Welcome back to Member Spotlight learn more about the lives of those behind AIYA. This week, we introduce you to AIYA President, Clarice Campbell!

What is your occupation/What do you study?

Director, TAFE Victoria, Indonesia, Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office, Jakarta

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

I have many places I like to go to in Indonesia, either because I have a personal connection there or because there’s a mountain to climb! I really love Bengkulu where I did the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) as it brings back a lot of fun memories. Other places I like going to are Central Java, Central Sulawesi and North Sumatra – all of them have amazing natural landscapes from mountain to rainforests to beaches.

Favourite meal in Indonesia/Australia?

Nasi Padang from West Sumatra of course

How about your favourite word in Indonesian/English? 

My favourite Indonesian word is ‘sabar’ which means patience in English. I think it’s a mantra to live by in Indonesia as a lot of things can end up going in a direction you didn’t expect and to deal with it you just need a little bit (or a lot) of patience.

Do you have a favourite Indonesian/Australian film?

Laskar Pelangi is a such a cute and fun Indonesian film, it was one of the first Indonesian films I watched and really is a classic

How did you first become interested in Indonesia/Australia?

I started studying Indonesian when I was in Year 7, mostly out of the fact that I had to and I had no interest in the other languages on offer (French and Japanese). Through my high school experience I met some great people connected to Indonesia and had the opportunity to live in Malaysia for a sort of exchange program with an Indonesian host family. From this I caught the bug and have never wanted to stop learning about Indonesia.

Any hopes for the bilateral relationship?

My hope for the bilateral relationship is that it just continues to grow at all levels; people-to-people, business-to-business and government-to-government. There will always be bumps along the way but there are real opportunities for both countries through increased engagement. A way I see this growth happen is through young people involved in AIYA and other Australia-Indonesia initiatives getting involved at all levels and working towards a better Australia and Indonesia, bringing to the table their expertise and knowledge of both countries in order to better the relationship.

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

I can see my hopes for the relationship take shape as I increasingly see AIYA members and youth from Australia-Indonesia initiatives becoming involved with various organisation that work towards bettering the bilateral relationship. In my own professional experience more and more people with an interest in and experience with Indonesia are being placed in relevant roles that will hopefully see more thoughtful decisions made that will benefit both counties. I know I was lucky enough to find my job only because of my interest in and knowledge of Indonesia so I hope that more young people can leverage their cross-cultural skills to find a career for the benefit of the Australia-Indonesia relationship.

What was getting involved with AIYA like?

I first started attending AIYA Victoria events at the start of 2014 after coming back from a stint in Yogyakarta and North Sumatra. Weekly Language Exchange on a Wednesday was a great opportunity for me to meet like-minded Australians and Indonesians and practise my Indonesian outside of a classroom setting. I found it very easy to become involved in AIYA and after a short time attending LX sessions continuously I joined the Victorian education team. In 2015 I was elected at the Victoria Chapter President and when I moved to Jakarta I became the Operations Officer (Indonesia) at AIYA National.

What do you like most about AIYA?

What I like most about AIYA is that you make what you want out of your experience. For me, AIYA was this community of people who felt passionately about the Australia-Indonesia relationship in a way that I could truly connect with. The breadth of regular events available within Chapters provided me with the opportunity to learn about Indonesia from various perspectives and to think about Indonesia in a bigger way. AIYA has provided me with life-long friends and connections that have helped me in ways I couldn’t have imagined when I first joined.

How can we learn more and connect with you?

You can connect with me through LinkedIn or email me at [email protected] 

Terima Kasih Clarice 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!