Fresh ideas for Indonesian disability services

Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia

Programs and services to assist people with disabilities in Indonesia will benefit from a six-week program funded by AusAID’s Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Fellowship scheme and run by Flinders University.

Thanks to $419,000 in AusAID funding, 20 Indonesian ALA fellows, who are drawn from government departments and agencies as well as NGO service providers, will arrive in Adelaide in late August. While the majority come from Jakarta, some are from regional and outlying areas, including Bali.

“The aim of the program is for them to build their skills and their capacity to take back to Indonesia,” said Dr Caroline Ellison of Flinders Department of Disability and Community Inclusion, who is co-ordinating the visit.

“They will be looking at case-management practices, person-centred approaches to care and personalised support, as well as receiving an overview of the structure of disability services in South Australia and the recent move to individualised funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” she said.

“They’ll have a look at our models and how they might be used or adapted in Indonesia.”

The fellows will also attend sessions on positive leadership and disability advocacy, and TAFE Adelaide South will run a two-day workshop on supporting people with autism.

They will also pay visits to community-based programs for people with disability and see demonstrations of augmentative communications and technology.

The visit will kick off with a disability arts event featuring local performers, including Tutti Ensemble, Restless, No Strings Attached, Company @ and the Diamond House Choir.

Dr Ellison and two colleagues are travelling to Indonesia in mid-June to run pre-departure workshops and to hold discussions with the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Dr Ellison said that while some of the fellows will have stronger interest in service delivery, others will have more of a policy focus.

“Twenty people are obviously going to have different interests, so part of the reason for the trip is to help us in tailoring and fine-tuning the program to their respective needs.”

Dr Ellison hopes the program will build links with Indonesia’s disability sector and lead to further opportunities for teaching and research exchanges.

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