Bali trip an eye-opener for student

Aiden BoyhamThe West Australian

A Murdoch University student from Shoalwater recently took part in a special exchange program in Indonesia, with the trip marked by fireworks from Bali’s erupting Mt Agung volcano.

Lauren Peck, a marine science honours student at Murdoch, joined three others on the journey after being awarded a New Colombo Plan grant to undertake a sustainable community development practicum in Les Village, Bali.

During the month-long program she was involved in a number of activities, including monitoring coral reef rehabilitation as well as planning a village-based recycling program.

Ms Peck said while it was worrying to be there during eruptions, the group was fortunate enough to be a safe distance away in an evacuation village where hundreds of locals who live on the mountain had been staying.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“Learning about marine conflict problems that are not commonly seen in Australia — such as the conflict between local fisherman who rely on ornamental fishing for their livelihood, and the large-scale fishing companies — was a highlight,” she said.

Observing the recovery of coral reefs and marine health since the ban of cyanide use for ornamental fishing and the introduction of the sustainable method of using nets were other highlights.

Associate Professor Carol Warren from the Asian Studies program in Murdoch University’s School of Arts said the program was an excellent opportunity for a two-way exchange between Australia and its neighbouring countries in the Indo-Pacific.

“The NCP program gives these high-achieving Murdoch students the opportunity to gain real world experience in the areas they are passionate about,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails