AAI Scholar Kalvin Sandabunga as an ILLA Volunteer with students at Whitefriars College, Donvale ,August 2018

12 Sep 2018

Kalvin brings a taste of Toraja to Whitefriars College, Donvale

The 2018 Indonesian Language Learner Ambassadors (ILLA) program is well underway as an initiative between Australia Awards in Indonesia (AAI) and the Asia Education Foundation.  Involving 50 AAI scholars and almost as many participating schools, ILLA is delivered as part of AAI’s On Award Enrichment program and aims to provide an opportunity for AAI scholars to experience life in an Australian classroom work and to oprovide assistance to Indonesian Language teachers.  AAI scholar from Monash University (Master of Education) Kalvin Sandabunga thoroughly enjoyed his visits to Whitefriars College in Donvale Melbourne and stated that ‘Interacting with teachers and students in Whitefriars reminds me of my passion as an educator’.  As a teacher from Sekolah Lentera Harapan Sentani, Kalvin was involved in a range of activities during his visits to Whitefriars College including conversational role plays with Year 8 students and a presentation to Year 9 students on Indonesian leaders Soekarno, Kartini, and Joko Widodo.   Other activities involved Kalvin explaining to Year 9 students about his hometown of Toraja and students were very keen to try on a typical Torajanese outfit which Kalvin bought into the classroom.  Kalvin said that the students were fascinated by the stories of Toraja especially about the fighting buffalo, the stone grave and the funeral ceremony.  With Year 12 students, Kalvin assisted with their essays written in Indonesian on the topic of obesity and diabetes and while reviewing their essays, he checked their understanding of the issue, and they enthusiastic to share what they had researched.

It wasn’t all about Kalvin providing knowledge to the students. During his ILLA visits and after a discussion from Kalvin about traditional games such as Congklak and Takraw, the students took Kalvin outside to teach a few basics of Australian Rules Football.  Kalvin concludes by stressing how much he enjoyed ILLA and he is very keen to return to his own classroom now to teach his students again after almost two years away from Indonesia.  He concludes by saying “if you get the opportunity to participate in ILLA in 2019, then grab the opportunity – it will provide you with great memories that you will take back with you to Indonesia and have for a very long time”.

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