#InThisTogether with Welhelmus Poek, graduate from University of Canberra
A lifelong dream
Studying in Australia was something I always wanted to do because Australia
has a really good reputation for the quality of education.
Before coming to Australia, I was working as a social worker in Indonesia
supporting non-government organisations and local communities. I knew I
wanted to expand my skills and networks with practical, hands-on experience
which is why I decided to study a Masters of International Development at
the University of Canberra.
I quickly learned that Australian universities provided their international
students with a lot of support and services. The quality of my experience
was very high - not only were we supported around how to get the most from
our academic experience, we also had 24/7 online support in developing our
English language and writing skills.
Improving my English language and speaking skills gave me the confidence to
become a student leader.
I was the Indonesian Student Association President in Canberra and the Vice
President of the Australian Association. I spoke with, and on behalf of,
many international students at various events, not only in Canberra but
also in other states and countries.
I attended international conferences in Sydney and Melbourne, including the
Universities Australia Conference in 2019. I was brought along as a guest
of Studiosity - a online student support initiative which ensures every
student can get the personal study support they need - as I was on their
student advisory panel. While I was there, I saw that not many
international students get the opportunity to attend events like this and I
felt more student leaders would benefit from attending and hearing about
the national outlook on higher education in Australia. The staff introduced
us to important university and government professionals at that conference
who all seemed genuinely pleased to talk to us students as well.
At one of these events, I met some Australian Government officials who were
in a program to learn Bahasa. They invited me to present a talk in Bahasa
at one of their meetings about the non-government organisations I worked
with in Indonesia. I still maintain contact with some of those incredible
people that I met.
At the student conference in Melbourne, we discussed the momentum of
democratic action. We questioned how young people like us can play a role
in our nations development. There were many experts in attendance -
governors from Indonesia, national officials and leaders from the
Australia-Indonesian Business Council - who all came to talk about business
and economic opportunities for university graduates.
I am certain my choice of doing a Masters in Australia was one of the
reasons that an organisation back in Indonesia offered me a great job in my
field. Because of this, I had guaranteed employment when I graduated.
I feel extremely fortunate and owe a lot to Australia and the University of
Canberra for all the opportunities I had while being an international