Welcome back to Member Spotlight where we introduce you to the personalities behind AIYA. This week, we introduce you to President of AIYA NSW, Maxine Williams.


What is your occupation/What do you study?

Honours student in Geography at the University of Sydney

Fun fact you would like to share with us?

I love hiking and climbing mountains!

What made you so interested in Australia/Indonesia?

I was invited to participate in a geography immersion program at Universitas Indonesia in 2017. I spent 6 months as a student in Depok, learning Bahasa, making Indonesian friends and having the best time.

What is your most memorable culture shock experience?

I remember my Indonesian host mother during AIYEP hysterically crying the day before my time in the village came to an end. She was crying so loud that several neighbours turned up at the house to inspect what was going on! It was a truly heartwarming experience.

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

I love visiting Yogyakarta. I think it is such a vibrant and interesting city.

Favourite meal in Indonesia/Australia?

Nasi Pecel.

How about your favourite word in Indonesian/English? 

I love the word ‘kupu kupu’. It sounds so cute!

Do you have a favourite Indonesian/Australian film?

I recently saw the film ‘Memories of My Body’ (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku), which I thought was fantastic. It is a very powerful and eye-opening film.

Any hopes for the bilateral relationship?

I would love there to be more Australian high school students learning Bahasa. This is something that I would like to encourage during my term as President.

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

By going on university exchanges to Indonesia, myself and other Australian youth are gaining valuable cultural experience which we can use in our engagements with Indonesian society and government.

What was getting involved with AIYA like?

It’s been a very fun and rewarding 2 years. I have made so many new friends and gained tonnes of professional experience.

What do you like most about AIYA?

I love the sense of community among AIYA members.

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

Fun. Wholesome. Inspiring.

How can we learn more and connect with you?

My Instagram is @maxine_ivy. I love to share photos of my travels in Indonesia!


Terima Kasih Maxine 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!