Our Global Neighbours is a blog series containing stories from and about cultures around the world. Today's blog introduces Putu Ayu Yunita Yastini and Novita Wenda, Indonesian interns on work experience in our Anthropology team.

In October-November 2013 the Anthropology Collection is hosting two young women from Indonesia, visiting us under the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program - Ms Novita Wenda who lives in Jayapura, Papua Province and Ms Putu Ayu Yunita Yastini (Ita) who lives in Denpasar, Bali.

The purpose of this three week visit is to gain some work and life experience in Australia. This includes developing awareness of work conditions and practices as well as different customs that foreigners encounter in daily life.

Novita Wenda and Putu Ayu Yunita Yastini
Novita Wenda and Putu Ayu Yunita Yastini Image: Stan Florek
© Australian Museum

We believe the visit will help young Indonesians to develop a different and broader outlook by sampling work, life and culture in Sydney. We hope their work at the Australia Museum will inspire their interest and assist in developing their own professional path to work, as well as their contribution to communities at home and abroad.

We also anticipate that Novita and Ita will help us to further develop our own interest and understanding of their culture and view of the world. Indonesia is a country of astounding cultural diversity and young population (average age 28 in contrast to 38 in Australian). Forging cultural links and comprehension as well as nurturing relationships across the Timor and Arafura Sea is increasingly important to maintaining peace, promoting prosperity and fostering social justice for all in our region.

We believe the Australian Museum’s collection of textiles and puppets, paintings and masks, carvings and costumes from Indonesian islands forms an excellent basis and starting point for talking about culture, sharing what is specific and universal as well as developing mutual appreciation and understanding.