Translated by Lotte Troost- AIYA National Translator

Emily Heng is AIYA’s Operations Director, having previously held positions as Operations Coordinator (Australia), and Chapter President (Victoria). 

A final year Law and Global Studies student at Monash University, Emily remains involved in the Victorian chapter, and regularly attends AIYA events. 

As part of AIYA National’s recruitment campaign, she agreed to sit down with our Blog team to answer some questions about her experiences with AIYA National.

Emily continues to attend AIYA Victoria’s weekly Language Exchange

Why did you join AIYA?

I joined AIYA because I was (and still am) really interested in the Australia-Indonesia relationship since I was in high school. I did Indonesian when I was in year nine and continued until year 12. During Year 12 I was looking for opportunities to stay involved in Indonesia after I graduated, so when I went to Monash University, I met a few people through Berbahasa- which is like Language Exchange but at Monash- and met people in AIYA. I realised that AIYA had a lot of meaningful opportunities that could connect me to the bilateral relationship. 

What does your role with AIYA involve?

I am currently the acting Director of Operations, and that involves planning events across national and chapter levels. For example, we have an upcoming film screening of the documentary ‘As Worlds Divide’, and I’m  liaising with the director to implement the film screening. Other than that, I also work closely with the coordinators; Darcy, Wisnu and Khansa. Together we coordinate digital, Australian, and Indonesian events.

What would your typical week look like?

In an average week, I will be conducting a few meetings across national teams, as well as the different Indonesian, Australian, and digital teams. I will also be responding to various emails about different opportunities, such as projects that Chapters can implement. 

I regularly work across teams too. For example, recently I have been working closely with the Indigenous engagement team (Kumpul) and the Women’s Special Project, both coordinated by Sophie, our Secretary. As the Director of Operations, I help to introduce our events processes to them, and to make sure that their events are aligned with AIYA’s mission and vision.

I will also be on Whatsapp almost every day (although I try to take a day off each week)!

Emily conducting an events process induction

What have you learnt from your involvement in AIYA?

I’ve learnt a lot of communication and interpersonal skills. In AIYA you have people from so many different backgrounds… you really learn to have different ways of speaking and resolving issues. I think that really translates into the workplace and gives you valuable employment skills.

Why would you recommend joining AIYA National?

I really recommend joining AIYA National, because you get to work with a range of people with different talents and knowledge. For example, you work really closely across teams, such as the Comms team and Chapters across Australia and Indonesia. Working with different people exposes you to different skills. For example, I learnt how to use Canva through AIYA. You also make many friends – I have made friends in so many different cities across Australia and Indonesia!


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