Changes to the AIYA Executive Board

Dear AIYA members, supporters and followers,

I am writing to inform you of some changes which have recently occurred to the AIYA National Executive team.

Director changes

On Sunday 26 April, AIYA held a National Council meeting at which a number of changes were made to the AIYA National Executive. Particularly:

  • Hugh Passmore resigned as Partnerships Director and will be replaced with two new directors, Sam Bashfield and Courtney Saville. Sam is a former Victoria Chapter President, and currently works at the University of Sydney’s Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Courtney is currently living in Yogyakarta, and has had substantial professional experience in partnerships roles in Australia;
  • Bede Moore resigned as Director for the Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth (CAUSINDY). Bede’s role will not be replaced at this time as there remains two CAUSINDY Directors on the AIYA National Executive;
  • Sally Hill has moved roles from National Treasurer and Company Secretary to become Director of a new initiative which AIYA will launch this year. Sheila Hie will take on the Treasurer and Company Secretary role. Sheila currently works at ANZ, previously served as President of AIYA’s Queensland Chapter and has been involved in PPIA among other things; and
  • Ghian Tjandaputra Muhammad will take on a role as an Executive Officer for the National Executive. This is a non-Director position, but Ghian will assist and work closely with the Directors. Ghian is VP of the AIYA Victoria, and currently works at the Australia-Indonesia Centre.

The outgoing directors, Bede and Hugh, were part of the inaugural AIYA National Executive and have made a huge contribution to our organisation. Bede was the founder of the hugely successful CAUSINDY (and will continue to act as an advisor to that initiative) and Hugh played a key role in the development of AIYA’s strategy and forming some of its key partnerships. They both move on to exciting new opportunities, but will be sorely missed in AIYA.

President changes

I am also writing to inform you that, after much deliberation, I have also decided to resign as AIYA’s National President. AIYA has grown from a group of four friends, to a formidable youth-focused people-to-people organisation with chapter representatives across Australia and Indonesia.

The over 50 events during my time as President have reached thousands of young people; our 5000+ followers on Facebook have developed into a vibrant online community; our advocacy has appeared repeatedly in the press; and CAUSINDY has developed as a key event on the Australia-Indonesia calendar for young professionals and students.

Deciding to step down during a time when AIYA is at a point of great strength has been a difficult decision, but one which I feel – after three and a half years as the inaugural President of AIYA – is in the best interests of the organisation. I will remain in an advisory capacity to the organisation.

Incoming President

Nicholas Mark has been selected to take on the role as AIYA National President. Nick has a strong track record of leadership in the Australia-Indonesia people to people space. He is the inaugural and outgoing NSW AIYA Chapter President, a delegate at CAUSINDY, a delegate of the Australia-Indonesia Bilateral Dialogue, the author of an Indonesian children’s book, a talented musician (performing in Australia and Indonesia) and at the same time a solicitor in Sydney!

I and all of the outgoing and current AIYA National Executive are confident that AIYA is in a safe set of hands under Nick’s leadership, and we are excited to see what the future will bring.

Salam hangat,

Arjuna Dibley

AIYA Links: 31 July

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Six Months In Indonesia

In January this year I left my job after three good years. I had been awarded the Hamer Scholarship and was leaving to undertake a semester of language study at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jogjakarta (Jogja). It was bitter sweet. And after a lot of umming and ahhing, my boyfriend, Michael, decided to come with me. He’s a painter, so I assured him that Jogja is the best place for him to be and that he’d be set up and be painting in no time, I’d be engrossed in study, and life would be free and easy.

Michael and Courtney while living in Jogja. Photo: Courtney Saville

Wow… What was I thinking? Had I somehow forgotten just how long things take to get done in Indonesia? And had I forgotten how frustrating studying can be there? And what about the bureaucracy, the huge population, the noise level…??

So I guess you can tell that it had been a while between visits. I did a year in Indonesia with the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) in 2008-09, and a few two-months stints after that, but it had been at least six years since I had ‘lived’ there. I couldn’t believe the changes in Jogja – the cars, the congestion, the number of people, the 70-plus new hotels! On top of that, it had been almost five years since I had attended university in person (I did Honours remotely), so that was another major change. Add to that the Indonesian university system where lecturers decide not to turn up, six weeks of classes taken up by group presentations, and assignments done in groups of eight or so people… There was some adjusting to be done!

