Or should I say Selamat tinggal, as I am off to Indonesia.
I have taken a seven month volunteer position in Indonesia as part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, an Australian Government initiative.
I will be living in Mataram on Lombok in Indonesia and working with a local not-for-profit organisation. My role will be as a Marine Environmental Education Officer with Juang Laut Lestari (JARI) to promote marine biodiversity awareness in schools.
JARI literally translates to ‘Endeavoring for Marine Conservation’. It is a small but fiercely motivated locally-run NGO focused on marine programs. JARI’s overarching aim is to improve the condition of Indonesia’s threatened marine ecosystems through outreach, education, research and, most importantly, working together with local schools and communities.
The focus of my role will be to strengthen JARI’s marine education training program, which will involve developing educational tools to support teaching in the classroom and fostering relationships with schools. I will also work with staff to develop a training program to assist trainers to deliver the marine education program to teachers.
The AVID program offers a range of opportunities for the Australian community to share skills and foster linkages with people and organisations in developing countries to make a difference as part of Australia’s overseas aid program.
I am extremely excited for this adventure. I will get to experience a new culture, meet new people and learn about a different environment. I am looking forward to diving in the warm tropical waters and taste the local cuisine. I’m sure there will be so many great and maybe some not so great experiences but they will all contribute to the overall adventure.
I will be back to SCMDC at the end of the seven months, so never fear. I’ll be back with stories and photos galore.
In the meantime we have a new staff member coming on board to fill the gap. Janet Borely will be taking over the education programs for the next seven months. Janet has a variety of education experience through her work with the Dolphin Research Institute. She will be a wonderful new addition and will bring her own flavour to the role.