Kuliah di Australia: Police Check dan Working with Children Check

Maafkan foto yang nggak nyambung.

Selamat malam pemirsa.

Kali ini gue mau cerita tentang dua item yang sering diminta kalau mau ikut kegiatan di Australia. Iseng aja sih gue tulis, karena menurut gue dua benda ini cukup penting tapi cenderung nggak dibutuhin di Indonesia.

  1. Police Check

    Di Indonesia, police check ini disebut Surat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian (SKCK). Bedanya dengan di Indonesia, di sini kita nggak harus nyamperin kantor polisi langsung untuk mendapatkan surat ini. Gue inget banget, waktu mau daftar beasiswa dulu, gue mesti pergi ke Polsek yang lumayan jauh dari rumah, karena kecamatan gue belum punya Polsek sendiri.

    Untuk police check ini, langkah yang harus dilakukan cukup sederhana, cuma perlu melengkapi biodata online lewat beberapa lembaga resmi. Salah satunya Australia Post alias kantor pos. Di sini, harga selembar sertifikat police check adalah 49.90 dolar untuk yang akan bekerja (alias digaji) dan 29.90 dolar untuk kegiatan yang nggak berbayar. Kedua harga ini kalau sertifikatnya dikirim via e-mail, ya. Kalau perlu hard copy, harus tambah 10 dolar lagi.

  2. Working with Children Check

    Nah, kalau yang ini khusus untuk yang mau bekerja dengan anak-anak di bawah umur. Ingat ya, “di bawah umur” di sini termasuk remaja di bawah usia 18 tahun juga.

    Hampir sama dengan police check, pendaftaran untuk working with children check dilakukan secara online. Selanjutnya, sama juga, kita tinggal bawa dokumen yang dibutuhkan ke kantor pos. Bedanya, untuk yang satu ini, kita akan dibuatkan kartu khusus. Jadi di kantor pos juga akan dilakukan pengambilan foto. Tinggal tunggu kartunya dikirim, deh, ke alamat rumah. Oh iya, untuk kegiatan yang nggak berbayar, kartu ini bisa kita dapatkan secara gratis, lho.

    Dengan meminta working with children check, employer bisa mengurangi resiko kejahatan terhadap anak. Hal ini dibuktikan dengan catatan kriminal kita yang terbebas dari kejahatan seksual, kekerasan, dan narkoba. Ini penting banget supaya employer dan orang tua dari anak-anak di tempat kita bekerja ngerasa aman dan nyaman melepas anak-anaknya.

Baiklah, sekian dulu tulisan dan random kali ini. Semoga bermanfaat!

 

 

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My IDRP Journey #3: Learning from History

My second and third weeks in Narrawong were spent exploring the town and its neighboring city, Portland. I visited the Portland History House where I got to see maps and photos from the Glenelg Shire area, dating back to the early settlement period. This place documents the history of Portland as a center of whaling and how its surrounding areas started to be filled by people who built farms. Way before the settlers came and start their new lives in the area, it was where the Gunditjmara people lived.

Growing up in a suburban area, I found new things to learn from this small community every single day. However, one of the things that I learned the most from the past 10 days here, that I can apply everywhere in the world, is how history and development cannot be separated from each other. Getting to know the area through its history, not only from the collection of Portland History House but also from conversations with local activists, made me understand that development never happens in a vacuum–it is also a result of the things that happened in the past.

In Narrawong, there has been efforts to combine indigenous knowledge and contemporary arts to create a sculpture that symbolically represents both worlds. Held under the broader Kang-o-meerteek project, the process of building this sculpture has brought people together to discuss their hopes for the community. The project also requires the community to understand deeper about its past. Therefore, apart from building the sculpture, the Kang-o-meerteek project also involved events such the Narrawong History and Local Author Forum.

As a student of international development, I have heard about the significance history to development multiple times before. However, experiencing it in real life reminded me that as an outsider, I can never understand the full context of an issue in one area without putting genuine efforts to learn about its history.

 

My IDRP Journey #2: Notes from the First Week

I have just finished my week of teaching Indonesian language at Narrawong District Primary School (NDPS). To be fair, instead of teaching I was doing presentations about myself, my daily life as a student in Indonesia, as well as Indonesia as a country. To my surprise, the kids were very welcoming and enthusiastic about me coming in as a foreigner. Usually, the kids would have Indonesian language subject for an hour every fortnight. With me being there they have a chance to learn everyday. Most of them have already known basic greetings, colors and numbers.

