Australia Indonesia Awards: Q&A with sports consultant Paul Mead

The Australia Indonesia Awards celebrate the contributions of those who provide inspiration and enhance understanding between Australians and Indonesians. AIYA is chronicling the achievements of these Career Champions in a series of interviews with this year’s finalists and winners. Today we hear from sports enthusiast and consultant Paul Mead.

Source: Twitter

AIYA: Tell us a little about your career.

PAUL: I spent eleven years in the New Zealand Army as an Engineer Officer. I spent a lot of time serving overseas, including in Vanuatu, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Timor-Leste. Through my time overseas I gained a great deal of understanding on working effectively with people from different cultures. I learnt the challenges of trying to achieve a common understanding through language barriers, but also the shared understanding of success.

Upon leaving the Army I became a teacher and then worked in the sport industry. Both career changes have been focused on helping people learn and bringing people together.

What brought you to connect with Indonesia?

My connection with Indonesia was more recent. Living in Darwin since 2010, Indonesia is literally on our back doorstep. Our family has had many trips to Bali and this introduced me to the Indonesian people and language. I know that many Indonesians will say that Bali is not a true reflection of the rest of Indonesia, but I do know that it helped me reconnect with my love of working with different cultures.

In 2015, I was fortunate enough to be selected onto CAUSINDY and in 2016 returned as a mentor to CAUSINDY. It is through this program that I gained a deeper understanding of the relationship between Australia and Indonesia and saw the real opportunities to build stronger relationships, particularly through sport.

How do you use your Indonesian experience in your current occupation?

I work for myself as a sports consultant. Sport is like a universal language. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, if you drop a soccer ball or a cricket ball and bat for example, then most people know what to do with it. Sport helps to bring people together and connect, despite the challenges of language or cultural differences.

So, I enjoy taking these sport experiences and using them to build connection and people to people relationships, whilst overlaying education or economic benefits over the top. Sport is a powerful motivator to get people together to connect.

How did you find your current job?

The program Diamonds in the Rough was a program I worked on with a good friend, Narelle Gosstray. Narelle is a well-regarded coach and official within the baseball world, and passionate about projects that create change. I had just come off the 2015 CAUSINDY and wanted to explore how to build on what I had learnt and experienced. A DFAT grant was open, so we created the program and were successful in gaining funding now for two years.

The program takes our Australian Emeralds (Baseball Australia’s national women’s team) squad members, over to Indonesia to work with girls over a period of 1 – 2 days. They act as mentors, coaches and role models, not only in teaching the game of baseball, but also in leadership and confidence activities. Baseball is predominately a male sport, with females pushed to play softball. Our program encourages girls to play baseball, showing them that they have choices by using our female national representatives as role models.

Making choices in what sport you play is analogous to making choices in life and what career you want to follow. We hope that through our program and the ongoing connection with our in country partner who continues to run female baseball programs, that we will develop strong Indonesian female leaders, who have a connection with Australia.

What do you enjoy the most — and least — about working in relation to Indonesia?

The thing I enjoy the most is the food! The thing I like least is Jakarta traffic!

Share your thoughts on the future of the Australian-Indonesian relationship in the field of sport.

Indonesia is fast becoming involved in the hosting of major sporting events. Jakarta is hosting the 2018 Asian Games and this is likely to be an amazing event. There is a lot of expatriate support to develop non-traditional Asian sport capacity, not only in Indonesia, but more broadly across Asia. The development of athletes through a sport pathway is required to start at the grassroots level. Australia has extensive experience in the development of participation pathways, through to gold medal success.

It is through this experience from Australia and the opportunities available in Indonesia to develop sporting pathways that the relationship through sport can be further developed. The proximity between the two countries offers ongoing sport competition options that are cheaper and easier to access for each country, when compared to travelling to Europe or America.

I see a lot more knowledge transfer and competition exchanges occurring between the two countries in regard to sport over coming years.

What advice would you offer to young Australians or Indonesians interested in working in the field of sport?

There are plenty of opportunities available, you just have to look. I was lucky enough to experience different cultures and language from an early stage in my career and it has certainly broadened my perspectives.

Those early in their career would benefit highly from a position outside of their comfort zone, whether this was a paid of volunteer nature. The benefits gained far outweigh the financial cost.

Given the opportunity again, what would you do differently?

