| Ishan Ibrahim |
THE Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei hosted a group of 14 students and two lecturers from Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia at two of its Bandar branches yesterday.
The Australian visitors, who arrived in Brunei on Sunday, are in the country on an educational visit and a three-week attachment programme.
Leading the university delegation is associate lecturer at Flinders University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences Peggy Essl.
The first part of their programme took the Australian delegation on a visit to the SMARTER Edge Centre in Kampong Mata-Mata.
There, the group was briefed of the aims and objectives of the centre and taken on a tour of the rooms and facilities by SMARTER Brunei President Malai Haji Abdullah bin Malai Haji Othman.
They then visited the SMARTER Brunei Autism Centre for Adults (BACA) in Kampong Sungai Hanching, an autism centre designated for adults.
The centre offers various programmes catering to adults with autism issues.
Among them include self-development on personal management; home gardening; competency-based training on electronics and computers; recycling; baking; creative arts, community adaptation activities aimed at integrating the autistic individuals into society; and a small and medium enterprise (SME) programme which teaches the centre’s students on how to set up a small business.
The Flinders University group’s three-week attachment programme with SMARTER Brunei is part of the Australian Government’s prestigious New Colombo Plan, an initiative which aims to increase knowledge of the Indo-Pacific region in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.
It involves a scholarship programme for study of up to one year and internships or mentorships, as well as a flexible mobility grants programme for both short and long-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums or study courses and research.