But after the first two months or so, Michael and I both started getting our Jogja groove on, and the results have been amazing. While in Jogja, Michael was painting for a group exhibition at Flinders Lane Gallery, Exploration 15, that included an Emerging Artist Award. We came back for the show in early June, and Michael won the award and has a solo show with Flinders Lane Gallery next year. Since then, he has also signed a contract to be represented by the gallery – awesome result!

As for me, one of the reasons for me applying for the scholarship was to take some time out and gain some insight into myself, to ‘check out’ for a while to know what I want to check back in to later. And it worked. I mentioned earlier that I couldn’t believe the changes I witnessed in Jogja, but I was equally shocked by the changes that had occurred to my own self between stints. Essentially, I’ve grown up. As somewhat sad as it is to know I don’t roll with the punches as much as I used to, I feel a lot more at ease with myself. My experience in Indonesia this time was through the eyes of an adult – someone who yearns complicated conversations, someone who wants to explore sensitive issues, someone who is unrelentingly connecting the dots between what I’ve seen to what I once thought, even while ordering nasi telor and an es jeruk for breakfast from the local burjo.

But of course the major reason for me heading back to Indonesia and to university was to improve my Bahasa and I can proudly say that it is really good right now. I bypassed INCULS and jumped straight in to mainstream classes, based on study I had previously completed in Australia. I thought I would choose classes where I didn’t have to learn any theory or concepts from scratch, but rather the language and perspectives associated with it. For me, my strategy worked, and now I can have conversations about international politics, society and culture in a lot more depth, and I have made solid academic networks that I can leverage off if I decide to take up further study.

So, in sum, both Michael and I benefited greatly from the opportunity provided by the Hamer Scholarship. We have grown, our respective skills have vastly improved, and we have gained fresh outlooks. We saw amazing parts of Indonesia we had never visited before, experienced inter-cultural tension and harmonisation, and learnt more about both Indonesia and ourselves than we could have only hoped to.

One of Michael's paintings during his stay in Jogja. Photo: Courtney Saville.
One of Michael’s pieces of art Michael created during his stay in Jogja. Photo: Courtney Saville.

A truly big thank you to the Victorian Government for this opportunity – I will never forget the experience.

For further information on Michael’s artwork please see

AIYA Links: 24 July

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AIYA Links: Salam Idulfitri 2015/1436H

2015 AIYA Eid Greeting

Kami di AIYA mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Idulfitri 2015/1436H. Semoga perayaan Lebaran ini aman dan menyenangkan bagi Anda dan keluarga.

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The True Meaning of Ramadan

Ramadan month (bulan Ramadhan) is a special occasion for our Muslim friends, and it’s meaning much more than just fasting during the day for a whole month. The word “Ramadan” means to burn, especially to burn away bad habits which distract you from the reminiscence of God (see Huffington Post). The month usually lasts from 29 to 30 days, based on official lunar year sightings, where Muslim friends are resisting food and liquid from dawn to dusk, and turning to refocus on their prayers also strengthen their recitation of the Holy Quran.

Ramadan is a special time for many Indonesians. Photo:
Ramadan is a special time for many Indonesians. Photo:

Furthermore, Ramadan is an opportunity to take action and become a finer person to humanity. On this month, people learn to refrain from gossiping, extravagance, immodesty, ignorance, and thinking unwell of others, so when people are allowed to receive drinks and foods again, they have created inner defences to cease from previously held bad habits.

In this month, there is history saying the Holy Quran was disclosed to the Prophet Mohammed. Moreover, that’s why Ramadan is well known as the month to renewed commitment to complete and recite the meaning of text of Holy Quran. Our Muslim friends are encouraged to finish the recitation of the Holy Quran at least once during the month. In the Holy Quran, it is said “I breathe into him my spirit (28:72), and people learned the spiritual exercises from prayers, meditation, the fasting, and charity to remind them that the body is a founding presence for the Spirit. Experiencing the Spirit of Ramadan reminds people to value their bodies as a sacred place and to reconnect deeper with mindfulness attitudes toward God.

During Ramadan fasting, there are two traditional meals: suhoor and iftar. Suhoor is early morning meals done before fasting starts at dawn, while iftar is done to break fasting at dusk. Ramadan is a commemoration of the closeness with God, community, and family, also a great time to embrace new people into our group. When inviting your loved ones for iftar, it is encouraged you invite someone whom you don’t know.   Create room particularly for people who are without family, friends, or partners during this holy month, to develop our ideas and our hearts of the meaning of community.

The Muslim community who experiencing Ramadan not only strengthen and supporting each other spiritual state, but also participating in global universal value of humanity, by conveying energies of faithfulness, ego-transcendence, and love into the collective soul.

Ramadan concludes with the three-day Eid Al Fitr holiday celebrating the whole of the fasting. Our Muslim friends mark Eid Al Fitri with a special morning prayer, then followed by spiritual graduation and chance to apply all the important spiritual lessons during the month. Muslims dress in their best way and celebrate with families or relatives as celebrating sense of community. In conclusion, Ramadan is truly special month to have divine connection with God, to experience spiritual lessons of humanity, and to be closer with families, friends, and communities.

Clarissa Tanurahardja grew up in Jakarta and Daejeon. Although Clarissa is herself a Catholic she feels blessed to be in the company of her Muslim brothers and sisters for this special month of Ramadan. She believes religious tolerance and accepting of diversity to be an important cornerstone within Indonesian society.

Australia: Perkenalan Pertama dan Jadian

It was my first time mengunjungi Australia ketika aku menjadi salah satu participant Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) 2014/2015. Ini juga kali pertama aku mengunjungi sebuah negara yang lumayan berbeda dengan Indonesia. Sebelumnya aku hanya mengunjungi beberapa negara Asia.

The AIYEP 2014/2015 group spent time at Margaret River. Photo: Christiani Segala
The AIYEP 2014/2015 group spent time at Margaret River in Western Australia. Photo: Christiani Segala

AIYEP di tahun lalu berlokasi di Western Australia dengan fase kota di Perth dan fase desa di Margaret River. My first impression for Western Australia adalah dingin dan sepi. Aku bereskpektasi bahwa aku akan mengunjungi kota yang ramai dan sibuk. Tapi ternyata Perth sangat dingin dan santai. Populasi tidak terlalu tinggi dan sepertinya penduduknya tidak terlalu sibuk, maybe because I compared it with Jakarta, kota tersibuk di Indonesia.

Honestly I like Perth, it’s a nice city for living. Suasana kotanya tenang dan tidak terlalu macet tentunya. Selama dua bulan tinggal di Western Australia aku belajar banyak hal (serius) mengenai budaya Aussie yang banyak perbedaannya dengan Indonesia. Mulai dari bagaimana keluarga Aussie, budaya kerja, bagaimana orang-orang menghabiskan waktunya, dan lain sebagainya. Walaupun pada awalnya ada banyak hal yang terasa dan terlihat sangat aneh dan mungkin sulit untuk dilakukan, tapi semuanya seperti campuran sayur dalam gado-gado (makanan tradisional Indonesia), yang ketika disantap, hmm lezat rasanya.

AIYEP memperkenalkanku untuk pertama kalinya dengan Australia. Persamaan yang paling terasa bagiku secara pribadi antara Indonesia dan Australia adalah tentang betapa pentingnya meluangkan waktu dengan keluarga. AIYEP juga membuatku menjadi semakin mengenal Indonesia. Seperti halnya ketika kita ingin mengenal diri kita sendiri dengan membandingkannya dengan orang lain, kita bisa melihat diri kita lebih dalam. Begitu juga dengan Indonesia, aku bisa mengenal Indonesia lebih dalam ketika aku berada di Australia. Kedua negara ini memiliki banyak hal yang dapat dieksplor, sehingga ini kesempatan yang besar untuk saling bekerja sama satu sama lain sebagai tetangga dekat.

Berkenalan dengan negaranya dan orang-orangnya membuatku berpikir, let’s say this is the beginning. Kedepan aku berencana untuk mengembangkan hubungan ini dan mempelajari lebih dalam mengenai Australia dan Indonesia. I am just thinking about “what’s next?”, apakah aku akan bekerja yang berkaitan dengan hubungan kedua negara, atau mungkin tahun depan aku akan belajar di Aussie. After AIYEP, semua pengalaman dan pelajaran yang aku dapatkan menjadi sesuatu yang memberi warna baru dalam hidupku. Aku berencana untuk kembali ke Australia, at least to visit my host family, my counterpart, and my AIYEP friends.

AIYA Links: 10 July

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Events & opportunities

  • Deadline extended—volunteer for NAILA! The newly-announced National Australia-Indonesia Language Awards needs volunteer team members in the lead up to its official launch. Get involved in this great new inituative.
  • ONA Opportunities: the Office of National Assessments (ONA) is advertising Canberra-based positions analysing Indonesian affairs. More info at the AIYA Job Board.