The one thing that I have never taken up is the learning of a second language. My Bahasa [Indonesia] is almost non-existent and for all the travels I have done around the world I have relied on interpreters or a complex act of miming out what I need or where I am going! If I was to start again, I would learn languages from the outset.

We would like to thank both Paul and the President of the Australia Indonesia Association of NSW, Eric de Haas. You can find Paul on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Age of Bones: Q&A with Playwright Sandra Thibodeaux

The Age of Bones is a play that follows the journey of young boy from Eastern Indonesia who goes fishing but fails to return. The production is a joint effort between Satu Bulan Theatre Company (Indonesia) and Performing Lines (Australia) and speaks honestly, and with humour, about the Australia-Indonesia relationship. With a number of upcoming performances across Australia, AIYA recently heard from playwright and co-producer Sandra Thibodeaux about the play’s genesis, production and audience reception.

Image: Performing Lines

Where did the idea for The Age of Bones come from?

When my own son was about 15, I came across the story of the Indonesian boys who were jailed in Australia for working on asylum seeker boats. They had already been in jail for about a year, and the story hadn’t even surfaced until then. I was shocked at the story and the silence surrounding it. The thing that struck me most was that the boys’ parents hadn’t been told where they were. They assumed the boys were drowned at sea.

So I wanted to get to the heart of this narrative, and try to show  through a play  the perspectives of the boys and their families. The resultant work is fictional, although it draws from real life. In The Age of Bones, a young boy, Ikan, leaves his parents to go fishing one day, and doesn’t return.

While the core narrative is obviously sad, I like to use touches of comedy where I can. There is a fair amount of political satire in the play, and the cast have brought in their own touches of physical comedy. Laughter helps to soften the political messages and intensify the weight of the sadder scenes.

How does the unique underwater setting influence the visual aesthetic of the play?

I was reluctant to use realistic scenes in the jail and courtroom these can be quite heavy and difficult to access, particularly in a bilingual context. I suppose it was given to me on a platter  we know Australia as ‘Down Under’, so why not set the Australian scenes down under, beneath the waves?

So the Australian scenes are quite fantastical. The characters take on aquatic qualities, becoming sharks and fish, and so on. The judge is a grumpy old octopus. The shadow puppetry, music and video all work together to take us under the water. There is a sense of strangeness that echoes Ikan’s alienation in a foreign land.

What does the play hope to illustrate about Indonesia, Australia, their peoples and nations?

I hope the play helps to foster a deeper cross-border relationship. We’ve chosen to tackle a sensitive topic  this might seem counter-productive to the task of creating regional harmony. However, I believe that it’s important to have open, honest dialogue about these sensitive topics  ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. Last year’s productions in Indonesia received a very warm response  I think the Indonesian audiences appreciated our attempt to have this kind of dialogue. They seemed surprised and, perhaps, touched that Australians would be concerned about the lives of young boys in eastern Indonesia.

At our 2015 reading in Darwin, an audience member commented that it was interesting to see the asylum seeker issue from another perspective that of an Indonesian boy co-opted into working on one of the boats. I think The Age of Bones provides another angle, and gives insight into the lives of people in Nusa Tenggara a place that is really not far away from Australia and, yet, is worlds away in economic development and the choices that this brings.

One reviewer has said The Age of Bones is a reminder that “people cease to see others as human beings but instead as machines, with only bones to work and perpetuate foreign capitalistic ideals.” How prominent was social or political comment for you during the playwriting process?

There is always a political framework informing a play or a film, even though this framework can sometimes seem subtle. Mine has been overt, and is concerned with the way we view our regional responsibilities, the treatment of displaced peoples, youths in detention, and the necessity of looking at issues through a global, rather than national, lens.

The above quote is very moving. The play has a second narrative wherein an older male character, the narrator, is nearing the end of his journey. Bone-weary, he observes the loss of his strength, his memory and sight. He has worked hard, often rescuing people and retrieving corpses from the sea. What is he left with? Fond memories of a few months spent in Australia where “people were nice”. Have we lost our ability to engage with our neighbours outside of the capitalist imperative? I hope not.

What was it like working with cast and crew from both Indonesia and Australia?

The play has had a lengthy genesis with quite a few artistic exchanges occurring. This has placed us in a good position for the productions. Last year, we commenced shows in Indonesia, performing in Lampung, Bandung and Tasikmalaya. As mentioned, the work was warmly received and we have many fond memories of traveling around in a bus with 22 team members!

