Special Report from Australia
Australia, Here We Come! • Ennie Meenie Money More • The Real Australia • A Way to Be Creative and Productive Writers • You Know Where The Trashcan Is! •
Australia, here we come! Kadek Sonia Piscayanti Griffith uni has made a cooperation with Ganesha University of Education since first program, namely Overseas Mobility Program held in Ganesha University of Education on September-October 2011. At that time, Dr Sally Breen became the coordinator of the program and she has made her students creatively write about Balinese culture they found and saw in Bali. The students were then asked to publish their creative writing. The students learned a lot from the experience especially when they are getting closer to the culture of Balinese people. The students of Ganesha university of education learned to assist the Griffith students and practiced their speaking skills. Learning from that experience, Ganesha University wanted to do the same thing, to give the experience from the students to be creative as well as to introduce them to the real situation of learning process in Griffith Uni. Then the memorandum of agreement was signed by both universities at February 7, 2012, which focused on the mutual partnership in education and academic areas. 2 â€˘ Special Report from Australia
Special Report from Australia â€˘ 3
Therefore, the MoA should be implemented in the real program such as Overseas Mobility Program and academis staff exchange. The first program is Overseas Mobility Program. This program is conducted since creative writing is a new program that will be opened in Undiksha. This program is aimed at learning from the best creative writing program in Griffith uni. The students can best learn from the experience they get in Griffth uni, especially on how they establish and implement the creative writing program. This program was held from July 20-30, 2012. The main program were as follows.
Saturday, July 21, 2012 The team has arrived in Gold Coast, in Aquarius Backpackers Hostel, 44 Queen street, Southport. A tiny hostel, tiny rooms, tiny beds, and tiny hospitality. At first they amazed us at the unfriendly smile they gave us. Hmm. Must be weird to have Indonesian group, seven altogether, speak weird language and maybe weird fashion statement to them. We were all wrapped in two jackets, thick socks, boots, shoes, and hat, as if we are from frozen country. In contrary, they appeared to us too casual with jeans and shirts. Oh, winter or summer, we thought. Or they also had the same idea to see us, heelloo, where are you from? Okey, we are from Indonesia and whatever it takes, we will stay for ten days here. Money had been spent and real journey has just started to begin in Aquarius Backpackers. Okaaayyy. Deal with it.
4 • Special Report from Australia
Sunday, July 22, 2012 We got time to relax a bit before Monday, the University day. We went to Surfers Paradise Beach, had lunch there and then walked to Pacific fair! The longest walk ever, we thought that it was close, but by walking for about forty minutes, it can’t be called close, it is far! Too faaaarr… Some of us making jokes about everything, about Indonesia, Australia, and the weird things happen around us. We had a wonderful walk though. Sweating, smiling and walking and keep walking. And guess what, when we arrived at Pacific Fair, we only had half an hour left before it is closed. Hahaha. So we went through all the pains only for thirty minutes Pacific fair time? It is not fair. It is not Pacific fair. It is truly unfair. Whatever. The real thing is. This is Australia. Gold Coast. And Surfers Paradise. Look. They walked too. At least, we trained our feet to walk. Good exercise. A little too much, though.
Monday, July 23, 2012 In this first day in university, we were guided to visit some of the interesting places in Gold Coast Campus such as library, café, bookshop, seminar room, multimedia room, staff room, as well as classroom, we observed that the campus is not only large and clean, but also systematically arranged in such a way that the students are comfortable in their campus. I want to put more attention to the library. Library is
We went to Surfers Paradise Beach, had lunch there and then walked to Pacific fair! The longest walk ever, we thought that it was close, but by walking for about forty minutes, it can’t be called close, it is far! Too faaaarr… Special Report from Australia • 5
the most important elements of the university. It is charm, the surprises, and touch of reality. This is why the heart of the education, as a source of knowledge. then we need to realize that we are lucky to have this When we came in we saw a very large room with experience. computers, desks, and sofa, where the students are After the lecture, we had cocktail party to busy exploring their things. All the way around us are celebrate the book launch of Steven Amsterdam and computers. So then we asked, where are the books. the winner of the creative writing award from Griffith to Sally Breen, the lecturer of Griffith University who was senior high school students in Queensland. The winour coordinator in this program, laughed. Then she ner got AUD 3000 and the school got AUD 1500 for guided us to go upstairs to find the books room. It the prize. It was also a celebration night for the writers was a wow room. Books are massive in quantity and of Griffith Small Rooms Collective whose works have arranged beautifully with comfy sofa everywhere. Do been auditioned by Sally Breen, they were reading not imagine a complete sofa, this is a sofa made for their lovely pieces. It was Ashley Watson who wrote reading on the floor. It looks like a pillow, just a bit about her high school experience, especially about her bigger for us to sit on it, but it is so comfy. self-consciousness for being fifteen years old. And it We read books and explore everything until we was the best among five works. were dreaming of having the same library in Bali. But it seemed to be She guided us to go upstairs to find the books room. almost impossible. Then