Flinders students have gained rare insights into Australia’s relationship with Indonesia after participating in diplomatic roundtables during a trip funded by the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan.
The group of 16, which spent two weeks with their hosts, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, and Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, also met with local business people, undertook language training, attended academic seminars and discovered the challenges faced by a range of local charities.
Prior to their departure from Adelaide, the group received a briefing on political, religious, social and cultural aspects of Indonesia from the Flinders Jembatan initiative.
As part of the Government’s agenda to improve Australian graduates’ international knowledge and understanding of Indonesian culture and workplace, the program included discussions with staff from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, the Indonesian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Trade, the Indonesian Stock Exchange, and the Indonesia-Australia Business Council.
The students were also given the opportunity to meet with senior staff from Bluescope Steel and Astragraphia, who offered valuable insights into business culture and operations within the region. The visits to Bluescope Steel and Astragraphia were organised by Adelaide based Scope Global.
Flinders University study tour convenor Dr Maryanne Kelton said the visit had delivered on its promise to build student capacity in developing the skills and understanding necessary for successful Australia-Indonesia relations and workplace practices.
Student William Spooner-Adey said it had helped him to consolidate his previous experiences of Indonesia.
“When I began my Indonesian language studies in 2014, I never dreamed it would lead to me meeting with high ranking Indonesian officials about a variety of topics from workplace culture to improving Indonesia-Australia relations,” he said.
“Having previously studied in Indonesia, I found the program to be excellent for consolidating my prior learning through practical application.”
Honours student Nicole DeWit said the trip had provided an “authentic insight” into the cultural differences within business between Indonesia and Australia.
“Consequently, we were able to recognise these variances and alter our approaches within a real workplace context,” she said.
The Government’s New Colombo Plan will see around 190 Flinders University students take part in mobility projects across the Indo-Pacific throughout 2016.
For more information follow the link: http://dfat.gov.au/people-to-people/new-colombo-plan/Pages/new-colombo-plan.aspx.