Cross-border, bilingual artist collaborations are always challenging. People arrive at the stage with their own understandings of what it means to create ‘good theatre’. Part of the learning curve for everyone has been to let go of those preconceptions to allow for a third space  what we might call an Austronesian theatrical space.

The Indonesian and Australian team members have all been extremely hard-working, patient and good-humoured  in Lampung, we sometimes worked without electricity, in the rain, and at very late hours. I have never met people more patient and more inventive than Indonesian actors! Our opening production featured a mid-point black-out. I had a few moments of panic, thinking we’d better stop the show, before the Indonesians simply resumed their places and carried on, aided by torches. I was very impressed. This year, we’ve adopted a few new Australian team members who have brought into the mix a fresh wave of enthusiasm, brilliance and love. This augurs well for the productions that will be staged in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and  my home town  Darwin.

Discover more about The Age of Bones, including performance times and locations, on the Performing Lines website.

Festival Sinema Australia Indonesia 2017: Short Film Competition

Festival Sinema Australia Indonesia (FSAI) 2017, an initiative of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, celebrates the best of Indonesian and Australian film. This year FSAI launched its inaugural Short Film Competition to support independent Indonesian cinema, and to provide an outlet for young Indonesian filmmakers to have their latest work screened.

From nearly 300 entrants, six finalists were chosen to compete for the opportunity to travel to Australia to attend the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) 2017. The six films were screened throughout the Festival, and the winner of Best Short Film and People’s Choice were announced at the Awarding Ceremony on 29 January. AIYA spoke to the winner of Best Short Film, Mahesa Desaga, about his short film Nunggu Teka.

 Please tell us about your short film, Nunngu Teka.

Nunggu Teka is a story about a mother who is awaiting the homecoming of her children who have moved away. It’s Lebaran, and she has prepared the best of everything to welcome the arrival of her children.

This story departs from my thoughts about the feelings of a mother when she is longing for the return of her children. From my experiences, a mother sometimes doesn’t desire expressions of love every day from her children. It is enough for a mother to hear news from her children – this is enough to bring peace to her throughout her day.

From this, I invite the viewers of this film to unearth moments with their mother. I am certain everyone has their own story with their mother. With this film, I am inviting viewers to re-examine their relationship with their mother. In Nunggu Teka, I deliberately avoided tendentiously creating significant drama. I only wanted to show small moments of friction be filled with the memories of the viewers.

Poster: Mahesa Desanga

How long have you been making short films? For you, what is most satisfying about this artform?

I started producing films in 2008, when I was part of the film community at my campus at the University of Brawijaya. Previously I simply enjoyed watching films – I didn’t think I could produce them – but a work program from the film community ousted me to become the director of a film. From then I started to become interested in directing films.

Why directing? Because I feel like I wouldn’t be skilled in any other filmmaking department. I only understand the philosophy of frames, or film editing, but not the technical matters. I can only tell stories, and telling stories is the responsibility and function of a director.  If Mahesa Desaga wants to live in the world of film, then he can only be a director (and occasionally a screenwriter).

For me film is the medium which is most complete for telling the story of a human life, and even through film we create life. The most important thing for me in the production of a film is that we create an impression for the viewers. The viewers talk about our film, they are reminded of experiences from long ago, and they are moved to do something after watching it. This elements are for me the most satisfying as a filmmaker. And film is indeed the medium which is most complete for this. We can engage viewers through both sound and images.

Gambar: Mahesa Desanga

As the winner of FSIA’s Short Film Competition, in August you’ll travel to Australia to attend MIFF. What are your hopes for this experience?

The opportunity to attend MIFF, for me will become an arena for learning about and researching Australian cinema, in a direct manner. To what extent film is associated with the Australian community. What kind of film trends or developments are being produced by Australian filmmakers. And of course what will be interesting is seeing how those who make films in Australia explore different filmic forms to deliver their stories.  All of these things I will be able to see and feel more closely.

Gambar: Mahesa Desanga

What is your sense of the Indonesian film industry at the moment? What are your hopes for it, and for your role within it?

The Indonesian film industry is currently building, I feel. There are still many things which need to be developed. Until now, the Indonesian film industry has been skewed towards production only, even though this is not ideal from the viewpoint of a dynamic industry. Other areas which also need to be developed are distribution, exhibition, appreciation and criticism. There are already a few figures starting to work in these fields. They need to be supported.

In my opinion, Indonesian filmmakers need to assiduously read their culture. The source of strong stories is borne from culture which is close to everyday life. It can also be argued that Indonesian filmmakers need not be afraid to exhaust stock ideas, as long as they become closer to their culture.

