Leaders from across the Indonesian tourism sector traveled to Australia to complete an Australia Awards – Short Term Award in Sustainable Tourism Development with Griffith University and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Awardees arrived in Australia in late March to commence the ‘in country’ portion of the program which spans across Far North Queensland, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and Sydney.
Australia Awards scholar Maulita Hutapea works as a Project Coordinator for Conservation International and said that the experience has provided her with a unique insight into marine life sustainable tourism.

“I have loved learning about the best practices, regulations, policy decisions and coordination activities across all levels of government that have been developed in Australia for marine conservation and marine tourism,” she said.

“Having the opportunity to network with experts in the field was incredibly beneficial and I am excited to return to Indonesia to implement the knowledge gained from this Short Term Award into my projects.”

Australia Awards participants get involved with the local community in Far North Queensland.

The program pre-course launch in Indonesia coincided with the Australian Government signing the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

Like the IA-CEPA, the program aims to establish strong links for mutual benefit between the tourism sectors in Australia and Indonesia.

Griffith University Senior Lecturer in Destination Marketing, Hospitality Marketing, and Tourism and Hospitality Marketing, Dr Sarah Gardiner said that awardees learn first-hand from leading tourism operators in Queensland about sustainable tourism practices.

“They will take this learning back to Indonesia to help implement sustainable tourism initiatives in their region,” she said.

“For example, policies to manage visitors swimming with whale sharks, developing a marketing campaign to attract Millennial visitors, recycling of plastic that washes up on the beach, development of shore excursions for cruise ship visitors and delivering a traditional cultural village experience for visitors.”

During the Short Term Award, awardees covered issues such as tourism destination management, brand positioning, stakeholder management, developing a service orientated workforce and more.

Learning was approached from a commercial and economic development perspective balanced with the need to preserve the tourism destination assets in the long term.

Awardees have also discovered how to prioritise the use of reliable data for decision making and developing community-based solutions to rapidly transform the socio-economic landscape through tourism.

Australia Awards are prestigious international Scholarships (postgraduate courses (Long Term Awards) and intensive tailored short courses (Short Term Awards) and Fellowships that offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development opportunities in support of key development and foreign affairs priorities.

Short Term Award opportunities build valuable people-to-people links both within Australia and within the Indo-Pacific region, enabling mid-career professionals and emerging leaders to tap into Australian expertise, gaining valuable skills and knowledge.

To find out more about the Australia Awards, particularly Australia Awards in Indonesia, visit Australia Awards.