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Students help improve livelihoods of Indonesian neighbours

By Katie Weiss

Environmental Science student Michelle Mackie is excited to be taking part in the field intensive in West Timor Environmental Science student Michelle Mackie is excited to be taking part in the field intensive in West Timor

A group of Charles Darwin University students is in West Timor in a bid to improve a village’s involvement in agricultural development.

Seven students are taking part in the East Indonesian Field Intensive in Linamnutu Village, accompanied by CDU staff, and staff and students from three Indonesian universities.

The students are gathering information about rural development, food, water and land tenure issues in the village and present it to government stakeholders, village residents and administration.

Before embarking on the trip, Environmental Science third year student Michelle Mackie said she looked forward to living in the village and working directly in the field.

“I am interested in learning about different perspectives, and working in another country is pretty cool,” Michelle said.

“I hope that the research will be put to good use.”

The program aims to help students gain cultural awareness and confidence in interacting with different communities.

On the trip, the students are taught by staff from CDU, Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Universitas Nusa Cendana, and Univerisitas Gadjah Mada.

The program promotes ethical practice and leadership working in cross-cultural environment.

CDU participation in the program was supported by an operational grant from the Plant Biosecurity CRC. CDU students received Mobility in Asia scholarships from the Commonwealth Government to cover travel costs.