we went on It was a wow room. Books are massive in quantity and bookshop where we bought books on creative writing and the syllabus. And arranged beautifully with comfy sofa everywhere. also some Griffith’s uni gifts. Coming from the sightseeing, we joined a public lecture by Steven Amsterdam. The funny thing about cocktail party was that our He was the Astralian literary award winner this year students are too busy trying wine, champagne, beer, and he shared his creative writing process becomand etc. And Bayu almost got drunk because he was ing a successful writer. It was indeed a very good drinking four glasses of champagne. What an effort! experience to listen to how the successful writer On the way home, he fell asleep on the bus. Luckily he shared his experience to the audience especially for was not sick the day after. us. It was good to know that somehow being a writer Tuesday, July 24, 2012 was not only because of the talent but also a result of hard works and persistence. He also shared some Second day was the lecture given by Sally strategies to make a good piece. It has to have the 6 • Special Report from Australia
Breen lecture on Australian literature. She hardly defined what Australian literature is since Australia is a heterogeneous country, the largest land in the world with the long history of darkness, and effort and struggle. Australia has become the pluralistic country. People are coming from all over the world as they are immigrants. These people make family on and on that it is difficult to define who Australian people
are. Sally Breen for example, she has a blood history of Italian, England, Irish and Spain. Therefore, she could not define herself as Australian. Yet she lives in Australia as she grows until now. She writes what she feels around her and responds to it. She explains that the systematic structure of Australian literature history could not be trusted and trusted as it were true. Nobody was sure whether Australian literature written Special Report from Australia • 7
in history was exactly happened as it was written. It was far too systematic and structured that sometimes it could not be denied. Nothing could be done to stop it. It was maybe true yet it cant be stopped since it was growing and it is growing until now. She also talked about the indigenous energy. It was born from Aborigin culture in a different way that it spreads the creative energy through their works of arts. Songlines are the proofs that Aborigin culture has the creative spirit inside and it was beautiful. It was absolute response to the surrounding and it is indigenous arts. What Sally was trying to say is that art can not be only in the surface, but in depth. It should always talk about something in the nutshell, not in the skin. Very interesting topic indeed. Time passed by. We continued having best lunch in Lazy Lobster Restaurant which is located at Marine Parade Labrador, Broadwater River. Here we had the best Salt and Pepper Calamaries, Chicken Parmigiana, Pepper Steak, Chips, Salad, and yellow rice.
about someone who stole my voice. Mei wrote about her first encounter with nice guy which she falls in love with, yet the guy looked at her cause she sat on a wet painted seat. Then we came on the next stage, the lesson on how to make a flow of a story. Firstly we were guided by Sally, with the drilling technique. Secondly, she made us came outside the classroom to observe and absorb the feeling of the atmosphere. Thirdly she made us revising our previous stories. And last, she made us learnt how beautiful piece can be.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Sally Breen gave a workshop on short stories. We were given knowledge about creative writing in general, and more focused on short story. She introduced the first rule in writing, that it should not be a cliché. A cliché is a common thing shared by people, ordinary story. She gave us exercise on what we have to write about beauty without saying beauty. And then darkness. What we feel about darkness 8 • Special Report from Australia
without saying darkness. After that she gave us an example of another cliché such as saying things like “my heart is raising”. We need to find other imagery to say “my heart is raising without saying my heart is raising. Then we came up with a lot ideas such as “my heart is like a boiling volcano” (Bu Titiek), ”my heart is like a flying kite without a rope” (Bayu), “My heart
is like a dancing raindrops” (myself). Very important lesson indeed. Something we feel small and ordinary becomes importantly significant in short story. Next, she gave us time to rethink about what we have done in the morning, such as what sort of different mood that we feel in the morning. We came up with abundant of surprising stories. I made a story
He was one of the greatest poets in Australia therefore he was teaching poetry in Griffith University. Anthony started the lesson by reading poems of Leonard Cohen, Sharon Olds, and some other pieces, in which those works amazed us. He introduced us with the beauty of the words through poetry that he read. After listening to him, we were then asked to memorize sweet memories about home. We were asked to draw a picture of our home, and imagine the atmosphere there. We were then asked to write about our favorite spot and make a poetry about it. We were writing and after a while, we read what we wrote. He was happy about it. We were happy too.
Friday, July 27, 2012 As it was Friday, we had a free day, yaaay. A day off from uni and we explored places to hunt something Special Report from Australia • 9
like souvenirs as gifts for our family and friends. We went to Surfers Paradise Souvenir Shop and Pacific Fair as well. Then, off we went to this place and that place. All the way to get one thing, a gift for family. We got everything we wanted. We have got shirts with I Love Gold Coast print on it, we got mugs with Australia print on it, we got tiny cute things such as pens, bags, toys, tiny and cute gifts. So, then we went off home. Happily and joyfully. What a day.
Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29, 2012 It was festival day in Sunshine Coast. Sally Breen drove us to Sunshine Coast for 2 hours. Sunshine Coast is peaceful little town, hilly and silent. The festival took place at Cooroy library, on the central town of Sunshine Coast. The festival was not so big compared to Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, yet it was a smart and efficient festival. The theme of the festival was Reality Bites. Yes, it talked about reality, nonfiction literary works. Since reality was realer than real, that was called reality bites, that reality bites the people. We were lucky to have a lot of famous writers in Australia such as Benjamin Law, Alice Pung, Sally Breen, Ben Robertson, Kari Gislason, Francesca Rendel-Short. Benjamin Law, Alice Pung discussed about racial issue they faced as Asian-Australian first generation. How they feel to be Asian and how they lived with it. Benjamin Law in his book The Family Law discussed about his daily issue of Asian family with his own 10 • Special Report from Australia
family law. His father was struggling to speak English and learn about English by dictionary. Important word is listed and memorized as he will repeat the word and its meaning everyday. Reading his book was such an amazing experience. Alice Pung, considered herself as white since she was Vietnamese and Chinese mixed generation, and found herself different as she entered school life. However, she sees herself as an individual who was born with equality human rights. Though she finds it difficult in school age, cause people perceived her as ‘white’ for her white skin. Sally Breen, on the other hand, talked about the death of her father. In her memoir, The Casual, Sally Breen talked about her memory on childhood, teenager’s life until she found the death of her father changed her life. Sally used very powerful language, vivid and smooth. She was not reluctant to peel her life as open as if it can be seen, heard, and felt. This festival brings a lot of advantages for us as it introduced us with the power of writing to heal the pain, to educate and to entertain people. The most important thing of all, the power of writing can move the world to the better world. Since it changes people, it can change the world as well.
Monday, July 30, 2012 This is the last day of all journeys we had. In the morning, we went to Griffith Uni, mainly to discuss about the continuation of the program, the curriculum, and course description of creative writing, and other
topics. We learned that having this program is a very effective and prospective effort to make a better future program between Griffith University and Ganesha University of Education. In the evening we held farewell party in Griffith University. There was a barbeque party, prose and poetry reading, music performance, and Balinese dance from our students. In that evening, we felt that the program was not only precious for us but also for both universities in the future.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 Early in the morning we woke up and got up to be ready. Taxi picked us up at 5 am. Leaving Aquarius Backpackers, our lovely hostel was a bit sad ending. Yet, happy moments awaited, family moments in Bali. For those experience we had in the past ten days, in Australia and for the future we will have in coming years, this program is a bridge in between, where past and present will meet somewhere, in a place belongs to us, who are brave to face the challenge and go for it. Special Report from Australia • 11
Money More I
bet most of people in the world will feel happy when surrounded by money. Yet, if it is not your own money, it probably will be terrible and fearful. A high responsible and honest from the person who carrying it on is absolutely needed. We were in the shuttle bus and I sit at the back with many luggages, my favorite place. I tried to sweep up and capture every new atmosphere from my eyes. Finally here I was, getting closer with my dream, in Australia. While I was enjoying the view, I heard someone called by my name. I looked in front and shown my innocent face, asked what happened automatically. They chose one of us to be the money management, a treasurer. And they chose the youngest student in this program, yes, it was me. Although I knew it would be not easy and needed a high responsible, I accepted it and kept their trust as well as possible. Each of us had to collect $ 100. Seven pieces of $ 100 (more or less Rp 6.860.000) was sleeping well in my purse, waiting to be spent. I was waiting only several minutes till finally we had to spend our first $ 100 for paying the shuttle bus. After we arrived in the Aquarius Backpacker, more and more dollars were waiting to be spent. We had to pay $ 272/each student. Even though I knew 12 â€˘ Special Report from Australia
Special Report from Australia â€˘ 13
there were more and more hundred dollars should be spent afterward, I also knew there would be hundreds of precious experiences waiting to be explored. I heard noisy sound coming from my tummy. Oh, I was hungry, we were hungry. Australia fair looked offering a good taste and yummy smell, a good choice to fulfill our appetite. We spent $ 70 (@ $ 10) for buying Chinese food in Sea Emperor Chinese Restaurant. It was not too expensive for Australian, but for us? Absolutely YES! The foods were nice, but not as delicious as Balinese foods. We were missing the Balinese foods, and then our beloved Dean, Ms.
