Annabel Haizer was a participant of the Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum, in 2023. Annabel is studying Graphic Design at North Metropolitan TAFE.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS internship program?
I wanted to experience what it was like to live and work in a country other than Australia. Indonesia being our closest neighbour in Asia and having familial connections to Jakarta meant that I decided that ACICIS could help me get the experience I was looking for.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative? If yes, why? The NCP is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates on experiences such as the Professional Practica.
Q: Where did you live in Indonesia (Kos, homestay, hotel, rental etc.)? Any tips for prospective students on finding accommodation?
I stayed in both a Kos and an Airbnb apartment. Finding the right accomodation depends on what you would like to experience. I found that an apartment in the suburbs allowed me to study in a peaceful environment while still being surrounded by good places to eat, shop, and explore.
Q: How have you found the academic components of this program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?
The language classes will undoubtedly help you get around in Indonesia, whether it’s giving directions to your Grab driver or ordering at the warung outside your accomodation. The seminars and fieldtrips have allowed to me learn about the art and design industries in Indonesia, providing me with new perspectives and ideas that I can take home and learn from.
Q: What organisation are you interning with? (Explain your role and responsibilities)
I am an intern at Museum MACAN. I am working with both the Graphic Design team and the Communications team. My role has been creating content and assets by taking photographs and editing them, documentation by taking photographs of museum tours, and assisting with creating content for the museum shop’s social media. I have also been doing research into bilingual communications to help the museum decide how they should use language in their spaces, content, and materials.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
The museum is my first experience of working in an office environment as previously I have only done freelance design work. What I have seen is that Museum MACAN is a young museum and the staff reflects that. The environment has been friendly and welcoming, working as part of team has meant that we are able to help each other create good designs.
Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your internship?
I have spent this internship refining my photography skills. I have learnt quite a few photo editing tricks too. I have also been able to practice my research and presentation skills in by sharing my findings with others.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this experience?
It’s definitely the people I have met and the opportunity to put all the skills I have learnt in my studies to use. I will leave this experience having made some great friends, a refined set of skills, and a greater understanding of Indonesia.
Q. Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this program? If yes, how was this achieved?
Yes, I was able to do this from the seminars, language classes, the internship, and just day-to-day interactions with others. I have been able to learn about the history of batik and the way graphic designers work alongside what food I should eat in what city and what slang to use in Jakarta. These insights, big or small, each reveal parts of Indonesian culture that I learned throughout this program.
Q. How will the internship benefit or influence your future career?
This internship has allowed me to experience what it is like to work as an in-house designer and the kind of roles that help to keep a museum running. I am hoping that I will be able to use this experience and further develop my skills to work in a cultural institution like the museum where people can go to learn and experience art, history, and culture.
Q. Would you recommend this program to your friends?
Yes! Living in the world means going out and seeing it, and this program will give you a unique experience of Indonesia that you wouldn’t get as a regular tourist.