Issue 6
Tuesday, 07 August 2018
Charles Darwin University
Trainer Matt Deveraux (centre) with Firdha Aulia and Juan Dylan at the Bohning Cattle Yards
Trainer Matt Deveraux (centre) with Firdha Aulia and Juan Dylan at the Bohning Cattle Yards

Pastoral students put safety, animal welfare first

An Animal Science student will return home to Indonesia next month with a brighter outlook of cattle farming, after completing a pastoral industry training course with CDU.

Universitas Gadjah Mada student Firdha Aulia said the 10-week program in the Northern Territory had changed her perception about being a farmer.

“In Australia it’s really cool to be a farmer,” she said. “In Indonesia some are less proud. There are a lot of traditional farmers with just one or two cattle, but I’ll be able to tell them about different ways to farm their animals,” she said.

“My experience in Australia will help me make an impact back home with animal welfare and safety.”

Firdha is one of 20 students from 14 Indonesian universities taking part in the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) Indonesia Australia Pastoral Program, now in its sixth year. Part of the program took place at the NTCA’s newly completed training facility at the Bohning Yards near Alice Springs.

Fellow student Juan Dylan, who is studying Animal Husbandry at Padjadjaran University, said that safety was the top priority.

“We’ve learnt a lot about safety, motorbikes and how to handle cattle,” he said.

“If you want to handle cattle you have to be calm and sure about what you are doing. If you’re calm it will help the cattle to stay calm and avoid stress.”

Primary Industries trainer Matt Deveraux said the program was designed to provide practical, hands-on learning, relationship development and cultural exchange between the Indonesian and North Australian beef cattle industries.

“The program involved two weeks in Alice Springs where we focused on animal welfare and handling, and six weeks on a North Australian cattle station, where they put their skills into practice.”

Students will gather in Darwin to complete the course, which will include delivering a presentation about their experience to the Indonesian Consulate. The program was funded by the Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector.