By Gavin Mackay, Strategic Engagement Coordinator at the WA Public Sector Commission
Australia Awards scholarships continue to change the lives of Indonesia’s future leaders, which has long-term benefits for Australia’s bilateral relationship with that country.
In 2016-17, around a thousand Indonesian awardees joined a pool of over 11,000 Indonesian Australia Awards alumni – highly skilled professionals who use the skills and knowledge acquired through an Australian education to make positive contributions to their professions and their communities, while forming life-long connections with Australia.
Western Australia is playing its part in strengthening international collaboration and links with the Indonesian civil service through its International Leadership Program. Run by the Western Australian Public Sector Commission, it enables Australia Award scholarship holders to gain an awareness of the WA public sector through a range of presentations, discussions and site visits. This leads to enduring linkages that benefit both countries.
For Perth-based scholarship holder Agung Doradjotoen, building networks with Western Australian officials, understanding what they do, and what lessons he could apply back home, has added enormous value to his study experience in Australia.
“The International Leadership Program is well-designed to respond to the needs of Indonesian students studying in Australia. Previously, I only knew general information, but through this program, I have had valuable experiences interacting with public sectors and understanding the work of government agencies.”
The program includes meetings with an array of Western Australian agencies, such as Fisheries, the Police Academy, the Fire and Emergency Services Training facility, Main Roads’ traffic operations centre and the Fremantle Port Authority. It also incorporates site visits to local government authorities and includes Aboriginal cultural experiences.
Such has been the success of the program since 2015, it’s been expanded to include Australia Awards recipients from other countries, though Indonesia remains its focus. Participants gain insights into public sector practices, reform, service delivery, governance, integrity and gender equality.
The WA Public Sector Commission continues to embrace opportunities for closer relationships with its overseas partners, particularly in the Asian region given they are among the state’s largest trading partners.
Find out more about Australia Awards scholarships.