Gambar: Mahesa Desanga

Do you think events such as FSIA are effective and beneficial for strengthening the relationship between Indonesia and Australia?

Of course events such are FSAI are important. Firstly, it’s important for broadening audience’s perspective about Australian film, and showing them that films aren’t solely produced in America by Hollywood. It also shows that there are Australian films which are extremely humanitarian. It is clear that this event is a socio-cultural introduction of Australia to the Indonesian community.

Secondly, the opening of the short film competition at FSAI is also something that is extremely crucial. Because the development of short films in Indonesia is really strong, this session could be even more powerful for illustrating Indonesian socio-cultural elements to the public. When we speak about the face of Indonesia, then we must watch its short films. So with the opening of this opportunity for short films to be screened, it shows FSAI is focused on becoming one of the diplomatic directions which is indeed effective.

Like with my film, Nunggu Teka for example, the issue of the mother-child relationship is a universal issue, but through this film can be shown something specific regarding the situation in Indonesian in the celebration of a national day, a holy day. It could be a point of introduction to Indonesia for those outside.

Where can we learn more about your short films?

For information about my work you can visit my social media accounts. I’m really open to discussion and answering questions.

Facebook: Mahesa Desaga; Instagram: @mahesadesaga; Twitter: @mahesadesaga.

For more information about FSAI check the website.

Festival Sinema Australia Indonesia 2017: Kompetisi Film Pendek

Festival Sinema Australia Indonesia (FSAI) 2017 diselenggarakan oleh Kedutaan Besar Australia di Jakarta. FSAI merayakan industri film Indonesia dan Australia, dan berbagi kebudayaan lewat seni tersebut. Tahun ini, untuk pertama kali, FSAI 2017 mengadakan Kompetisi Film Pendek untuk mendukung industri film Indonesia, dengan menyediakan wadah untuk sineas muda Indonesia untuk menunjukkan karya-karyanya.

Dari hampir 300 film yang diajukan, enam finalis dipilih bersaing untuk kesempatan memenangkan perjalanan ke Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) 2017. Enam film finalis diputar di seluruh Festival, dan pemenang Best Short Film dan People’s Choice diumumkan di Awarding Ceremony pada hari Minggu 29 Januari 2017 lalu. AIYA mewawancarai pemenang Best Short Film Mahesa Desaga tentang film pendeknya Nunggu Teka.

Foto: Mahesa Desanga

Tolong menggambarkan film pendek Anda, Nungga Teka.

Nunggu Teka bercerita tentang seorang Ibu yang menunggu kepulangan anaknya yang merantau, di hari Lebaran. Si Ibu menyiapkan segalanya yang terbaik untuk menyambut kedatangan si anak.

Cerita ini berangkat dari pemikiran saya, tentang bagaimana perasaan seorang ibu ketika merindukan kepulangan seorang anak. Menurut pengalaman saya, seorang Ibu terkadang tidak perlu menginginkan kata cinta setiap hari dari seorang anak. Seorang Ibu cukup mendengar kabar dari si anak, hal tersebut sudah sangat cukup menentramkan hari seorang Ibu.

Dari hal tersebut, saya mengajak penonton yang menonton film ini, untuk menggali kembali moment dengan ibu masing-masing. Karena saya yakin semua orang pasti punya cerita sendiri-sendiri dengan Ibu. Kehadiran film ini saya tujukan untuk mengajak seluruh penonton mengorek lagi hubungan mereka dengan Ibu. Di film Nunggu Teka, saya sengaja untuk tidak tendensius menciptakan drama yang besar. Saya ingin memainkan letupan-letupan kecil yang untuk diisi oleh memori-memori dari penonton masing-masing.

Poster: Mahesa Desanga

Sudah berapa lama Anda membuat film pendek? Bagi Anda, aspek apa saja yang paling memuaskan dengan seni ini?

Saya mulai memproduksi film sejak 2008, ketika itu saya tergabung kedalam komunitas film di kampus saya, kampus Universitas Brawijaya. Awalnya saya hanya menyukai menonton film, sama sekali tidak terpikir untuk bisa memproduksi film, tapi program kerja dari komunitas tersebut mendaulat saya menjadi sutradara di produksi filmnya. Dari situ saya mulai tertarik untuk menyutradarai film.

