Welcome back to Member Spotlight learn more about the lives of those behind AIYA. This week, we introduce you to one of our AIYA Blog Editors, Wella!
What’s your name?
What is your occupation/What do you study?
I’m currently juggling in between being a freelance writer and working in the retail industry.
Fun fact you would like to share with us?
During high school, I (almost) always got really good marks in English whilst I failed terribly in Indonesian, oops…
What made you so interested in Australia/Indonesia?
I was lucky to be able to spend my adolescence in Australia and get to know myself and Australia at the same time. It felt like Australia is a part of my identity from the place to its people. Australia is very close to my heart so it’d be subjective to say what made me interested, one thing though, I’m not very interested in Sydney weather, they are horrendously moody!
What is your most memorable culture shock experience?
This had to be the foods. I remember when I saw my Aussie friend had salad on her lunch break. My Indo mentality (having rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner) couldn’t wrap around the idea of having lalapan on its own for a meal, haha!
What is your favourite place to visit in Indonesia/Australia?
Borobudur. The breathtaking experience of watching the sunrise in Borobudur is one of the things I wish everyone could experience.
Favourite meal in Indonesia/Australia?
Anything with sambal really but lately I’ve been obsessed with Ayam Geprek.
How about your favourite word in Indonesian/English?
I realised that lately I’ve been saying “kalap” (loosely and out of context) way too often and perhaps impulsively I’ve chosen my fav word and for Australian, I had to choose the phrase we hear way too often, “no worries, Mate!”
Do you have a favourite Indonesian/Australian film?
Australian: Lion and Jasper Jones. Indonesian: Mirror, Athira and Radit dan Jani
How did you first become interested in Indonesia/Australia?
I (mostly) grew up in a small town in Kalimantan where often times at school we learned to make sense of Jakarta and the whole Indonesia therefor the existence of Australia at that time was irrelevant. The only memory of mine about Australia was when my teacher mentioned about Boomerang. I only became interested in Australia from my teenage years when my siblings came to Australia and told me how beautiful the country was. Then I decided to study in Sydney and learn about Australia for myself.
Any hopes for the bilateral relationship?
I hope to see a better understanding of the people of both countries. I hope Australians would see Indonesia more than just a cheap travel destination and I hope more young Indonesians would be interested in finding out more about Australia than just the Hemsworth brothers. There is so much more from both Indonesia and Australia that is waiting to be discovered.
In your opinion, how are young people like yourself helping to shape the Australia-Indonesia relationship?
I believe every youth has their own voice and it’s powerful. Every personal understanding of Australia-Indonesia contributed to shaping the whole relationship. Therefor it’s important for youths to have better understanding of both countries. I learned so much more about Indonesia from my Australian friends’ perspectives and it’s fascinating.
What was getting involved with AIYA like?
Previously I had followed AIYA’s twitter account and when I saw that AIYA was looking for Blog Editors I decided to give it a go. I realised that my writings too often talking about Indonesia related topics and living in Australia made it hard to reach readers who are interested and understood Indonesia well. Through AIYA I could reach the right audience and I could see my skill is served a great purpose so it’s a win-win!
What do you like most about AIYA?
The spirit of AIYA members! When I joined AIYA I didn’t have much prior knowledge about the organisation but with the warmth and semangat of everyone on board, I felt welcome. The realisation of how much effort AIYA members put through realising the better Australia-Indonesia relationship is beyond me. You guys…
Sum up your experience as an AIYA member in three words!
How can we learn more and connect with you?
Follow my Twitter @anda_ny to see my latest retweet but email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that you can say hi and check how I’m doing 🙂
Terima Kasih Wella for sharing some insights into your life and experiences! Keep an eye out for more Member Spotlights in the coming weeks!