little heaven for the shopaholics. Ms. Nana (more like an angel for us rather than Phd students from Bali) gave us a voucher $ 20 for buying things. We decided to buy foods and it spent around $ 30, so we needed other $ 10 and $ 28 for paying the shuttle bus. That was windy Monday and we needed enough breakfast before ready to the Griffith University. We needed something more to cook. Then I went to Australia Fair and spent $ 58.45. The crows were singing gutturally, accompanying my way to back to hostel with heavy bag in my both hands. After finished preparing for the lunch boxes, we were ready to the Griffith University by bus. The price was $ 4.5 for each person. So we needed to We spent $ 70 (@ $ 10) for buying Chinese pay $ 31.5 twice on that day. We enjoyed our day, walking around Griffith campus, food in Sea Emperor Chinese Restaurant. It was amazed with many things. It was clean, not too expensive for Australian, but for us? clear and crows were everywhere. We Absolutely YES! also met Ms. Sally Breen, a marvelous writer and a success lecturer who work Nitiasih, who also accompanied us, initiated to buy in Griffith University. She was nice, gorgeous and groceries such as fresh vegies, meats and fruits and fashionable. After following the seminar from award then cooked it at hostel. We had to kiss good bye winning Australian writer, Steven Amsterdam, we also another $ 115 to pay for that. met some of Griffith’s students in cocktail party. What New day had arrived. The wind was still breezing, a great day. We backed to the hostel, trembling, but all totally windy. We went down to the kitchen, preparing of us were happy. for our breakfast. After finishing our breakfast and Monday was replaced by Tuesday soon. We were the lunch boxes were also ready, we went to Surfer ready with our schedule. Ms. Sally picked us up, so Paradise beach, enjoying the song from seagulls and that we didn’t need to spend our money for the bus the whistled of the wind. We were also surrounded tickets. Ms. Sally also treated us for lunch, and we by white sand and the heterogeneous people from all could save up our money (once again). over the world. Our next destination was Pacific Fair, a On Wednesday, we went to Griffith University 14 • Special Report from Australia
for the workshop by bus. Yes, like we all guessed, we had to spend other $ 31.5 twice again to pay for the bus. When our bus stopped in Australia Fair (like usual), we all together bought groceries for surviving. We spent about $ 105.5. Fortunately, Ms. Nitiasih and Ms. Sonia always helped us to cook our meal every day. I didn’t try to exaggerate; honestly, the foods were delicious, much better than the foods in the last restaurant that we visited. So, we didn’t need to pay for the chef. Hehe.. Time was running fast. It was our sixth day, Thursday. We were almost late for the bus. All of us were racing against the wind with the song of crows burning our spirit. Like usual we spent $ 31.5 for the tickets. Fortunately, Ms. Sally drove us back home. We also bought some groceries and spent $ 35.5. We had a delicious dinner together. It was free day Friday. We were totally enjoyed our free day in Surfer Paradise, bought some Australian Souvenirs for our beloved family and friends. We also enjoyed our time along Friday market along the beach. We were walking and walking till felt hungry. Hopefully we found McDonalds not far from the beach and spent $10 for snacks. We also decided to buy a gift for Ms. Nana, because she threated us very well. The bus arrived and we spent $ 36.40 to back home. What a beautiful weekend in Sunshine Coast that we had. We totally enjoyed our time along the Reality Bites Writing Festival. Most of brilliant writers in Australia were there. We also spent one night in Noosa Head, in Noosa Backpacker. We needed $ 70 for dinner, $ 154 for the rooms and $ 56 for the
breakfast before checked out at 10 am in the morning. Then, we continued to attend the festival in Sunshine Coast before finally backed to Gold Coast. What a nice trip with my seniors and two friends from Griffith, who accompanied us to see the wild wallabies. We were too tired to chitchatting like usual in the room. I slept earlier and fly with my dream. We were getting closer with home. The farewell day was coming. It was powerful Monday with smell of Bali was burning. We were very lucky because the bus driver gave free tickets for us when we went to Griffith University. The lectures still had meeting with Griffith staffs when my seniors and me went to Australia Fair for buying stuffs for the farewell party because we would make Indonesian foods. We had to farewell our $ 108 for those. Finally, here we were in farewell party. Everyone was exciting and enjoying the party, the foods, the events and our dances. It was totally fun. The weather was still freezing, but this togetherness brought something. Something which made us held out and be strong enough to live thousand miles from home. It was the last day we spent night in Aquarius Backpacker. We were packing and chitchatting with each other. We would miss these extraordinary experiences along those 10 days. Early in the morning after spending our last $ 100, we arrived in Gold Coast Airport by a cab and ready to back home. Yet, it was not the end. It was just the beginning of our new life stories. Because life is not destination, it is a journey.
