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Agriculture Professional Practicum

Mackenzie Coopman was a participant of the Agriculture Professional Practicum (APP), in 2024. Mackenzie is studying Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences from The University of Adelaide. Mackenzie received a $4,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support his participation in this program.

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

I decided to do the ACICIS program because I wanted to have an international experience in my degree and I was curious as to what that would look like in Agriculture. I think that it is very important to understand how things work in different countries and learn about other cultures.

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.

I did recieve the NCP Mobility Grant as a part of this program. I think that the NCP program is very effective in building knowledge and creating relationships between South-East Asia and Australia. It supports and encourages students to travel which makes experiences like the ACICIS Professional Practicum possible.

Q: Where did you live in Indonesia (Kos, homestay, hotel, rental etc.)? Any tips for prospective students on finding accommodation?

I lived in an apartment while in Indonesia. My main tip to find accomodation is to not stress about it. It does depend on where your placement is but there seem to be plenty of affordable short to medium term accomodation options.

 Q: How have you found the academic components of this program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?

I found the language classes to be challenging but rewarding. My teacher was incredibly kind and patient and was able to accomodate for students who did not pick up the language as quickly. The seminars were a valuable experience in other ways. Through the seminars we were able to meet and discuss different aspects of agriculture in Indonesia which allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the differences between Australian and Indonesia.

Q: What organisation are you interning with? (Explain your role and responsibilities)

I was interning with AUSTREX. They are an organisation which exports cattle from Australia across South-East Asia. My role at AUSTREX was simply to learn as much as possible. My internship partner and I were given lots of support and guidance in our own research. We were also given the opportunity to visit stakeholders from across the entire supply chain including abattoirs, retail and traditional markets and a feedlot.

Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your internship?

During my internship I learnt about the live cattle trade between Indonesia and Australia. I spent lots of time on field visits seeing different parts of this supply chain. This helped me come to an understanding of how animal welfare is legislated, implemented and audited In Indonesia.

Q: What did you get up to in your free-time? i.e. in the evenings and on weekends.

In my free time I enjoyed getting food at outdoor stalls, markets or malls. On the weekends I traveled around East Java getting to see different towns and regions.

Q: What surprised you about Indonesia? Any new insights?

I was surprised by the diversity in Indonesia. I got the chance to visit several islands and regions and also heard other students talk about the differences between Jakarta and their placement locations. I was surprised by the difference in landscape, people and cultures.

Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this experience?

I think that the most rewarding part of this experience for me were the people I met. The other ACICIS participants, university staff and internship mentors were so friendly and helpful.

Q. Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this program? If yes, how was this achieved?

I learnt the most about Indonesian culture during the first two weeks of the program at Atma Jaya University. Here we were guided by our amazing APO and always felt welcome to ask questions.

Q. How will the internship benefit or influence your future career?

I think that my internship will influence where I decide to work inn the future. I was introduced to a new industry which showed me that international trade is something which I would like to explore further.

Q. Would you recommend this program to your friends?

Absolutely! I think that the ACICIS program is a very fun and valuable learning experience no matter what you are studying.

Q. Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:

Topi – Hat