The ‘BAGUS’ – Bringing Australian Government Understanding to Students – program is an element of the On Award Enrichment Strategy. Scholarship awardees from civil service positions who have been on their scholarship for more than one year are invited to apply to participate in this 3-day program in Canberra, once per semester.
The BAGUS program is facilitated by a governance expert, and comprises a series of presentations and workshops, covering topics such as: the Australian federal budget, Commonwealth/State relations, accountability, transparency, audit, public sector reform, merit-based recruitment, performance management and anti-corruption. Presenters include senior officers from a range of government organisations, including the Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian National Audit Office, the Australian Public Service Commission, Parliamentary Library, Department of Health, and the Australian Taxation Office.
BAGUS participants appreciate the opportunity to learn about Australian government and parliamentary systems, and about how the Australian Public Service operates. They ask many questions, and get to form networks with each other, as well as with key contacts in Australian organisations.
When asked what was the best thing about the BAGUS program, many participants commented that it provided them with a wonderful opportunity to meet new colleagues from both the Indonesian and the Australian public sector, and gave them a new appreciation of the relationship between Indonesia and Australia:
“The best thing was meeting new colleagues not only from Indonesia but also from Australia which I believe in turn will benefit us in the future”
“I found this program is really beneficial to strengthen understanding about actual practices in Australian government and also networking with Australian government as well as Indonesian students”
“This activity brought me to think positively over about the broad aspect of the relationship between Australia and Indonesia. There are many aspects to be considered and to be learnt from the public services in Australia”
“The best thing was the networking dinner because it was the opportunity to connect with Australian Government officers and academic community in Australia”
“This program really can create the "people to people" collaboration since I met new friends from other departments in Indonesia as well as people from some agencies in Australia.”
“This program was a very great experience to see and to understand more about how the government works in Australia by comparing Australian and Indonesian system”
“This program gave the opportunity for us to have deeper understanding about the Australian Government, with information from the first-hand source”
“For my current study, this activity helps me very much to understand the theory and practice of Australian government system including how a policy is made and passed”
”I obtained much more than just academic experience in Australia by attending this program, networking and sharing professional experience is important for my future career”.
The participants also receive an Australia Awards Certificate of Attendance on the final day of the program.