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inhouse highlight - Mujiburrahman

 Mujiburrahman’s flight from Indonesia to IHD may have been short, but his ambitions are big.

For this Indonesian husband and father, one of those ambitions includes pursuing his PhD in Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management Studies, to someday contribute to the development of Indonesia’s future as a leader in disaster management.

Mujiburrahman was recently announced as one of just 44 Young Scientists from around the world by the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk’s (IRDR) programme – just two months after his arrival.

After completing a Bachelor of Law from Gajah Mada University in Jogjakarta, he went on to study a Master of Law from the University of Diponegoro in central Java, graduating in 2014. In 2016 Mujiburrahman successfully received a scholarship from LPDP Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education from the Government of Indonesia to pursue a PhD. Fast-forward to now; he’s here tackling a PhD for the next four years in the College of Indigenous Future, Arts and Societies at CDU.

“I chose CDU because it has professional lectures related to Disaster Management,” he said. “Such as Akhilesh Surjan and Jonatan Lassa who eventually became my supervisors for my thesis entitled ‘The governance and decentralisation of Multi-Hazard Early Warning System in Indonesia’.”

Mujiburrahman understands the impact disasters can pose to a community, which is why he’s worked with several not-for-profit organisations.

“I worked for Save the Children as a Humanitarian Coordinator for the past two years in Indonesia,” Mujiburrahman said. “I was also a Consultant for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Project on Enhancing Disaster Management Capacity of National and Local Disaster Management Agency in Indonesia from 2012 to 2015.”

“Previously, I worked with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as a program officer for Indonesia’s Integrated Community Based Risk Reduction Program.”

Focusing on his time in Darwin, Mujiburrahman has defined three go-getting tasks as ‘must do’s’ to work towards.

“Firstly, I would like to be productive in writing academic papers,” he said. “I hope that my papers are accepted into a high-quality journal which is internationally recognised in the field of disaster risk governance. More precisely, having a high impact on publications related to the topic of multi-hazard early warning systems in Indonesia. I also hope that many scientists will cite my work.”

“I want to someday travel around the world by participating in international conferences as a speaker to share my results to the wider scientific community.”

“Lastly, over the next three years, I hope to have the opportunity to become a lecturer and teach at CDU. I feel that it will be relevant to share my ten years’ experience. I want to inspire bachelors and master students who are interested in Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management Studies. I want to share my knowledge, skills and experience for the younger generations and future leaders of the world.”

Mujiburrahman holds his work and studies in high value and shows the same passion for his family back home. Not being with them daily has been a challenging aspect for him.

“Being away from my wife, children and family has been hard,” Mujiburrahman said. “Especially when there is a natural disaster hitting my hometown. In May 2018, one of the most active volcanos in Indonesia, Mount Merapi, erupted. It was good news that nobody was injured and no deaths. Shortly after the eruption, a light ashfall affected the surrounding region.”

Whether it’s an emergency or a family occasion, Darwin’s proximity to Asia means Mujiburrahman should never miss out on being home.

“I can virtually return to Indonesia every month, especially if there is a long holiday,” he said.

One such trip home was during the event of Tropical Cyclone Marcus in March, which Mujiburrahman has named a highlight during his time in the Territory so far.

“Although I was not in Darwin at the time, IHD was very professional to ensure the safety of all residents,” Mujiburrahman said. “Preparedness was key in facing the upcoming cyclone. When I entered my room for the first time at IHD, I read the preparedness and evacuation procedures poster on the wall and saw a list of items for an emergency bag ready to evacuate with a large water container provided.”

“Even though there were damages relating to the trees falling, I was happy to learn there were no injuries to any resident in IHD. It proves that proper preparation and preparedness can reduce the risk of the impact of disasters.”

While the weather may not have been inviting in recent months, for Mujiburrahman the people have been.

“The local people in Darwin are extremely friendly,” he said. “During my initial weeks in Darwin, my friends and I got lost trying to go to Parap  Market. We looked lost and confused, and a local couple approached us and asked what was wrong, offering to drop us at the Markets.”

“My friends and I were so happy that we could go to Parap Market and enjoyed the famous Laksa, eating chicken ‘satay’ and drinking mango juice. The people I have met in Darwin are genuine and welcoming.”

For Mujiburrahman, Indonesia will always be his home and being a part of the improvement of his community remains a defining factor in his determination.

“I want to return to Indonesia after the completion of the PhD to actively contribute to building Indonesia as a resilient nation,” Mujiburrahman said. “I hope one day I can again work for international NGO’s working in the Asia-Pacific region.”

What are your passions?

Travelling – I love to travel to experience nature and I’m looking forward to Litchfield trip. Love joining the cultural events such as the Mindil Beach Market and Seabreeze Festival at Nightcliff. Listen to live music, watching cultural dance and enjoying food from all corners of the world.

Riding a bicycle – especially using the bicycle in IHD and borrowing the helmets every weekend, taking it in the morning and returning it in the afternoon and night. Sorry to the Resident Leaders who have opened the doors for me to return the bike at 10pm at night. Salute to the hard working RLs. 

Reading books about Indonesian culture and history in the library. Especially at the top floor of the library at The Corner, reading books about Indonesian writing in English, Indonesian and Dutch. Looking at the old photos of colonial times, independence and post-reformation.

What excites you about your future?

I am interested to visit Uluru, Alice Springs, learn about Australian history, aboriginal art and culture. I will try to use my time in Australia to not just study and research, but also learn about the people and culture. Australia is a beautiful country.

What’s something people may not know about you?

When I am working on my thesis for PhD, I listen to rap and hip hop – especially from Rich Brian previously called “Rich Chigga” with songs like Dat Stik, Who that be, Amen, Cold and Attention. I love his music because he is also from Indonesia and has gone international, being more famous overseas such as in the US and Australia than compared to being famous in Indonesia. I hope one day I can go international and become an intellectual superstar in the field of disaster management.