Monash’s Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre hosts two Indonesian delegates as interns

Monash’s Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre, dedicated to promoting cross cultural collaboration and exchange between Monash and Indonesia, is hosting Indonesian students, Silvia Manurung and Ashanti Ajengpitaloka, as interns.

“This is a concrete way in which Monash is supporting our neighbour - we're hosting Indonesian delegates here as part of showing our commitment to Indonesia,” says Associate Professor, and Director of the Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre, Sharyn Davies.

The three-week intensive internship brings Indonesian and Monash students together through a set of workshops, giving the students the opportunity to hear from and be mentored by leaders in their specific work fields.

“I’ve learned so many valuable lessons [from this internship]; from getting new insights about bilateral cooperation between Australia-Indonesia, [to] expanding my network,” says Ashanti, who recently graduated from Semarang State University (Central Java, Indonesia) with a Bachelor of English.

As part of the internship, Silvia and Ashanti are using their insight and perspective to create new ways for Monash, and Australia more broadly, to engage with Indonesia.

Specialising in English and Indonesian translation, Ashanti is focusing on making the Monash Herb Feith website more accessible for Indonesian counterparts, through creating Indonesian content and translating featured articles from English to Indonesian. Meanwhile  Silvia is using her skills in marketing and international relations to create Indonesian content for Monash’s social media platforms, fostering a higher level of engagement between Monash and its Indonesian audience.

“As fellow neighbors in the Asia-Pacific Region, the continuing trust between [Indonesia and Australia] will make [for] better stability in this region in the future, which I find important as [part of the regions’] next generations,” says the Gadjah Mada University (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) student, Silvia.

Both Silvia and Ashanti were selected from the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP). This year, 12 Australian students were selected to participate in the 2021 program; seven of which are Monash students.

AIYEP, which has been running since 1982, links young Australians and Indonesians through a social, professional and cultural exchange, where participants engage in cross-cultural learning and understanding.

Equipping students with intercultural competencies, the program comprises a three week online placement, where students work on a project related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Third year Monash Law and Arts student, Samantha Gates, was selected as a participant for AIYEP 2021. “[The program has taught me] how important intercultural relations are for both my future career choices, and for all countries to work towards the sustainable development goals,” she says.

Aiming to provide Indonesian and Australian students with the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of cultural development, students of the 2021 AIYEP program will share in online educational content, and hear from professional guest speakers to strengthen a quality relationship between the two countries.

“It's really important that our young people have experience of Indonesia, because it's our largest neighbour, and is one of the [world’s] fastest growing economies,” says Associate Professor Davies.