“This is just the beginning, a new beginning…”
A dream comes true, indeed. Ten years ago, I almost had the opportunity to study in Australia but it did not take place due to several reasons. The circumstances made me quite sad and disappointed. However, I never lose hope; I know that I still have a hope to study in Australia. By the grace of God, through YCAB Foundation, I went to Sydney, Australia to study for three weeks in TAFE New South Wales Sydney Institute (TAFE NSW SI). The program was called ‘Skills Training: Cooperation and Collaboration in the community’. This program focused on training and education field, highly related to what YCAB is doing, especially in the pillar of House of Learning and Development (HoLD).
I will share more about the program details in TAFE NSW SI later. First, I am eager to tell you about Sydney, it is a beautiful city. I just love it! Well, it was my first time in Australia, so I didn’t have another city in Australia to compare it to. So during my stay there, I kept comparing Sydney to Jakarta. I would say that it’s not the most ‘apple to apple’ comparison. But, one thing that amazed me about Sydney versus Jakarta is the fact that the city is very well-organized in almost every aspects. Like Jakarta, Sydney also has a very wide spectrum of cultural diversity. I guess almost every major cultural community is represented from all over the globe. Another important lesson that I learnt from the people that I met and the environment where I was in, is: the attitude of gratitude and respect for humankind.
TAFE stands for T echnical A nd F urther E ducation. TAFE is the Australian government education system with high quality and reliable approach. The courses have been defined to be relevant and up-to-date. The program is designed by industry experts and is being updated every 2 years in order to synchronize with the industry needs or the needs in the fields. These courses are meant to prepare students to be ready for a job, as well as assist them on work placements. TAFE is well equipped with sophisticated facilities to simulate work places such as offices, restaurants, salons, workshops, laboratories, travel agencies and many more. So, to put it simply, TAFE focuses and prepares students on ‘how to do it in practical’ or ‘hands-on’, rather than ‘how to think and analyze’ like the university approach.
As I mentioned before, the three weeks program focuses on training and education, specifically in Training and Assessment for Certification IV, which every teacher in TAFE has to pass the prior to teaching students in the courses. I get to practice of how to plan, organize, design, and deliver a learning program for trainings or courses, I also learnt how to do the assessment phases. All of these courses were according to Australian system. At the end of every session, I was able to demonstrate what I learnt in the training based on short session plan.
In my humble opinion and self-evaluation, this opportunity has enhanced my skills in being able to deliver training and program in a more proper and suitable methods. Compared to the Indonesian system, Australian system has a clear objective and output that helps us understands the purpose of doing all of the competencies activities. In addition, we are also able measure the learning progress.
Besides the course phases, I also visited another organization who is involved in youth programs and had good discussion regarding the challenges in the program implementation. As a big city in a developed country, Sydney has a big challenge in the need fulfillment of health, education, and economic for the indigenous and the immigrants. In this case, most organizations have good collaboration with government, companies/private sectors, and industry to take control of these matters. This means that stakeholders have one vision which is to transform the city into the best circumstances for everyone. Currently, this is still missing in Indonesia.
After all the experience I had, I believe that the skill and knowledge that I have gained would be beneficial for YCAB Foundation, especially in program standardization that will help us achieve our desired impact – a quality of education that is ‘enabling youth, and developing independence’. Personally, my overseas’ experience has brought me to the next level of understanding about my life’s view points, as well as a spiritual contemplation. In time to come, I am still interested to learn more and take the opportunity to study overseas to better understand people and organizational development.
This is just the beginning, a new beginning…