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

Public Health Study Tour

Anne Diaz is a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient from The University of Western Australia. Anne undertook the Public Health Study Tour in November-December 2022. Anne is studying Bachelor of Biomedical Science.

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

To gain a deeper understanding of chronic health issues that are prevalent in most Asian countries. Also, my interest in Indonesia’s public healthcare system is closely related to my interest in the Philippines, where I am originally from. I hope that the knowledge and experiences I have gained from this program will enable me to contribute in some way to the development of the Philippines’ healthcare system in the future.


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

Yes, I did. The grant was able to cover most of the initial expenses and gain the financial support I needed to pursue my desire to study abroad in a country I had never been to before.


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

One of the most challenging aspects of the tour was avoiding Covid-19. As well as food and drinking water intake had to be carefully monitored since some may contain pathogens that could result in illnesses.


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

There is no doubt that smoking is one of the leading causes of chronic diseases in Indonesia. To that end, I wish to encourage Indonesian healthcare providers to reduce tobacco consumption and introduce Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) into their healthcare systems to combat tobacco use.


Q: What was your favourite field trip? 

One of the most meaningful field visits for me was when we visited a rehabilitation centre in Jakarta, where I had the opportunity to interact with the patients for a while and see the positive changes and improvements they had undergone throughout their stay in the facility.


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

PHST has provided me with insights into the importance of cultural sensitivity, which I will ensure to use in the future when working with diverse communities.


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

Having variety of speakers from universities and hospitals from across the country provided a wide range of perspectives and insights about Indonesian public health.


Q: What was your favourite aspect about visiting Indonesia?

It is the people. All the participants on the tour were phenomenal; the coordinators (Dhira, Khansa, Yani and Dr Emily), all the UI and Yogyakarta buddies. And of course, all the locals were lovely too. There is no better reason why I fell in love with Indonesia than these people, and why I cannot wait to return. Not only did the PHST give me memories, but it also introduced me to new friends that I look forward to seeing again in the future.