Special Report from Australia • 15
THE REAL AUSTRALIA By Putu Ayu Sutaningrat Puspa Dewi
Cloudy gloomy scene in Kuala Lumpur International Airport. We all were moving out of the big white humming (world lowest cost) plane and going to the waiting room. Connecting flight made us trapped in about 3 hours in Kuala Lumpur before boarding to Gold Coast. What mildly sinful things I can do to kill the time? I took off my jacket though the weather turned nasty. I dashed off to get to the toilet. But then, DAMN! I stopped walking exactly at one meter before the door of female toilet. My bone was suddenly freezing. A passionate French kiss of a romantic couple flared up my blood. The man wiped the juicy lips of his couple and grounded the second kiss gently on the woman’s forehead. I saw the wet cheeks. It sliced my heart bit by bit. It must be hard against leavetaking time. The woman handed over the travel bag 16 • Special Report from Australia
and the man was leaving while waving his hands. I was just stuck. I felt so invisible that they didn’t care at all about my presence. I might be on the first shocked culture experience. I then got my way and quickly sat on the holed-chair. I felt relief and got myself again. Two busy guys with their black jackets were hunting some pictures. Sometimes they blamed the camera. Sometimes they took photos many times at the same setting and pose. They laughed. They smiled and jerked each other. Though I left my glasses at the waiting bench, I could guess that they were absolutely Arik and Bayu, the team of mine. With naked eyes I got them and asked the other four ladies. Two of them were my lecturers and the rest were my friends. “They are looking for some foods”, Arik pointed at the food court next Duty Free. I was able to catch them from my
position but my sight was jammed at certain corner for a while. I looked at the perfume and chocolate compartments of Duty Free. My fantasy on an exotic heady fragrance lifted me to the valentine last year. I missed my boyfriend and his dark burned black chocolate. Oh no! Not today. Please! It is the first day. I mean I need to put my focus on this program. Immediately I joined my friends and had lunch together. While eating,
we killed the time by comparing our language with Malaysian language: sabuk pengaman-tali keledar, kedatangan internasional-ketibaan antara bangsa, telepon genggam-telefon bimbit, and the others funny things. That was amusing lunch with quite racist topic instead. But we all were fun till the officer suddenly announced the connecting flight to Coolangatta International Airport. The gate T8 was opened. The steady Special Report from Australia • 17
stream passengers were swallowed one by one by the big white machinery bird. I laid my head down on my seat. Sometimes I was asleep. Sometimes awake and felt hungry. I bought some foods and drinks from the sexy trolley stewardess but then I was so full and badly need toilet. Sitting, sleeping, feeding, and streaming to the toilet were the all activities I could do for 6 hours flight to Gold Coast. Looking to the rain sprinkled-window, suddenly the gravitation pulled my back bone. Its pull blew my neck and froze my blood. The buzzing bird sucked us till it got landed perfectly. I turned my neck again to the window and I saw some letters hanging on the long subtropical forest “Coolangatta International Airport”. We arrived at Gold Coast and I was so happy for finishing my regular boring activities. Gold Coast is a part of Queensland. The weather in this winter is around 10-20oC. It’s freezing indeed, moreover the crazy wind. But the sophistication offered and the tidiness and also cleanness presented by this city could temper and warm my body for it made me think, respond, and be mad of this place for the first time I saw the landscape. Directed by Nana Trianasari, we checked in Aquarius Backpackers Hostel. We met very pleasant people who are very very very kind. Ms. Nana, a smart tough vegetarian woman who survived in Gold Coast for 3 years for her Ph.D program, helped us much. She showed us some places we need to know while in Gold Coast: Australia Fair, Pacific Fair, Pacific Paradise, Griffith University, and halt for getting shuttle bus. I admire her much for she is very humble, wise, 18 • Special Report from Australia
and great in hospitality. She brought us fruits and cakes at the second day because we had not bought some meats and vegetables yet to be cooked (at the kitchen in the hostel). For me, it was so touching and of course very impressive that she remained so Indonesia although she had been living in individualized country for a long time. Ms. Nana led us to the Griffith and brought us to Sally Breen’s office. Sally is the other admirable woman I met here. She is Mrs. Sonia’s friend and the lecturer of creative writing. Her fashion, gesture, smile, laugh, and wisdom strongly reflected an independent modern woman. The way she drive the car, put her sunglasses, pick her cigarette, and slurp her cup of coffee were pretty amazing. Moreover when she run the workshop for creative writing, I admire her deeper. I love the way she teach and discuss the material. Very open-minded. I then started to think about why am I here? Enjoying, travelling, and exploring must be the first things common people expect when they get chance to go to Australia. And at first I was one of the common people before three elder people starring and standing in front of me. I could get nothing from their respond to me until a handicapped grandmother pointed at a blue sticker behind me. I turned my head and dashed off to find another seat in that shuttle bus. I was in the country where I should learn more about etiquette and the way I should think (even more than admiring sophistication served). The social manner is strongly respected. This is the real Australia where I haven’t found yet in Indonesia.
