When Lachlan Haycock was awarded a New Colombo Plan scholarship to study in Indonesia, little did he know his lifelong interest in the country would take him into an intense experience working at one of Indonesia’s major English language digital media companies - the Jakarta Globe.
Lachlan started Bahasa Indonesia studies in primary school in Nambour, Queensland. He continued Indonesian through high school and into his Bachelor of Arts at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Drawing on his philosophy of ‘being prepared to meet the unexpected’ Lachlan applied for a 2016 New Colombo Plan Scholarship. He was successful, and went on to study at Gadjah Mada University in Yogjakarta, Java. He followed this with honours research at Mataram Lingua Franca Institute in Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat into Indonesian literature, society and history.
Scholarship recipients are strongly recommended to undertake an internship while on award, given the unparalleled opportunities to experience what work life is like in the region. Seeking to broaden his experiences, Lachlan sought opportunities in Jakarta with media and communications companies. He landed a two month stint as a copy-editor at the Jakarta Globe.
Donny A. Mononimbar, Deputy Managing Editor of Jakarta Globe and Newsroom Manager of Berita Satu Media Holdings was impressed with Lachlan’s capabilities. “Lachlan’s Indonesian is so fluent, Indonesians could not tell they were speaking to a foreigner on the phone,” he said. “Lachlan’s knowledge and love of the language, cultures and literature enabled a ready rapport with colleagues and clients alike.”
Lachlan is very grateful to the New Colombo for his time in Indonesia. He urges other scholars to get creative and shape their awards to suit their dreams. “The core takeaway from my year in the Asia-Pacific was personal advancement and increased awareness of self,” he said. Since returning to Australia, Lachlan has promoted the New Colombo Plan to students from the University of the Sunshine Coast. He volunteers with the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association, and is considering career options in professional writing, interpreting or teaching Indonesian.