Seeing the butterfly collection Photographer: Stan Florek

People often call me Yoza or Prima. Both my parents are educators – my father
is the Commissioner of an elementary school and kindergarten, and mother is a
teacher. I am studying English Education (major) at Padang State University,
West Sumatera, Indonesia. This year, I am concentrating on my thesis, but the
opportunity to participate in the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program
2017 in Australia was irresistible and it gave me a chance to practice my English
abroad. One of my passions is debating, as it complements my preparation for
work as a teacher. Debating helps me to develop confidence in public speaking
and critical thinking. It also helps me to broaden my understanding of other
subjects such as politics, religions and economics. I often read the nonfiction
article from CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC and other platforms, expanding my
knowledge – one article at a time. Most importantly, debating helps me to
appreciate different perspectives on every issue, different values that people
hold and ultimately consider and respect other opinions and beliefs.
I am so glad to participate in the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program
just before my graduation early next year. This is also totally challenging at
every single step. I went through a very demanding selection process, including
an administration test, pre-interview test, essay test, deep interview,
physiology test, religion test, group discussion, presentation test, and the last
interview with the Head of the Youth and Sport Institution of West Sumatera
Province. I was luckily selected from a sizeable group of 238 applicants from my
province.
Our group of 18 people, from 18 provinces in Indonesia, underwent an intensive
week-long pre-departure training in Jakarta, conducted by The Ministry of
Youth and Sport, alumnae as well. In Australia, the program is under the
authority of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), coordinated
by the Australia-Indonesia Institute and operated by AFS Intercultural Program.
This program aims at cross-cultural understanding and people-to-people
contact.

Balinese paintings at the Australian Museum Photographer: Stan Florek

We arrived in Australia on Saturday 21 October. I am
amazed by the scenery,
environment, lifestyle, people
and the workplace. I was placed
on a three-week internship at
the Australian Museum. It is an
awesome Museum; the most
magnificent I have seen in my
life.

I got an opportunity to do research
about Minangkabau, aboriginal
people and Torres Strait Islander,
database of collection and writing
article. All things are well organized
and structured. How lucky I am to
be an intern here. I have so much to
observe, to learn and I hope to
contribute a little.

Yoza & her supervisor. Photographer: Chris Reid