Kenapa sutradara? Karena saya merasa saya tidak pintar di department produksi manapun. Saya hanya memahami secara filosofis tentang frame gambar, atau editing film, tapi tidak untuk urusan teknis. Saya hanya bisa bercerita, dan bercerita itu adalah tugas dan fungsi dari sutradara. Maka bila seorang Mahesa Desaga ingin hidup di dunia film, maka dia hanya bisa menjadi sutradara (san sesekali penulis skenario).

Bagi saya film adalah medium yang paling lengkap untuk menceritakan sebuah kehidupan manusia, dan bahkan melalui film kita menciptakannya. Hal yang paling penting bagi saya dalam memproduksi sebuah film adalah karya kita menciptakan impresi bagi penonton. Penonton membicarakan film kita, penonton teringat pengalaman masa lalunya, penonton tergerak melakukan sesuatu setelah menonton film kita, hal-hal tersebutlah yang menurut saya menjadi sebuah kepuasan sebagai seorang pembuat film. Dan film memang media paling lengkap untuk itu. Kita bisa mengajak penonton melalui suara maupun gambar.

Gambar: Mahesa Desanga

Sebagai pemenang FSIA, pada bulan Agustus ini Anda akan ke Australia untuk Melbourne International Film Festival. Apa harapan Anda untuk perjalanan itu?

Kesempatan mengunjungi Melbourne International Film Festival, bagi saya menjadi sebuah arena belajar penelitian tentang seperti apa sinema Australia, secara langsung. Sejauh apa keterkaitan film dengan masyarakat Australia. Seperti apa trend dan perkembangan film yang diproduksi oleh sineas-sineas Australia. Dan yang menarik tentu saja melihat bagaimana para pembuat film di Australia, mengeksplorasi bentuk-bentuk film untuk menyampaikan cerita mereka. Itu semua bisa secara lebih dekat saya lihat dan rasakan.

Gambar: Mahesa Desanga

Bagaimana perasaan Anda tentang industri film di Indonesia saat ini? Apa harapan Anda untuk industri ini, dan untuk peran Anda di dalamnya?

Industri film Indonesia saat ini sedang membangun, menurut saya. Masih banyak hal yang perlu disiapkan. Sejauh ini industri film Indonesia timpang kearah produksi saja, padahal hal ini tidaklah ideal dari sudut pandang dinamika industri. Harus bergerak juga bidang Distribusi, Eksebisi, Apresiasi, dan Kritik. Sudah ada beberapa pihak yang memulai untuk melengkapi bidang-bidang tersebut. Sejauh ini tetap harus didukung.

Serta menurut saya, pembuat film Indonesia harus rajin lagi membaca budaya mereka. Karena sumber cerita yang kuat itu lahir dari budaya yang lekat dengan keseharian. Dan bisa dibilang sebenarnya, pembuat film Indonesia tidak perlu takut untuk kehabisan stok ide, selama mereka mendekat ke budaya mereka.

Gambar: Mahesa Desanga

Menurut Anda, acara kayak gini, FSIA, adalah kegiatan yang efektif dan bermanfaat untuk penguatan hubungan Indonesia dan Australia?

Tentu saja ajang seperti FSAI ini menjadi penting. Pertama, penting untuk membuka wawasan penonton mengenai film Australia, bahwa film tidak melulu buatan Amerika Serikat dengan Hollywoodnya. Bahwa ada film produksi Australia yang sangat humanis. Ini jelas menjadi ajang pengenalan sosial-kultural Australia kepada masyarakat Indonesia.

Kedua, dengan terbukanya kompetisi film pendek di FSAI ini juga menjadi sangat perlu. Karena perkembangan film pendek Indonesia sangatlah kuat. Sesi ini malah bisa jadi lebih kuat dalam menggambarkan sosial-kultur Indonesia ke publik. Karena ketika kita berbicara wajah Indonesia maka kita wajib menonton film-film pendeknya. Jadi dengan dibukanya kesempatan kepada film-film pendek untuk diputar, menunjukan FSAI sangat concern untuk menjadi salah satu jalan diplomasi yang efektif.

Seperti dengan film saya, Nunggu Teka misalnya, isu hubungan Ibu-anak adalah isu universal, tapi melalui film ini bisa ditunjukan hal spesifik tentang situasi di Indonesia dalam perayaan Hari Raya. Hal tersebut bisa menjadi poin pengenalan kebudayaan Indonesia ke luar.