AIYA Links: 3 July

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Volunteers Needed: National Australia Indonesia Language Awards  

The National Australia Indonesia Language Awards (NAILA) is an AIYA National initiative that aims to reward and foster the development of Indonesian language learning in Australia at all levels.

Primary school students through to executive level speakers will participate in a national speech competition carried out in several stages, culminating with a National Awards ceremony in Melbourne.

Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their language skills, discuss bilateral issues and share traditional arts, culture and musical performances with the public.

As Indonesian language classes continue to decline in Australia, NAILA hopes to incentivise language learning and reward high-level proficiency to encourage deeper communication, respect and understanding between our two nations.

We are looking for enthusiastic and passionate volunteers to join our team to organise a successful inaugural event!  


Indonesian and Australian citizens proficient in Bahasa Indonesia and English (preferably based in Melbourne) are welcome to apply! 

General requirements: 

  • Demonstrated interest in the Australia-Indonesia relationship and Bahasa Indonesia.
  • 5-hour commitment per week.
  • Commitment to attend all weekly committee meetings (1 hour) and to attend the three-day NAILA Award Ceremony weekend.
  • Strong time management, written and communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a small team and autonomously to carry out tasks to deadlines.
  • Preferable: established networks with individuals and organisations working on the AustraliaIndonesia relationship, Indonesian language training or business ventures. Previous experience with AIYA is especially desirable. 


Those interested in applying should contact AIYA National Director and Founder of NAILA, Sally Hill (, with a covering letter of no more than 500 words addressing the position criteria and a current CV (no more than 2 pages).

Applications for the Videographer & Photographer and Media & Communications positions should also send examples from their portfolio. Applications are due at midnight on 8 July.

Specific position descriptions outlined in the following pages.

Logistics and Event Officer  


  • Exceptional organisational skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Previous administration and event management experience
  • Experience gaining sponsorship is desirable

Position description:  

  • Arrange all logistics: accommodation, catering, transportation, flights for award finalists
  • Organise all event details: schedules and administration
  • Contribute to web-content relevant to the portfolio    

Competitions Officer  

Skills and qualifications:

  • Previous experience with competition organising (i.e. Rostrum, Tournament of Minds, UN Evatt Competition, sports etc.)
  • Demonstrated fluency in Bahasa Indonesia
  • Understanding of school and university Indonesian curriculum
  • Experience gaining sponsorship is desirable

Position description:

  • Recruit judging panel
  • Research appropriate speech topics for each award category
  • Generate a marking grid for judges’ assessment of participants
  • Create content for the website and brochures relevant to the portfolio (including speech templates and tip sheets on oral presentation skills)

Schools Engagement Officer   


  • Previous experience working with schools (especially children)
  • Working With Children Check (or equivalent)
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Understanding of the Australian National Curriculum
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia
  • Experience gaining sponsorship is desirable

Position description:

  • Engagement with Indonesian LOTE teachers
  • Liaise with relevant teachers’ associations i.e. Victorian Indonesian Language Teachers Association (VILTA)
  • Organise schools visits for language ambassadors (AIYA volunteers)
  • Arrange NAILA information evenings for schools and work with the AIYA Chapter Presidents to set up NAILA language workshops in each state and territory
  • Create content for the website and brochures relevant to the portfolio (including speech templates and tip sheets on oral presentation skills)    

Universities Engagement Officer    


  • Previous experience working with lecturers and university students
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Understanding of university Indonesian curriculum
  • Experienced in setting up university level events
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia
  • Experience gaining sponsorship is desirable

Position description:

  • Engage with Indonesian language lecturers
  • Arrange NAILA information evening for universities or individual NAILA info sessions or workshops
  • Liaise with relevant Australia-Indonesia youth organisations
  • Liaise with existing AIYA Chapter Language Exchanges
  • Assist with the design of marketing materials for universities
  • Create content for the website and brochures relevant to the portfolio (including speech templates and tip sheets on oral presentation skills)

  Media and Communications Officer   


  • Experience writing/developing and managing websites
  • High level understanding of social media
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia
  • Past experience in a similar role
  • Experience gaining sponsorship is desirable
  • Please send examples from your portfolio

Position description:

  • Develop and maintain the NAILA website
  • Manage all NAILA social media including weekly posts
  • Liaise with AIYA National Communications team to arrange messages on AIYA weekly links
  • Contact media outlets to cover the event
  • Liaise with Creative and Marketing Officer and Videographer and Photographer
  • Create content for the website and assist with developing brochures relevant to the portfolio

 Videographer and Photographer  

Skills and qualifications:

  • Experienced in professional level videography and video editing
  • Professional level photography skills
  • Desirable: relevant tertiary education (completed or current) in film
  • Please send examples from your portfolio

Position description:

  • Film interviews with sponsors, partners and participants
  • Take footage of networking events, language training, public speeches, and sponsors’ messages of support
  • Compile footage into a trendy short film with subtitles

For full details please read here at NAILA Committee Position Descriptions

Proud to Learn Bahasa Indonesia

People and their language is a unity that cannot be separated. Being a foreigner in Australia has allowed me to have a greater respect for those who learn Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian).

Janu out the front of Ferny Grove High School. Photo: Janu Muhammad
Janu out the front of Ferny Grove State High School. Photo: Janu Muhammad

Last year I joined a homestay program while I was living in Australia. One morning my host mother (Gwenda) and I had an engagement at Ferny Grove State High School. We planned to go there to teach Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian) and introduce Indonesian culture. I wore special clothes that day. I wore traditional cloth from Yogyakarta named jarik, blangkon (on my head), and sorjan. Alex (my host brother) and Gwenda were shocked to see my performance. “Wow you look very nice, all the students want to take photos with you,” Gwenda said. “Thank you for the compliment” I answered quietly. Then we had breakfast, special indomie (the most famous fried noodle from Indonesia) with eggs. Not even three minutes had passed and all the food was gone!

Throughout my travels Gwenda and I started to talk, she started asking questions about the usual surroundings in Indonesia and Yogyakarta. She also brought up the conversation on traditional cloth and culture in my city, Yogyakarta. A few minutes later we arrived at the school.  We walked to the administration office and asked permission to enter the language classes. Along the way a lot of girls looked at me, “What’s wrong with me?” Am I wearing the wrong costume? Gwenda said it was because I looked different.

Finally at 9:30 am we entered the language classes and met Mrs. Nic. She was a friendly teacher I thought. Then we were able to greet the students. They stood and greeted me enthusiastically “Selamat pagi Bu guru,” they said. What? I’m not a mother, I corrected them by saying “Selamat pagi Pak guru” despite the fact that I have not yet become a father. I was honored to attend these classes and meet Australian students who are enthusiastic to learn Bahasa Indonesia. Bu Nic then gave me the opportunity to introduce myself by writing my name on the board. After that we began to discuss the most frequently used word such as selamat pagi (good morning) and apa kabar? (how are you?).

The next session was a film screening. I brought a short video about Yogyakarta. We watched the video and the students began to see a real view of batik with different patterns, wayang (puppets), Borobudur temple, and others via the video. How grateful I am, in their eyes Indonesia is wonderful. After about 4 minutes, the video ended. The students began to mention things in the video. They appreciated what they saw, they seemed to take pride in studying Indonesian!

After that, what all the students had been dreading finally happened. “We have to continue with the listening test,” said Bu Nic. Firstly I helped them to memorise the names of objects in the slide show. First there was a “rat, above, many, palaces, etc.). Finally, we corrected together. All right, all students seemed cheerful as they successfully responded to the challenges set by Bu Nic. They were so excited to be learning Indonesian.

I ended the meeting that morning giving thanks and that hopefully we would meet again in Indonesia. The students applauded as a sign of gratitude. Indeed, it was an extraordinary experience for me to meet them. Teaching Bahasa Indonesia in Ferny Grove State High School that morning gave me the opportunity to introduce Bahasa Indonesia to the world. I am pleased to be able to share and meet them in class. I was grateful, because our language is becoming known in other countries. When I discuss with Bu Nic she explained, “The language (Indonesian) is very important today, especially the close relationship between Indonesia and Australia in many sectors, which ultimately requires us to learn.” There is a positive when Bahasa Indonesia is being studied in Australia. But there is a negative side when our own people (Indonesians) stop studying the language.

I thought, “Oh it turns out there are also benefits to being able to speak Indonesian for Aussies, especially for the Australia-Indonesia relationship.” Then we went home, talked about other interesting things between Indonesia and Australia. Thank you Ferny Grove State High School and the superb students!