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A Journey to the West

Friday 31st October / posted by Chris Wheeldon

Over the last week RTRFM has been host to Achie Raspati from Bandung, Indonesia. As part of Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program, Achie spent a week learning some the ropes of community radio in Australia. As part of her experience she has written a short blog.

Hello Perth! Thank you for welcoming us. It has been 2 weeks since we arrived in the fourth most populous city in Australia. First thing that crossed into my mind about the city was, quiet. In fact, we were 18 participants of Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP), so excited to start the program very soon. So what is AIYEP actually?

AIYEP was established in 1981, this is an annual program held under an agreement between the Australian and Indonesian Governments. In Australia, it is managed by the Australia-Indonesia Institute in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and in Indonesia it is managed by Ministry Youth Affairs and Sport. This youth program is also supported by the Cultural Office of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In general, the aims of the program is to provide opportunities for young people from two countries, Indonesia and Australia, to experience cross cultural understanding, appreciate the culture & development, and also to experience the way people live in each other’s country. The program also aims for making significant and lasting contribution to the relationship between two countries through people to people contact. “It is a once in a lifetime experience,” said AIYEP alumni from year to year.

Every year, both Indonesia and Australia will send their 18 young leaders to get involved in the program and spend their unforgettable 4 months in two countries. And here we are now, 18 Indonesian young people from 14 provinces across Indonesia. For around two months we have been doing many activities, such as courtesy call, work experience placement, cultural performance, and social activities in the communities. The most significant part of the program is home stay experience. All participants will live with Australian families and experience the real daily life & the way Australians live. It has become a right to exchange each other’s cultures and values, then build the mutual understanding.

Basically, the program has two main phases in each country, such as capital city location followed by a rural or regional area. This year, we will have Margaret River for our regional area. It must be great! I heard that Margaret River is one of the most visited town in South West of Western Australia. It has so many beautiful beaches and caves. We can’t wait to visit it!

After finishing 2 months in Western Australia, we will meet with 18 counterparts, young people from across Australia states. They join the Indonesian participants in a return visit to Indonesia—this year in South Kalimantan, and do the same activities; home stay, work experience placement, and cultural performance. In this phase, we have the special part, which is Community Development program. The 36 young people from Indonesia and Australia will deliver a project for local society in Kalimantan as their real contribution and involvement.

There must be lots of lesson learned that we gained during the program. Its challenging yet interesting, some of us should experience cultural shock and probably homesick. But I believe it will become a great moment to remember someday.

So what we’ve done in these past 2 weeks? Here’s AIYEP at glance…

Achie1

Perth—We landed at Perth, WA, on Sunday (19/10). We were freezing at the time, it was approximately 15’ C.

Achie2

Visited City Council House of Perth City and met Deputy Lord Mayor of Perth City Council, Robert Butler, Wednesday (22/10).

Achie3

We had a great meeting and the afternoon tea with Mr. William Joseph Johnston, a member of parliament from Australian Labor Party, in Parliament House of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Friday (24/10).

Achie5

Visited Bunbury, WA, to present a Cultural Performance in front of high school students, Monday (27/10).

Achie4

Volunteering in one of the community and independent radio stations based in Perth, RTR FM. It is amazing to get an opportunity to work here, a community radio which supports local & young musicians, and independent bands to express their passion in music. That’s how they work to promote “the sound alternative” as their slogan.

achie6

Me and my host mom when we went to York last week. I love York already!

Perth, 31 October 2014

Cheers!

ACHIE

Participant of AIYEP 2014-2015

All live musical performances are included in our podcasts with the express permission of artists, who reserve all other rights in their music. All music used in our podcasts is licensed under an APRA Community Broadcasting license agreement.

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