process by my home university Charles Darwin University and ACICIS was the major drive for me to come to Indonesia.
Being a full-time student, these grants assisted me to minimise my financial pressure and enabled me to concentrate more on learning and exploring the opportunity to enhance my knowledge.
Q: How will the Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
This was my first professional practicum ever that I have experienced. I was in the workforce and working in various industries (private, community, local government, freelancing, etc) before getting back to University as a full-time student since 2019. After completing this practicum, I have gained the most valuable skills to adopt in the cross-culture environment. I would like to encourage every student domestic or international should take this kind of professional practicum to prepare themselves for the future workforce. This will help students to achieve academic as well as hands-on practical skills to be successful in a future career goal. I have personally gained confidence and have boosted my knowledge in various aspects of life skills.
Q: Which organisation did you intern with? What were your roles and responsibilities?
My 4-week internship was at EngageMedia, Yogyakarta Indonesia. EngageMedia is a non-profit media, technology and culture organisation. EngageMedia uses the power of video, the Internet and open technologies to create social and environmental change. EngageMedia works with independent filmmakers, journalists, technologists, campaigners and social movements to generate wider audiences for stories of social change, to intervene in the public discourse and to move people to action. EngageMedia attempts to build an on-line network of video activism in the Asia-Pacific region, so facilitators and practitioners can easily get in touch with each other for exchanging materials and ideas.
My role and responsibility were focused around the short documentary concept development, production planning for the documentary, collaboratively work with CADPP ACICIS team, EngageMedia team, individuals and partner organisations, assist filming various meetings and workshops, video editing, promotional designing etc during the production of a short documentary on the project “VOICE-Linking & Learning”.
I must mention my CADPP placement classmate Joshua Lee a Documentary Filmmaker/AFTRS from Perth WA, who highly contributed his skills during the filming and editing. Also, my mentor Pitra Hutomo for her guidance and supervision to achieve our collaborative goal.
Q: How is the work culture of your host organisation different to work experience you have had in Australia?
We are fortunate that our host organisation EngageMedia, which is also affiliated with Australia was easy to blend in with the culture. My mentor Pitra Hutomo and all the colleagues at EngageMedia were friendly and ready to help us in any required situation. We were provided exceptional support and guidance during our placement period. The subject matter that we have chosen to work was new to us however all the necessary assistance was provided to us to achieve our goal. Teamwork was excellent and we were also getting support from our friends (ACICIS CADPP) to give us a hand if we needed extra assistant during filming. I really appreciate Isabella Wang who assisted us during our multicamera filming for the Documentary project.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in the future?
If the opportunity will be available, I will come again to Indonesia especially Yogyakarta. These six weeks of study have given us the basic knowledge of Indonesian culture and lifestyle. There are numerous areas that required enough time to indulge in the heritage of Indonesia and its cultural richness.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
In my spare time, I explore Yogyakarta and tried my best to learn about the history, culture, and heritage. To maintain my language skills, I use to travel alone in public transportations and usually travelled with locals to various places. Among them visiting Prambanan Temple and Borobudur Temple was memorable. I did face challenges during communication due to the language barrier however it was a great learning opportunity.
Q: Favourite place to eat and favourite Indonesian food?
I am a food lover and wanted to eat everything but due to my health condition being Type 2 Diabetic, I choose healthy foods as possible. During the first two weeks, I was enjoying the Javanese traditional meals buffet at the Prime Plaza hotel. And for the remaining 4 weeks, I stayed at “Omuk Tluki” homestay with Javanese/Chinese Indonesia family and all my uncertainties were taken care of by my host sister Mita. I was eating the best healthy organic foods. I enjoyed fresh fruits and vegetables, steam foods and traditional Javanese cuisine. Beside homestay meals, I have enjoyed meals at Via Via, Milas, Mediterranean, Local Warung and restaurants during lunch and dinner.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
“BAGUS” was my favourite word while learning Bahasa language at Sanata Dharma University. One of my Bahasa language trainer Mas Bankit uses this work frequently in the class when we gave the correct answer to the question. I get energised with the pronunciation and tone of the word and started using it often.
Q. What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
I visited various places around Yogyakarta. Pakualaman Kraton, Pumbanan Temple, Borobudur Temple, Gembira Loka Zoo, Punthuk Setumbu Nirwana Sunrise, Brahma Tirta Sari Studio, Vihara Buddha Prabha, Taman Sari Water Castle, Langgeng Foundation Yogyakarta, SAPDA, Kulon Progo Regency were among them. I also experienced Yogyakarta Train travel to visit Batik Museum (SOLO) with friends. Also watching the Indonesian movies at the theatre was my favourite weekend activities.