Public Health Study Tour

Claire Birks was a participant in the 2016 Public Health Study Tour from the University of New South Wales. Claire is studying a Bachelor of  Economics and a Bachelor of Arts.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?

As a Development Studies and Economics major, I was interested in looking at public health and how it ties in with other development challenges. Further, I wanted to learn about the public health sector from a community, district and national level firsthand to complement my theoretical university knowledge.

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

The challenge of reaching remote communities, gender inequality and the issue of female genital mutilation, as well as how Indonesia faces the double burden of under and over nutrition as a middle income country greatly interests me as a result of the tour.

Q: What was your favourite field trip? Explain why. 

I loved staying the village for a few days, and getting to know the locals. It was such a fantastic experience listening to people in the communities stories, as well as being immersed in their culture and musical traditions such as gamelan.

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

It provided me with a far deeper understanding of Public Health, as well as how complex development is when a country is so diverse and is challenged by a significant population and geographical area.

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

I loved going to the office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to hear about what Australia and International Organisations are doing in Indonesia.

Q: What was your favourite aspect of visiting Indonesia?

Going to the village to stay, as well as getting to know the local university students during our time there.