YOU KNOW WHERE THE TRASHCAN IS! Guruh Bayu Nugraha
ur journey began when the announcer calling for our flight. That was time for us to say goodbye to our motherland, Bali. I hate to do this, but I can’t lie to my feeling that I’m so excited to go to Australia. This is my dream, my childhood dream. I’m waiting for this moment for 6 months. A white big plane was waiting to carry us into the ‘kangaroo’ land. As the pilot fly the big bird off the ground, I realized that I’m leaving Indonesia (especially Bali) for the first time ever. Last word, goodbye Bali. Next day, I arrived in Australia with a terrific dizzy in my head. First thing, I found that Gold Coast is quite same with Bali, beaches, white sand, and surfing. I stepped on the Gold Coast airport ground for the first (and maybe for the last) time. It tasted natural, this town was still in its track in organizing the earthlife. It was so CLEAN and ORGANIZED WELL! I was shocked along the road we went to our hostel from airport. I wonder that we will have a great experience in the following days. Next, I went to our hostel in Southport. On Monday, I felt so lucky that I woke up in this country, still breathing and heard the alarm over and over. Oh, woke up so early in the morning is a disaster
for me. It becomes a catastrophe thing when you try hard to open your eyes, but it can’t. The first day in the week became first tread to me to startup a simply short life in Gold Coast. I hoped everything will be in its line. The alarm said it’s already 8, so I got up and prepared for something new. Again and again, this country shocked me. Wow! Everything was so clear, clean, and green. Especially the road, I was falling in love with the road! I tried to think about how people here did the ‘impossible’ thing in my country! No rubbish along the road, no arrogant driver, people walked on the right path, geez! It was amazing! From that morning until the end of the day, I tried to find a rubbish or maybe a can, but I could not find that things! Where were they? Next day and the days after it, I still could not find where were all the rubbish. Until this time, I didn’t believe, that the rubbish was GONE! Then I had to try an experiment. When I walked out to the big mall near my hostel, I threw away a tissue on the mall floor. Suddenly, a big guy approached me and said ‘Hey boy, you know where the trashcan is! Took that back!’ then I realized, all of the rubbish, were on the TRASHCAN. Special Report from Australia • 19
It’s the day by Suardibawa Ari Jaya
20 • Special Report from Australia
It’s the day. The day that I have been waiting for. The day that I hugged my family for the last time and say goodbye. This day, I would leave Bali for ten days and flew to the smallest continent in the world place called Australia. Buzzing plane made my heart beat fast. I was crumbling, fragile. Should I leave my family? I saw my father held his cry, but I have to go, this was my dream, my only chance to go overseas. The sky was so clear as the plane reach it. I looked down and saw a land. Is that Australia? Yes it is! My dreamland.
When I came out from the plane, the wind touched my skin and just like freezing my blood, it’s too cold for me. But I must be strong. This cold wouldn’t stop me to reach my dream. I looked at my best friend and he smiled at me then said our journeys just begin. I took my first step, took a deep breath and step forward with strong heart. My taxi stopped in a small blue building. I stared on that small blue building for while. I came out from the taxi and step in to the building. The building was my hostel. The hostel staff introduced me the building. He shows me a small room and said this is your room. I opened the window and cold wind blowing. I feel the wind whispered. I laid down on the bed closed my eyes and fall to sleep. Next day I opened my eyes. Birds was singing good morning outside and the wind knocked the window tried to wake me up. I realized this was the first the day I woke up in Australia. My best friend shouted to me, “this was our day bro”. We stepped out from the hostel and took a walk around the city. I saw strange people, strange building, and strange situation. My friend asked me to take his picture
and shouted Australia as loud as he caould. We walked around and I saw the way people respected each other, the way car driver respect pedestrian, The way they arrange the city was so wonderful, Such amazing people lived here.This wonderful experience happened only once in my life. In the afternoon we went back to hostel, we prepared food for our dinner. I’ve never been cooking dinner by my self before, but here my lectures taught me how to do everything by my own hand. Next morning I heard my phone rang, I saw my father name on the phone. He just said, you are my son, I believe in you, I believe you will do your best over there, his voice made me calm. I tried to get up and prepared to go to Griffith University for the opening ceremony. My lecturers, my friends and I got a bus and went to Griffith University. The crowds greeted us with their scary sounds when we arrived in the University. Then we went to a building to attend the opening ceremony. When I saw the Griffith University students, I realized that I came here to learn, to put something good in my brain, and tried to be good in writing.