Kami dapat belajar informasi lebih lanjut tentang film-film Anda di mana?

Untuk informasi tentang karya saya, bisa mengunjungi akun social media saya, dan sangat terbuka untuk diskusi maupun tanya jawab.

Facebook: Mahesa Desaga; Instagram: @mahesadesaga; Twitter: @mahesadesaga.

Untuk informasi lebih lanjut tentang FSAI, cek website.

Australian & Indonesian teens’ quest to build a library in Bali

Teenagers Samara Welbourne of Australia and Tyas Latra of Bali are on a mission: they’re aiming to raise AUD $20,000 by April this year to build a library in Tyas’ village of Bungaya in the eastern Balinese regency of Karangasem. Despite being one of the world’s top holiday destinations, some areas of Bali – particularly in the east – remain relatively impoverished, with some villages still lacking sanitation, electricity, and health and education services. “The young people of the Bungaya village need this library to improve their English and education so they can lift themselves and their families out of poverty,” Samara said.

For the last two years Samara lived in Bali while her mother worked at Puspadi Bali, on the Australian Volunteers International (AVI) program. Puspadi, which helps over 4,000 clients with physical disabilities, runs Bali’s wheelchair program and also makes prosthetic limbs, will be managing the library project. Through its annual Direct Aid Program (DAP), the Australian Consulate-General has supported Puspadi for many years, and also through DAP has contributed $5,000 to the girls’ admirable fundraising endeavours.

Samara has a long history with libraries. When she was just 12-years-old she had her book How to Make Fairy Houses published by Boolarong Press. She gave 10% of the royalties to a children’s hospital and conducted free fairy house making classes at Sunshine Coast Libraries. Her fairy house classes became a viable small business through which she supported local charities. In 2014 Samara was named Sunshine Coast Young Citizen of the Year for her efforts, and her desire to continue her humanitarian work naturally extended to Bali.

Tyas, Sam and Freya, a member of the Sunshine Coast fundraising team. Photo: Samara Welbourne

“If we want peace and sustainability for our future, then we need to do what we can to assist less-fortunate nations, especially Indonesia as it is our closest neighbour. I feel the Australian-Indonesian relationship could be improved more effectively through the efforts of the next generation – Australian and Indonesian – coming together to make a difference,” Samara enthused.

The library was designed by Journeyman International, a platform connecting volunteer architects, designers, engineers and project managers with humanitarian project needs around the world. The library centre includes a small kitchen and bathroom, and a bale (traditional open pavilion). Said Samara of Journeyman International, “They loved our project so much the lead architect flew to Bali to meet us on the library site in the last school holidays.”

Samara is confident she and Tyas, along with Samara’s friends in the Sunshine Coast fundraising team, will have raised $14,000 by the end of March, leaving a shortfall of $6,000. If they’re able to reach their target, Samara will return to Bali with a group of teenagers from the Sunshine Coast to build the library in April. “While living in Bali I was involved in quite a few fundraising projects, such as helping to get a 13-year-old boy whose father had been paralyzed back to school, and also to support some animal refuges. I learnt that the Balinese are a wonderful group of people – gentle, resilient and grateful for what they have in life, and also fun loving!

During her time in Bali the thing that made the biggest impact on Samara was the realisation that, “it is so easy to make a difference – even for a teenager – so this is one of the things that drives me to do more.” Sam wants to spend every school holidays in Bali working on charity projects, but for now her full focus is on the Bungaya library.

For more information and to donate, head to their Go Fund: Me Bali Library page.

Sidang Informasi Multi-Cabang AIYA Mengenai Beasiswa Australia Awards

AIYA Jakarta meluncurkan sidang informasi tentang beasiswa Australia Awards yang diadakan di Kantor Indonesia Australia Awards di Jakarta minggu lalu. Acara ini juga langsung ditunjukkan ke acara serentak di Bandung dan Yogyakarta yang diselenggarakan dengan berhasil oleh cabang AIYA Yogyakarta dan AIYA Jawa Barat.

Sidang informasi tersebut kemudian diikuti oleh panel tanya-jawab yang terdiri dari berbagai lulusan beasiswa Australia Awards. Mereka memberikan para peserta even ini informasi tentang anjuran untuk studi di Australia, serta menceritakan pengalaman hidupnya di negeri kanguru. Acara AIYA Yogyakarta bekerja salam dengan Fakultas Sastra Inggris di Universitas Sanata Dharma, sedangkan acara AIYA Jawa Barat dijalankan di Kafe Bamboo Shack, Bandung.