When I was doing each presentation, the kids asked a lot of question which shows their curiosity about the world, especially Indonesia. Some of them happened to have been in Bali as well. Probably the most interesting observation about the school is how being in regional small town does not limit them from the exposure to the world. The kids have a good internet connection, a laptop and an iPad each, which allows them to browse the internet when they are given the time.

Nevertheless, I could still see the close-knit relationship between the stakeholders in the school–from teachers to students to parents. This was confirmed by one of the Prep student’s parent that I met. The parent said that the school was very accommodating to new students even before they formally started the school. Having a small number of student also helped the school create an environment where upper class kids and their lower class counterparts can play together every day, doing the same game in the same area. The school also has an age group system where Prep and Year 1 students are put together in the same class; Year 2 with Year 3 as well Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.

I think for the most part, my first week in Narrawong, especially at NDPS, gave me a new perspective about rural life. In the recent years, with the existence of internet and other telecommunication technologies, schools and houses in the area are able to get the information from outside as fast as people in big cities would. This also creates a new dynamic within the town–before, people used to get out of their house and see each other everyday, but now the ability to work remotely allows some people to stay at home without actually engaging with their neighbors.

This realization brought me to an understanding that the definition of remote and rural areas might be different in this era, compared to before the internet could reach those areas. Years ago, people in the community had no choice but to get close to each other in order to survive. More broadly, this observation is a reminder for me to consider how different each community might be even though their demographic characters might be similar. In terms of their connection to the “outside world”, while small towns in Indonesia might still struggle with even basic telephone connection, those in Australia–Victoria to be exact–might have access to internet and other forms of technology. After all, factors outside the areas have a big role in shaping them, even though the main stakeholders would be people within the areas themselves.

 

Puasa dan Lebaran di Melbourne

Assalamualaikum teman-teman,

Mumpung masih awal syawal, izinkan penulis(?) mengucapkan selamat Idul Fitri 1439H, taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum. Mohon maaf lahir batin terutama karna ngucapinnya super telat hahaha.

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But, anyway

Kali ini gue mau cerita sedikit tentang puasa dan lebaran di kota Melbourne, di mana gue tinggal saat ini. Di Melbourne yang musimnya berkebalikan dengan Eropa dan Amerika Utara, bulan ramadhan tahun lalu dan tahun ini bertepatan dengan awal musim dingin. Artinya, kami berpuasa hanya sekitar 11 jam 30 menit, dari jam 5:45 pagi sampai 5:15 sore. Enak? Alhamdulillah, pendeknya hari berarti kami nggak perlu struggle untuk bangun tengah malam dan terjaga sampai malam lagi seperti teman-teman di Eropa, misalnya. Waktu berpuasa yang singkat membuat kami bisa beraktivitas layaknya hari-hari lain sebelum datangnya bulan ramadhan.

Tapi, ada juga beberapa halangan yang kami (well, at least gue sendiri) hadapi dengan datangnya ramadhan di musim dingin: ngantuk dan lesu. Setiap hari bawaannya pengen selimutan di kasur, nggak minat bergerak apa lagi pergi ke luar rumah. Berhubung puasa tahun lalu dan tahun ini bertepatan dengan akhir semester, gue dan beberapa mahasiswa lainnya memang punya privilege untuk nggak keluar rumah setiap hari. Tapi, beberapa teman yang lain harus ke kampus atau gedung lainnya untuk menjalankan ujian. Bahkan beberapa teman harus menjalani ujian akhir segera setelah melaksanakan solat Idul Fitri. Alhamdulillah, buka bersama dan solat tarawih diadakan setiap hari di beberapa tempat termasuk kampus RMIT University. Jadi selalu ada alasan untuk keluar rumah walaupun mager minta ampun.

Ngomong-ngomong soal solat ied, dengan komunitas muslim yang bisa dibilang sangat besar, alhamdulillah sangat mudah menemukan tempat solat berjamaah di Melbourne. Bisa dibilang hampir setiap sudut Melbourne punya satu tempat melaksanakan solat ied. Untuk komunitas Indonesia sendiri, ada (kalau nggak salah) empat tempat melaksanakan solat ied dengan khutbah berbahasa Indonesia (dengan campuran Inggris di akhir), salah satunya tentu saja Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia alias KJRI alias Konjen. Ibu Konjen juga mengundang kami, warga Indonesia di Melbourne, untuk menghadiri halal-bi-halal di hari berikutnya (yang sayangnya gue nggak bisa hadir).

