With a major nutrition crisis facing Indonesia’s province of Papua, Evi Sinaga felt compelled to help improve the health of her birthplace.
Building on her undergraduate degree in nutrition from Diponegoro University in Semarang, Central Java, Evi joined Victoria University (VU) in July 2018. She is studying the Master of Public Health (Global Nutrition and Active Living) with the aim of improving the outcomes of communities in her hometown.
“In Papua, there are so many undernourished children and people living below the poverty line, so nutrition is a serious issue,” Evi says.
“On the other hand, the Indigenous people in Papua have a lot of potential in sports so I chose VU because the Master of Public Health will enable me to develop a deeper understanding of both nutrition and active living,” she says.
Evi says the course structure “fits perfectly” with her long-term career plan, which is to return to Indonesia and become a lecturer at Cenderawasih University, where she currently works in student administration.
“They have a lack of lecturers at my institution so I want to help meet that need while also making a positive contribution to my hometown.”
Although she is only two months into her degree, Evi says she already loves life at VU and in Melbourne because of the opportunities to meet new people from all over the world and enjoy the city’s abundance of parks, cafes and shopping precincts.
“Most of my classmates and friends are from different countries.
“They bring their own experiences to the classroom so besides the lecturer, I am learning a lot from the people I am studying with.
“As an international student, Melbourne is a good place to live because there’s lots to see and do around the city when you need a break from studying.”
Evi’s study at VU was made possible by the Australian Government’s Australia Awards Scholarship, which provides opportunities for students from developing countries, particularly those in the Indo-Pacific region, to study in Australia with the aim of contributing to their home country’s development needs.