Special Report from Australia • 21
Overseas Mobility Program,
A Way to Be Creative and Productive Writers by Kadek Sonia Piscayanti
The Overseas Mobility Program was the first program in Ganesha University of Education that sent the students and lecturers abroad. As this was the first time, a lot of new experience gained, as it was memorable moments for us. Overseas Mobility Program was initiated by Griffith University by sending their delegations (12 students and 1 lecturer) to Ganesha University of Education at the end of September, 2011. This was a Creative Writing program that enabled the students to explore Balinese culture, visit the interesting places and write about it. They also joined Ubud Writers and Readers Festival on the early October 2011, by becoming volunteers. A lot of experience, unforgettable moments as well as inspirations they got and learnt. Realizing that this program was success22 â€˘ Special Report from Australia
fully conducted and brought a big effect to students, Ganesha University of Education wanted to have the same program, that sent students and lecturer to Griffith University. Then, by cooperative communication and coordination between Ganesha University of Griffith University, both universities had signed a Memorandum of Agreement on February 7, 2012 in Griffith University. As the first realization was Overseas Mobility Program on creative writing. Luckily, our team was supported by Dr. Sally Breen, a lecturer in Creative Writing and Publishing in Griffith University who kindly helped us in running the program. Then, this Overseas Mobility Program was offered to students. The program was offered by the Faculty to English Education Department students by
March-April 2012. The students who applied for the program were only 11 students. They were all asked to write a creative piece on prose fiction to be selected. However only 9 students who wrote their pieces. After being evaluated by the university team, five students were ranked on the top. They were Sutaningrat Puspa Dewi, Mei Mirah Mahadewi, Ni Made Christina Wijaya, I Gede Guruh Bayu Nugraha, and Ratu Gistri Oqania. However Ratu could not go for a reason, then her place was replaced by Suardibawa Ari Jaya, who was on the 6th rank.
met inspiring people, humble, and highly respected in literary world. To mention them, Dr. Sally Breen who wrote The Casuals, a memoar about her life; Benjamin Law, who wrote Family Law, and Ben Robertson who wrote Hear Me Roar. Also, we had bought some wonderful books such as The Little Green Grammar Book and The Little Red Writing Book written by Mark Tredinnick. Not only wonderful, these two books really changed our mindset about academic books. It was written in prosaic style rather than academic, yet the contents were academic.
Then, the team consisted of seven people altogether, they are five students, the Dean of Faculty of Languages and Arts, and I myself as lecturer on Prose Fiction and the contact person with Griffith University. The schedule was quite tight. We went to some lectures, one of them public lecture by Steven Amsterdam, a famous writer in Australia. We went to
What other benefits that we got? This program could be held annually, if the program can run successfully and if there is a budget from both university. So, it is a great chance for more students coming to Griffith as well as more Griffith students coming to our university. It was also fruitful experience as we learned a lot from their Creative Writing Program. As to prepare our new concentration on Creative Writing, we learned about their curriculum, course design and description on Creative Writing. Of course, adaptation is needed to meet our own objectives.
We attended Reality Bites Festival. A prestigious festival that was attended by famous writers and journalists from all over Australia. workshop of creative writing and poetry. We also got a valuable knowledge on the history of Australian literature. Then, we attended Reality Bites Festival. A prestigious festival that was attended by famous writers and journalists from all over Australia. Luckily, we had
Finally, we come to the students view about this program. Special Report from Australia â€˘ 23
Hear what they said: Suardibawa Ari Jaya My trip to Griffith University gave me lots of experience and stories. I learned a lot about how to live disciplined and appreciated what we have. I also understand different culture that exists in gold coast. The most important thing is, I met professional writers who shared many knowledge and their experiences in writing. It makes me know about what is creative writing and how to write it. Mei Mirah People are wonderful and honest to themselves. They are open minded, confident, independent, and remain casuals. Guruh Bayu Nugraha Students are free to be who they are. No hesitations, no worries. Yet, they are independent and smartly responsible
24 • Special Report from Australia
Christina Wijaya Things are expensive here. That was what I experienced. So if one day I live here, I have to work, to get money and study to get the knowledge.
Here I learned how to appreciate disabled person. People born with such equality, and I can see here they are treated well and appreciated. Indonesia should learn about it. Sutaningrat Puspa Dewi
Small Room Collective By Kadek Sonia Piscayanti
Here we are in a small room Of a group of people who have too many dreams and words and imaginations Here we go Stories to be told; kissing for the first time, love at first sight, falling in arms of a handsome boy Song to be heard; lovely man loves lovely girl, ends sadly, for nobody loves the man And dance to be stared at; Balinese dance – youth, beauty and innocence A poet, a musician, a cook, a dancer, a writer, an imaginer, a watcher, a listener What else World needs nothing It needs peace Shoot… the most complicated thing of peace is peace itself. Gold Coast, July 30, 2012
Special Report from Australia • 25
The sky food
I am moving down. Climbing down a hill. Where is it? Well, this must be (or might not be) a hill in Australia. Why am I here? My shoes are cold, my jacket too. I am freezing. Still wondering, where am I? I was having a camp. Yes. I was looking for my friends. Yep. I was walking, climbing up, down, up, down. I have no idea where to go. My compass was gone. Gone with the freezing air. My clothes are freezing. Nobody is around. Am I lost? Nobody can see me. Hear me. Smell me. I am terribly alone. Skies are blue. Trees are green. Roses are red. Cliché. My life is a cliché. I jump. I kick. I run. Nothing much happened. O my God, I will die here as nobody. I write a letter to myself or to whoever passing by this hill. “I hate myself for what it gives me. I hate myself for who I am”. Dedicated to: mom, dad, my lover.