Mungkin segini dulu kali, ya, sharing singkatnya? Niat gue menulis postingan ini adalah berbagi rasa syukur tentang kemudahan yang Allah berikan untuk kami di Melbourne. Kalau kalian berencana kuliah, working holiday, atau tinggal di Melbourne dengan alasan lain, jangan khawatir soal puasa, solat, dan ibadah-ibadah lainnya. Insya Allah kota ini sangat muslim friendly. Silakan tanya ke teman-teman yang waktu pertama dateng sangat baper dan takut berpuasa di negeri orang: sekarang setelah menjalani sendiri, ternyata alhamdulillah nggak ada satupun yang kurang–kecuali foto keluarga, mungkin.

Akhir kata, selamat berpuasa syawal bagi yang menjalankan!

24 hours in Canberra

To be honest, Canberra was never in my Australia bucket list. I just never felt the necessity to visit a small capital with nothing but government buildings (or so I thought). However, going on this 24-hour journey, which was kind of unplanned, sort of changed my mind. Read this post if you want to know why!

 

11:00 pm

Arrived at Jollimont Bus Centre, Canberra

Walked to Canberra City YHA

After about 4 hours on the bus from Sydney, I finally arrived at Canberra. My first impression: so quiet. Almost no one was around when I walked out the bus terminal, except fellow passengers. 

 

11:15 pm

Checked in to Canberra City YHA

The hostel was nicer than I expected–it’s very clean and bright. The location is also great. Well, it’s fair enough considering the price isn’t so cheap after all.

 

11:30 pm

Went to sleep
06:00 am

Woke up, prayed, took morning shower, packed (even though technically there were nothing to pack anymore)

Went to sleep again (sort of)

 

09:00 am

Had breakfast at the hostel’s kitchen

 

10:00 am

Checked out

Bought MyWay transport card

Alternatively, you can just pay cash to the bus driver–you do get discounted fare if using the card, though. Just keep in mind that the card itself costs 5 AUD each.

 

10:15 am

Went to the Parliament House by bus

 

11:00 am

Joined the free Parliament House Tour

This tour is highly recommended if you want to know more about the history of this relatively new building. Otherwise, you can just go around yourself. If the timing is right you can even enter the parliament question time as an audience.

 

11:45 am

Visited the Musem of Australian Democracy (old Parliament House)

Located just down the road from the current parliament building, the small museum offers a lot of information about Australian history and politics. They also keep the old rooms as they were years ago, so it’s an interesting place to take photos, too.

 

12:30 pm

Had quick lunch at a cafe outside the National Gallery

 

12:40 pm

Visited the National Gallery

 

01:10 pm

Visited the Portrait Gallery

 

01:40 pm

Visited the National Library

All the sites I’ve mentioned so far are located within the same Parliamentary Zone, so just prepare a pair of comfortable shoes and you’re ready to explore.

 

02:10 pm

Took the bus to city and then another bus to the National Museum of Australia

The museum is currently holding an Islamic Culture exhibition called “So That You Might Know Each Other”. It displays various beautiful creations from Islamic civilizations throughout Asia and Africa. Not gonna lie, I was a bit emotional inside there, especially since my visit was only a few days after Eid.
04:00 pm

Went back to city

 

05:00 pm

Went window shopping at the Canberra Centre

The shopping mall looks like it’s newly built. It’s quite big as well, but I almost didn’t find any shops that I wouldn’t see in Melbourne.

 

06:00 pm

Had dinner

Please be aware that most of the shops in Canberra are closed by 6 pm. The streets also start to be quite by then… So take extra care when walking alone. 

 

07:00 pm

Took luggage from hostel’s coin locker

Went to Jollimont Bus Centre

 

07:15 pm

Waited for the bus

Well, it was too early but I didn’t want to risk roaming around an unfamiliar town in the dark, so…

 

11:00 pm

Took off to Melbourne

Overall I would say that Canberra is indeed a beautiful city. Could be because I was there when the weather was nice, but nevertheless, I felt so relaxed during the day. The highlight was definitely the parliament zone–lots of insightful sites to learn from in the middle of a tranquil valley.  Still, I cant imagine imagine living in Canberra for long… After all, I love crowded cities better LOL.

 

 

My IDRP Journey #1: Finding the Right Project

In preparation for my final year at RMIT University’s Master of International Development program, I started looking for International Development Research Project (IDRP) opportunities in December 2017. At that time I contacted a number of people whom I met through development workshops and seminars, both on campus and outside. Long story short, I met Dr. Yaso Nadarajah in the same month and she offered me an opportunity to work alongside her in South West Victoria, particularly in a small town called Narrawong. She has been working in the region under RMIT’s Handbury Fellowship program, which supports community development projects in that particular location.

