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Photo: Andrew at Borobudur with a group of specialists and field officers from UNESCO's Jakarta office
From August to December 2012 I undertook an internship in the Culture Unit of the UNESCO Office in Jakarta, Indonesia. One of my key goals for the placement was to get a better understanding of the work that UNESCO does and to explore whether this was a possible future career path for me. A further motivation for me was to spend more time living in Indonesia. I have a background in Indonesian studies, having previously completing Indonesian language classes at Deakin University and participating in the in-country language program in Padang, West Sumatra. From February to July 2012 I was also in Yogyakarta undertaking research on post-colonial interpretation of colonial heritage for the Deakin Unit Cultural Heritage Research Project as well as volunteering at a local museum.
Through the internship I was involved in wide range of activities including going on a mission to the World Heritage listed Borobudur temple to help organise a stone conservation workshop, writing a proposal for creative economy through cultural heritage project in Timor-Leste, attending a workshop on the preparation of nomination dossiers and management plans for World Heritage inscription in Bali with representatives from throughout Southeast Asia, and attending a meeting with the Indonesian vice-minister of Culture to discuss the organisation of an international forum on culture and development to be held in 2013. In all of these activities the knowledge I have gained from my Masters of Cultural Heritage was invaluable, and gave me the background and skills to really engage with and contribute to the work of the UNESCO.Overall the internship was a really positive experience for me and has been a fantastic step for my career development. I have just accepted a position as a Consultant for Culture at UNESCO which I will begin in early January 2013. I have found that everyone at the Centre for the Cultural Heritage for Asia and the Pacific has been really supportive throughout my internship and research in Indonesia and gave me the encouragement to follow this path. I was also awarded a Deakin University Travel scholarship, which helped to make my research in Indonesia and internship possible. I hope that my experience can also lead to further opportunities for other students wishing to undertake internships or research in Indonesia, and I would be more than happy to discuss my experiences with anyone interested
Contact Kristal Buckley for information about Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies internships.