Hadirin menunggu livestream dari Jakarta di Universitas Sanata Dharma, Yogyakarta. Foto: AIYA Yogyakarta

Beasiswa Australia Awards merupakan beasiswa internasional yang bergengsi yang didanai oleh Pemerintah Australia. Beasiswa ini menawarkan kesempatan besar bagi para penerima untuk melakukan studi, penelitian dan pengembangan profesional di Australia.

Pertama-tama, direncanakan oleh AIYA Jakarta sebuah sibang informasi yang dipresentasikan oleh Pak Lubendik Sigalingging dengan livestream langsung ke kedua tempat tersebut di Bandung dan Yogyakarta. Pak Lubendik, sebagai peneliti di Institut Indonesia, menjelaskan proses mendaftarkan beasiswa, jurusan studi prioritas, dan beberapa anjuran pendaftaran lain untuk hadirin. Pak Lubendik Sigalingging menyebut bahwa Australia Awards paling mendukung partisipasi dari perempuan, penyandang disabiliitas, serta pelamar dari daerah geografis tertentu seperti Aceh, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua Barat dan Papua. Lulusan S2 Hubungan Internasional dari Universitas Queensland, dia juga mengatakan beberapa peristiwa selama waktunya di Australia.

Pak Lubendik Sigalingging
Pak Lubendik Sigalingging. Foto: AIYA Jakarta

Sesudah livestream dari AIYA Jakarta, hadirin di ketiga kota tersebut mendengar dari dan bertanya pertanyaan kepada panel lulusan beasiswa Australia Awards. Banyak pertanyaan berfokus pada situasi tertentu, namun jawaban dari alumnus-alumnus kecenderungannya menyatakan pendapat yang begini: keinginan dan gairah yang kuat selalu dapat dilihat dalam aplikasi pun.

AIYA Jakarta
Saran yang bagus diberikan oleh para lulusan Beasiswa Australia Awards di Jakarta. Foto: AIYA Jakarta

Di sidang informasi Yogyakarta, Pak Sudi Mungkasi, dosen di Universitas Sanata Dharma dan alumnus Australia National University, sebagai tambahan berfokus pada dorongan yang muncul dari keluarga dan teman-teman. Diberikannya pula beberapa poin yang penting, misalnya pentingnya menyiapkan tingkat kemampuan Bahasa Inggrisnya, adanya kontak yang segera dengan calon pembimbing dan calon universitas yang dituju, dan pentingnya menyelesaikan aplikasinya secara serius.

Panel AIYA Yogya
Anggota-anggota panel yang bersemangat dan menarik perhatian di Yogyakarta. Foto: AIYA Yogyakarta

Secara keseluruhan, para peserta dari acara ini menjadi sangat senang dan tertarik akan informasi yang diterima dari acara ini, sehingga dibangun sebuah antusiasme baru terhadap aplikasinya, dan ingin dicarinya upper edge dalam aplikasinya. Umpan balik dari event ini termasuk yang berikut:

Siti (Bachelor of Pharmacy, Universitas Sanata Dharma):
Acara ini sangat menarik dan bagus. Saya mendapat informasi pengetahuan mengenai AAS. Kemudian tertarik juga mungkin mendaftar.

Jessie (Bachelor of Pharmacy, Universitas Sanata Dharma):
Acaranya menarik. Ada livestream dari orang yang pengarang. Bisa menjadi pendengar dari suaranya, jadi masih bisa memberi banyak pengetahuan sama pembicara pengarang di sana. Jadinya pengarangnya secara langsung.

Australia Awards
Para calon pelamat beasiswa di Kantor Indonesia Australia Awards di Jakarta. Foto: AIYA Jakarta

AIYA ingin berterimakasih kepada alumnus Australia Awards dan wawasan-wawasan yang diberikannya di tiga acara tersebut di seluruh pulau Jawa, termasuk baik yang berikut ini maupun yang hadir di acara Jawa Barat:

AIYA Jakarta – Pak Lubendik Sigalingging, Ibu Khanisa Krisman, Ibu Irma Widyastuti dan Ibu Catharina Badra Nawangpalupi

AIYA Yogyakarta – Pak Sudi Mungkasi, Ibu Imma Widyastuti dan Pak Thomas

Silahkan menonton video tentang acara di Yogyakarta di sini:

Untuk menonton livestream, silahkan menonton video ini (presentasi dari Pak Lubendik Sigalingging mulai pada detik 51:45):

Acara ini diadakan dengan menggunakan dana dari Pemerintah Australia, Australia-Indonesia Centre dan Australia-Indonesia Institute.

