New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia’s future - study in the region.

Public Health Study Tour

Alana Wardley is a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from Western Sydney University. Alana undertook the Public Health Study Tour in July 2023. Alana is studying Bachelor of Health Science.

Q:Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS Public Health Study Tour?

I have always been fascinated by travelling and learning about new cultures; this combined with studying Nursing and Public Health presented a valuable opportunity to be be able view Indonesia through a healthcare lens. The experiences we gained were educating and eye-opening, which was also enhanced by experiencing the trip with a group of like minded students from around Australia.


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

Yes, the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant contributed to being able to enjoy the trip without extra financial stress that comes with being a student!


Q: What did you find to be the most challenging about your experience on the PHST?

It really is an intensive trip, you’re learning a lot every day, meeting and connecting with many people from diverse backgrounds and also adjusting to new dietary patterns and heat conditions. Having hotels that had gyms was beneficial to continue having a similar routine that I would have at home and the whole ACICIS team are so welcoming that you always felt cared for.


Q: What public health issues in Indonesia have you become more interested in/aware of as a result of this tour?

There were so many topics that were so interesting to learn more in depth about. Learning about waste management in the community was impressive to see how innovative people were with the resources they had. Also listening to the goals about changing Indonesia’s health data to being owned by each individual through the SATUSEHAT platform will be interesting to follow in the future.


Q: What was your favourite field trip? 

My favourite field trip would have been both the Rehabilitation Centre, especially seeing the prosthetic workshop, and the field trip to the HIV clinic which was incredibly inspiring. Seeing the work done at both of these places was impressive and motivating.


Q: How do you think the Public Health Study Tour will influence your future career or studies?

It was great on a large scale learning about different challenges and gaining deeper understanding of how we can reflect on other countries achievements and challenges and apply them to our healthcare system. I think it’s really expanded my mind learning about Indonesia and in parallel understanding more about Australia. Also seeing the power of community in Indonesia was motivating.


Q:What did you most enjoy about the seminar series?

It was all around a great experience to be able to gain insight from a range of different speakers on multiple subjects, ask questions, discuss with peers and also get first hand perspectives from students from Universitas Indonesia.


Q: What was your favourite aspect about visiting Indonesia?

I really love the people! Learning some Bahasa, and being able to understand the challenges they face was really special and how positive and welcoming they are regardless. All the hosts from ACICIS were amazing (I still miss the evening text messages for the next day!) and then all of the other students you meet on the trip who you become close with over the two weeks.