To be honest, I had no idea what Narrawong would look like–besides the fact that there is not much written online about the area, I also never had the opportunity to visit rural Victoria. I think this is what Bolton calls “certain uncertainty” in her book Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development–there is no need to know exactly what is happening, because after all the only thing that remains certain is uncertainty itself. Nevertheless, I finally had the chance to visit the town with Prof. Nadarajah in the middle of May. There, I met people behind the Indigenous Resource Garden and Sculpture project, which is the project I will be working on. In particular, I will compile a literature review for a document called Narrawong Town Social Profile. While staying there, I will also assist the Indonesian language classes at Narrawong District Primary School.

Evaluating my own experience of finding and preparing for IDRP, there are a few things that I’d like to share. First, as cliche as it sounds, networking is an important thing to do, both as a student and a development practitioner. I really suggest everyone, especially those who aren’t currently working in development, to attend seminars and get to know people there. Melbourne in particular offers the chance to attend various events every day. Joining online newsletters is also another way to stay alert about placement opportunities. Furthermore, unless you really want to do a specific project, I would highly recommend being open to possibilities, since development is such a dynamic field.

If you asked me what I wanted to do for IDRP last year, I wouldn’t have answered going to regional Victoria. However, now that I’ve started preparing for my placement, I must say this is such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is challenging but exciting at the same time. Taking this lesson into my future career as a development practitioner, I now aspire to be more open minded and proactive instead of thinking and worrying too much.

*

 

Sistem Perkuliahan di Australia

Aloha!

Alhamdulillah masih dipertemukan lagi dengan bulan ramadhan. Demi puasa yang lebih produktif, hari pertama ini akan gue isi dengan sharing tentang sistem perkuliahan di Australia, khususnya berdasarkan pengalaman gue mengambil Master of International Development (ID) di RMIT University Melbourne. Ini juga sekaligus sambungan dari postingan gue tentang program ID beberapa bulan lalu.

Mata kuliah dan sistem kredit

Di program ID, dan kebanyakan program master by coursework lainnya di RMIT, ada 96 kredit yang dibagi dalam 4 semester (2 tahun). Hampir semua mata kuliah gue bobotnya 12 kredit. Mereka ini terbagi dalam 3 kategori, yaitu core courses, program electives, dan university electives. Singkatnya, core courses itu mata kuliah wajib yang jumlahnya ada 6, sementara program electives dan university electives sama-sama mata kuliah pilihan. Bedanya, yang pertama terdiri dari kelas-kelas yang tersedia di dalam program ID itu sendiri, sementara yang kedua boleh diambil dari program/jurusan/fakultas apa saja.

Tiap semester itu lamanya 12 minggu. Di program-program lain, dari 12 kredit dibagi jadi 2 jam x 12 pertemuan. Tapi, untuk ID, peraturannya agak unik. Hampir semua kelas dibagi jadi 3 jam x 8 pertemuan, bahkan beberapa jadi 6 jam x 4 pertemuan. Salah satu alasannya adalah untuk mengakomodasi mahasiswa yang selain kuliah juga bekerja full time. Kelas-kelas yang lamanya 3 jam itu ditaruh di sore-malam hari (jam 17:30 sampai 20:30), yang 6 jam di hari Jumat-Sabtu (jam 9:30-15:30).

Capstone

Setau gue, istilah capstone alias step terakhir sebelum kelulusan ini dipake di banyak universitas juga, deh. Intinya sih, ini adalah 24 kredit yang harus kita penuhi sebagai syarat kelulusan. Cara menuhinnya gimana? Kalo di ID, pilihannya bisa dengan menulis minor thesis atau mengerjakan International Development Research Project alias IDRP.

Bisa dibilang, IDRP ini adalah ciri khasnya program ID di RMIT. Research project di sini sebenarnya nggak selalu bermakna literal, karna kita bisa juga ikutan internship atau jadi volunteer untuk mendapatkan 24 kredit IDRP. Tapi, benang merah dari semua jenis kegiatannya adalah: 1) kita harus mencari sendiri kesempatan untuk ikut project/internship/volunteer (boleh di NGO, perusahaan, lembaga riset, dll.) dan 2) di akhir kegiatan, kita harus menulis Reflective Research Report yang panjangnya kurang lebih setengah dari standar minor thesis.

Segitu dulu ya sharing hari ini. Seperti biasa kalau mau tanya-tanya silakan komen di bawah. Oh iya, in shaa Allah gue akan lanjut nge-post perkembangan IDRP gue dalam beberapa bulan ke depan di blog ini. Mohon doanya juga ya, biar project gue lancar!