SIX students from Indonesia’s Gadjah Mada University have settled into their new surrounds in the Top End, as they begin a 10-week course learning about biosecurity procedures and the NT cattle industry.
The Indonesia-Northern Territory Biosecurity Program (INTBP), established by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) and Gadjah Mada University is an opportunity for strengthening biosecurity networks through skills exchange and knowledge sharing.
The pilot exchange program will provide the students with rich practical and technical learning experiences in biosecurity related operations of government and industry.
Training so far has included how to clean, decontaminate and disinfect appropriately, how to identify emergency animal diseases and animal health preparedness as part of their studies into biosecurity protocols.
Charles Darwin University (CDU) is delivering training as a part of the program at Katherine Rural Campus to learn how to work safely on cattle stations, before they head to placements to get hands on experience with livestock.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Katherine and Big Rivers Region Alison Haines said the university is excited to be involved in this program and host the students on campus in Katherine for their initial training.
“Indonesia is one of our closest neighbours and the program helps foster understanding of Australian systems and processes when it comes to the livestock industry, biosecurity, production systems and the supply chain,” Mrs Haines said.
“The students have been working with Agriculture and Rural Operations trainers to learn about pastoral industry work requirements and safety, the handling, treatment, transport and care of livestock and safety awareness when working around horses, cattle, chemicals, machinery, trucks and in remote areas.
“The students are having a great time and are learning a lot, as are the trainers, who are gaining a deeper understanding of the student’s home country and its agriculture industries along the way.”
Northern Territory Minister for Agribusiness, Paul Kirby said the knowledge sharing program between the Territory Labor Government and Gadjah Mada University will strengthen The Territory’s bond with Indonesia and help both jurisdictions learn more about improving biosecurity measures.
“Foot-and-mouth and lumpy skin disease have not been detected in the Northern Territory, but it is important to learn as much as we can from our neighbours, as well as pass on the knowledge our biosecurity experts have developed for the students to take back home,” Minister Kirby said.
“It is great to see the students settling into their program and enjoying some of the truly magnificent sites and experiences the Territory has to offer before immersing themselves in their course. The students are destined to be future leaders of the industry in Indonesia.”
All skills learned through the course can be applied as a day-to-day best practice approach to good biosecurity, helping to develop a consistent biosecurity relationship between the countries.