Indonesian students invited by Australian government to study local cattle production

HANDPICKED students from Indonesia are invited to do a short professional course on the local cattle industry as part of the Australia Awards program. Jonathan Lian has the story.

Hindrik Sijens via Flickr

Hindrik Sijens via Flickr

Animal agriculturalists and scientists from Indonesia have been selected by the Australian government to undertake a local course in professional cattle production.

This student exchange program is part of the Australian Indonesian Red Meat Partnership, a bilateral agreement between the two neighbouring countries’ cattle industries.

Dr Gareth Kelly from the University of New England believes this international training will aid the Australian and Indonesian livestock sectors. He also said this exchange program is not limited to only Indonesian students.

“We have done student exchanges with many different countries around the world,” he added. “In the past, we had students from various African countries come to study with us.”

The current exchange program offered by agricultural colleges in Queensland and New South Wales aims to familiarise Indonesian students with the local livestock sector. As part of this course, students will learn about cattle handling, marketing, and domestic production.

Image: cgiarclimate via Flickr

In the past, students from Africa have had the opportunity to learn from Australian cattle farmers. Image: cgiarclimate via Flickr

According to Dr Kelly, the program aims to strengthen agricultural ties between the two neighbouring nations.

“This will deepen the relationship between Indonesian and Australian farmers.” he said. “Through this experience, we promote international partnerships with local cattle ranchers and businesses.”

As part of their training, Indonesian students will have a chance to work on Australian farms and learn more about cattle welfare.

“We want to give our participants appropriate skills and knowledge in the field,” Dr Kelly said.

“Students will be taken to farms in Armidale and experience the farming there as part of their diplomas.”

While this exchange program begins in May, Animal Liberation Victoria hopes the arriving students will respect animal rights and work towards ending animal exploitation.

“The new students should see animals not as a career path but living beings respected in their own right,” said Kristin Leigh, a representative within the organisation.

“We would always work towards a world where animals are free from exploitation.”

The 12 week program will be run first at New South Wales’ University of New England (UNE) and then at Queensland’s Longreach and Emerald-based agricultural colleges.