Article by Claudia Wijaya – AIYA National President

Indonesian translation by Aqsa Suryana – AIYA National Translation Team

Click here for Bahasa Indonesia version.

Every year since 2020, AIYA has been hosting Kongres, our annual conference, in both Australia and Indonesia to bring together our volunteers from different states and provinces to meet in-person, attend cultural workshops, internal upskilling and participate in events. This year, we rearranged our conference to make the most out of the time we had in-person. Therefore, the weekend before on Sunday 25 February 2024 we held a Strategic Planning day to allow each portfolio and chapter to update us on what they have achieved in the past year and what they are planning for the upcoming year. Our Kongres occurred between 1-3 March 2024 in Melbourne, Australia and 8-10 March 2024 in Jakarta, Indonesia. It consisted of our Board of Directors, Chapter Presidents, and Officers from our National and Chapter Teams based in the host cities.  

1 – 3 March 2024, Melbourne, Australia 

We began on Friday at Monash University Clayton Campus with an opening session and cooking class hosted by Bu Ati from Dapur Indo. We were taught how to make three main dishes that included martabak telor, bakwan, and klepon. 

“Not only was the food tasty, but it was a great first opportunity for the AIYA members to work together as a team to create a delicious bounty of food, with Bu Ati’s expertise. With food and laughter, this session was more than just creating meals, but also creating friendships and partnerships.” – Lachlan Cropley (AIYA Culture Coordinator)

Check out our Martabak Tik Tok here!

Later that evening we hosted the ASEAN-Australia Networking Night which was accredited as the first of the many ASEAN-Australia Special Summit events that week. We had speakers from all different fields provide their perspective on the current state and future of the ASEAN-Australia relationship. Thank you to our speakers Leigh Howard, Grant Dooley, Trang Nguyen, Laura Burke, Melissa Conley Tyler, Ruth Stewart, Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre and AASYP for the collaboration.

The Saturday consisted of internal upskilling workshops on marketing, partnerships and sponsorships, grant writing and internal solutions to assist with planning the upcoming year of events, and provide our volunteers with the skills required to execute the upcoming initiatives. These workshops were broken up with a fun Amazing Race to boost spirits and our competitive nature. 

That evening was the Indonesian Chill Out Night, hosted by the AIYA Victoria Chapter and emceed by Indonesian-born local actress Miranda Anwar. Chill Out Night consisted of many games, networking and delicious food. The games included asking question bingo, kahoot, and a lucky draw. There was also a special performance by singer and guitarist Nugraha Saputera. 

The final day in Melbourne consisted of a final wrap up, presentation of certificates, and a screening of award-winning Australian film ‘The Drover’s Wife’, before we all headed back to our states. 

8 – 10 March 2024, Jakarta, Indonesia

Kongres Jakarta began with a lunch at Teras Dharmawangsa where we had our opening remarks and briefing. Then we went to Jakarta Amara Creative Centre and had a dance class where we learnt four dances from Kalimantan, Papua, Sumatera Barat, and Riau. 

That evening was spent at the Australian Ambassador’s residence with Deputy Ambassador Stephen Scott as we discussed AIYA, the Australia-Indonesia relationship and what it looks like in the future. Celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations this year!

The following Saturday began at Monash University BSD where Bu Sabina Puspita gave us a tour of the current levels and the preparation of the Monash University Open Day. The AIYA workshops consisted of an interactive partnerships and sponsorships session, communications workshop and an Aussie Snack Tasting workshop that had participants guessing flavours and the chocolate tiers. 

The evening was spent at our ASEAN-Australia Networking Night moderated by Stephanie Silalahi. Thank you to our incredible speakers! Ibu Anna enlightened us on the need to collaborate more between Australia and ASEAN through downstreaming business, exchanging knowledge on electric vehicle manufacturing, and funding. Bapak Luthfi reinforced the importance of history, and provided some interesting facts on the Balinese Subak system. Bapak Rio Afifudin provided insight on CAUSINDY and how important writing is to develop our career. Ibu Zurina Moktar notified us on the ASEAN Young Science Network which was so valuable for me as a social science student. Ibu Arumi informed us on the ASEAN economic community and 3 main issues of digital transformation, sustainable development, and inclusive growth.

The final day was held at the Perpustakaan Nasional. We held an AIYA solutions workshop to discuss what we can improve on internally and externally, combined with brainstorming what can be done to resolve these issues. To conclude we had a presentation of certificates and thanks to our team. 

I would like to personally thank our sponsors, supporters and facilitators. We would not have been able to organise such a big conference across two countries without the support for our organisation within the Australia-Indonesia communities. 

Thank you to our Kongres Organising Team! Special thanks to Andaleeb, Sekar, and Hapsa our Kongres Convenors, Matthew (Director of Operations), Bima (National Treasurer), AIYA Victoria, AIYA Jakarta, and all AIYA volunteers that assisted us to make this conference occur. 

We are looking forward to this upcoming year and what new and exciting opportunities are to come!

Claudia Wijaya
AIYA National President