Untuk mendapat lebih banyak informasi mengenai beasiswa Australia Awards serta profil alumnus yang lainnya, silahkan mengunjungi situs web Australia Awards dan Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, dan ingatlah mendaftar sebelum tanggal 30 April 2016.

Success Stories at Australia Awards Live Streaming Event

AIYA Jakarta held an Australia Awards Scholarship Information Session at the Australia Awards Indonesian Office in Jakarta last week, which was successfully live streamed to simultaneous events organised by AIYA Yogyakarta and AIYA Jawa Barat. The information session was followed by a Q&A panel of Australia Awards alumni to offer attendees insights on how to further their studies in Australia, along with real life experiences on their lives Down Under. AIYA Yogyakarta hosted their event in collaboration with the English Faculty at Universitas Sanata Dharma, while AIYA Jawa Barat hosted theirs among the soothing aromas of the Bamboo Shack Café in Bandung.

Audience awaiting live-streaming from Jakarta at Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta. Photo: AIYA Yogyakarta

The Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. They offer the next generation of global leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and for high-achieving Australians to do the same overseas. Firstly, an information session presented by Pak Lubendik Sigalingging and facilitated by AIYA Jakarta was live streamed to locations in Bandung and Yogyakarta. Pak Lubendik, a current researcher associate at The Indonesian Institute, explained the process of applying for Australia Awards and priority study fields, and provided tips for prospective applicants. Pak Lubendik highlighted that women, those with disabilities and specific geographic areas such as Aceh, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, West Papua and Papua are particularly encouraged to apply. Having recently completed his Master of International Studies from University of Queensland, he also shared stories of his time in Australia.

Pak Lubendik Sigalingging
Pak Lubendik Sigalingging. Photo: AIYA Jakarta

Following the live stream from AIYA Jakarta, attendees in their respective cities heard from, and posed questions to a panel of Australia Awards alumni. Many of the questions focused on individual situations, however alumni responses echoed similar sentiments: passion and drive do not go unnoticed in applications.

AIYA Jakarta
Thoughtful advice given by Australia Awards Alumni in Jakarta. Photo: AIYA Jakarta

At the Yogyakarta information session, Pak Sudi Mungkasi, a Sanata Dharma Unjversity academic and Australian National University alumnus, in addition to stressing the importance of support from family and friends, provided some key pointers for prospective applicants. Pak Sudi emphasised the importance of polishing one’s English language skills, making prior contact with supervisor candidates and approaching the application as a serious endeavour.

Panel AIYA Yogya
Animated and engaged panel members in Yogyakarta. Photo: AIYA Yogyakarta

Overall, the seminar attendees were particularly interested in and grateful for the information they received on the night in relation to the potential for success with the scholarship. They renewed their enthusiasm towards their applications and attained the aim of scoping their ‘upper edge’. Some feedback from the night includes:

Reno (Masters in Public Education Policy, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta): I think this event was useful and helped us greatly. I received a lot of information from this agenda about how to get a scholarship for Australia Awards. It really helped me!

Ibnu Sasongko (Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta): This event helped me to prepare my Australia Awards application. I was able to learn from the alumni about the Australia Awards, and now I just want to live on campus in Australia!

Australia Awards
Prospective applicants at the Australia Awards Indonesian Office in Jakarta. Photo: AIYA Jakarta

AIYA would like to thank the following Australia Awards alumni for providing their valuable insights to the three events across Java:

AIYA Jakarta – Pak Lubendik Sigalingging, Ibu Khanisa Krisman, Ibu Irma Widyastuti and Ibu Catharina Badra Nawangpalupi

AIYA Yogyakarta – Pak Sudi Mungkasi, Ibu Imma Widyastuti and Pak Thomas

Be sure to watch some highlights from the livestream event in Yogyakarta here:

You can also watch the livestream from Jakarta in the following video (the presentation from Pak Lubendik Sigalingging starts from 51:45):

These joint information sessions were facilitated by funding from the Australian Government, The Australia-Indonesia Centre and The Australia-Indonesia Institute.

For more information about Australia Awards and to read other alumni profiles, please visit the Australia Awards and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade websites, and be sure to apply before the deadline, 30 April 2016.