Twenty Indonesian students have arrived in the Top End as part of the Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association’s (NTCA) Australia-Indonesia Pastoral Program.

After touring the Berrimah export yards and the Australian Agricultural Company’s Livingstone abattoir, the students will now do a two-week training course at Katherine Rural Campus.

Once they have learnt the basics of handling cattle, as well as riding horses and motorbikes, the students will travel to host cattle stations across the Northern Territory where they will live and work for six weeks.

More than 120 Indonesian animal husbandry students applied for positions in the program, making it the most popular year since it began 2012.

NTCA project manager Carley Bidstrup said the program was important in strengthening the ties between Australia and Indonesia.

“This opportunity for the 20 students is life-changing in the opportunities it will present, not only for [what they will learn] in Australia, but their future aspirations,” she said.

“The program has 54 people in the alumni [and] many of them are now working in Indonesia in roles that are pivotal in linking back to Australia.”

Izar Hadiansyah took part in last year’s program, and has returned as a mentor for the new students after helping in their selection.

He said interest in the program had grown every year.

“There is a lot of interest from every university in Indonesia,” Mr Hadiansyah said.

Animal husbandry student Offi Nafidi from Gadjah Mada University said she was looking forward to observing the large scale of cattle management in Australia.

“In Indonesia we still have intensive [farmed] cattle, so I am looking forward to mustering,” she said.

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