Welcome back to Member Spotlight where we introduce you to the personalities behind AIYA. This week, we introduce you to AIYA Membership Officer, Dan Trevanion!


What is your occupation/What do you study?

I’m a Lawyer.


Fun fact you would like to share with us?

I am starting a business that connects Australian’s to Indonesian business opportunities.


What made you so interested in Australia/Indonesia?

My mother is Indonesian, so I always have a family connection to Indonesia. But my real interest in Indonesia began a few months before I started university. I travelled to Indonesia on my own and loved the experience, particularly being carefree with people my age in a city like Jakarta.


What is your most memorable culture shock experience?

I don’t remember having culture shock. If it counts, I was (and still am) shocked at how Indonesian’s wear long jeans in intense heat and humidity. I suppose this may have caused culture shock for many Indonesian’s who have seen my hairy legs in shorts.


What is your favourite place to visit in Indonesia/Australia?

Jakarta has something new each time I visit. It’s also a city with many friends and family. The traffic has been better lately too!


Favourite meal in Indonesia/Australia?

I used to say rendang when answering this question. But recently my friend took me to eat sate taichan in Senayan, Jakarta. Enak banget!


How about your favourite word in Indonesian/English? 

Woles. Did you know it was created from ‘slow’ backwards? Wol(e)s


Do you have a favourite Indonesian/Australian film?

Dilan 1990. So gombal.


How did you first become interested in Indonesia/Australia?

My grandfather was one of the first Indonesian academics to come to Australia. He arrived in the sixties and brought his family, and my mother, with him. As I grew up my relationship with my grandparents gave me a window into Indonesia and its culture. My grandfather passed away before I figured out what that culture meant to me and for how I viewed the world. Now, I’m a little older and seasoned, I can see the roots of my interest in Indonesia grew from his seemingly odd habits, wall-hangings and clothes.


Any hopes for the bilateral relationship?

The relationship is looking fairly bleak at the moment. The economic partnership between Australia and Indonesia is indefinitely held up for political reasons. My hope is that Australia sees the intrinsic advantages of partnering with Indonesia, and pivots away from its current transactional approach. We’re the neighbour that always knocks on the door asking for something, not simply for a cup of tea and a chat.


In your opinion, how is Youth like yourself take part in shaping Australia-Indonesia relationship?

Australia and Indonesia need youth to be active in directing our relationship into the future. Already we can see a gap broadening between the views of older generations of Australians and youth towards Indonesia. Our generation is globalised, technologically savvy and culturally diverse – a perfect description for Indonesia today. We need to do more to engage with Indonesia on these terms and not simply Bali, bombs and boat-people.


What was getting involved with AIYA like?

Quite simple. After I graduated, I wondered how I would stay connected with Indonesia. I knew about AIYA vaguely so I started following it on social media. A few months later a post appeared promoting an opportunity to join AIYA national. I jumped at the chance.


What do you like most about AIYA?

The Australia-Indonesia relationship is rewarding and filled with incredible people. AIYA brings these people together. At times Australia can seem quite indifferent towards Indonesia. I’m very proud to be pushing against that indifference through AIYA.


Sum up your experience as an AIYA member in three words!

Ayo, gabung teman!


How can we learn more and connect with you?

Add me on IG, follow, like, subscribe, leave a comment, share, re-tweet, tyty



Terima Kasih Dan for sharing with us your passions and insights into your personal experience. Stay tuned for AIYA Blog Updates for the upcoming personas under Member Spotlight!