Clear. Pure. Massive. Remarkable. Untouchable. Unbreakable. Blue. The best blue of blue can be. Hello, blue. How are ya doing today. Good day huh. I see you are okay. … flowing air… buzzing winds… smiling sun… persistent pressure… the freezing wheater… Mom : You, learn to cook in your kitchen. Salt, pepper, sugar, chilies. Be their friends. Cook by yourself. Do not trust anyone taste. Follow your intuition. Too much cook will ruin your broth. I am : Ok. It was all about the composition. Two spoons of sugar with one glass of water could make a sweet warm tea. But when you add a spoon of salt, it ruins the taste. Mom : You got it, dear. Perfect. What are you going to cook for lunch? I am : Let me see. I wanna cook something different. Something that nobody has never cooked before. Something unique and unthinkable.
By Kadek Sonia Piscayanti
Kadek Sonia Piscayanti
Blasts. It blasts. I hear it. Right on my ear. I remember this. A bomb. Like a huge bomb blast. I saw it on the news last time. But it was not. I feel like I was a bomb. But it was not. I run. For nothing. Running from the blast, or from myself. Shoot. Shoot on you, bastard blast. Stop chasing me. You burn my jacket. It burns me. You burn my shoes. It wrinkles. They are wrinkled. It wrinkles like the skin of my grandmother. It wrinkles me as well. My heart is wrinkled. I am tiny now. Tinnier and tinnier for I am a dust of a dark green hill. I am alone. Terribly alone. Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, July 26, 2012.
26 • Special Report from Australia
Mom : Yup. I can help. What was it? I am : I wonder how to cook a perfect blue sky? Like Gold Coast sky? How much winds, how many spoon of weather pressure, how much heat of temperatures, how many drops of rainwater, and how much lights should I put on my broth… *** Silent. My mom was silent. The winds freeze me. The sky was blue, and my heart too. Aquarius Backpackers Hostel, Gold Coast, July 26, 2012 Special Report from Australia • 27
The Forest is Dark At the Kitchen
Prof. Dr. PK. Nitiasih, M.A
It was 45 years ago It was Sunday A 40 years mother came with two bags of vegie She looked so tired, no energy But the kitchen brought her energy back She started shouting. Hei everybody start working now And all came near her, made a flock Cutting, washing, and frying, at the kitchen Even the five years girl had to do that No matter she wanted to play on Sunday No matter she wanted to watch TV The five years old girl should work at the kitchen Her face was full of anger, no compromise I could see my mom was just like an imperialist However I can taste the most fabulous food from her at the kitchen 28 • Special Report from Australia
Mey Mirah Mahadewi
The forest is dark but if you look up at the sky, the moon is there. Snow piles up in the winter but you’ll feel warm if you light the flare. Tears dripping through your cheeks but you know that sooner or later it will stop. You haven’t fall in love but you’ll meet someone that makes your heart pops. It’s rainy but you know that above the gloomy cloud, the sun rays firm. You can’t always see the one that you love, but you can always remember them. A traveler could go everywhere around the world, but their home stays where they put their heart to. And I left my heart in you, the one that I’ll come home to. Gold Coast, end of July 2012
One Day in Gold Coast Mey Mirah Mahadewi
Balinese song woke me up forcedly in the morning. A crazy bastard opened the window and let the wind slap my face. I went to the bathroom, then the kitchen. My stomach was getting hungry as I sniffed the toast. I rushed to the bus stop and exit into a crowd of people. Some Koreans humming and some prick swinging by on the skateboard. A nice guy stared at me. I stared back, he looked away. I looked away, he stared again. I stared back and he stood up. I kept staring; he’s in front of me. I kept staring and he said something that blushed my face red: “You sit on the wet paint.”
Mey Mirah Mahadewi
One girl and a paper waiting in line Four dollars bill For a sadness in a cup of coffee Three sachets of sugar Still felt bitter as she sip slowly Her mind wandering far To a boy she left lonely Gold Coast, July 2012 Special Report from Australia • 29
Suardibawa Ari Jaya
This morning Bird singing good morning outside Wind knocked my window tried to wake me up I opened my eyes I saw yellow I saw beautiful sun shine through the window I heard step Come closer I saw beautiful smile Smile comes from beautiful face Face that I love most That was she Wonderful moment every morning
As the Mist Leaves No Scars As the mist leaves no scar On the dark green hill, So my body leaves no scar On you, nor even will When wind and hawk encounter, what remains to keep? So you and I encounter, Then turn, then fall to sleep. As many nights endure Without a moon or star, So will we endure when one is gone and far Leonard Cohen
30 â€˘ Special Report from Australia
Special Report from Australia â€˘ 31
Special Report from Australia