Business, community and humanitarian leaders recognised at the 2016 Australia Indonesia Awards presentation in Sydney

THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF  the winners of the second edition of the annual Australia Indonesia Awards was made at a gala dinner of the Australia Indonesia Association in Sydney hosted by AIA NSW President, Mr Eric de Haas.

Indonesia's Ambassador to Australia Nadjib R Kesoema speaks at the 2016
Australia Indonesia Awards presentation in Sydney. Photo: @KJRISYDNEY

VIPs present included Mr John Ajaka, NSW Minister for Ageing, Disability and Multiculturalism, who spoke of people-to-people relationships being the basis for government, business and other relationships between the two countries, and the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, Mr Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, who addressed bilateral relations and praised the AIA for initiating the awards. 

The Indonesian Consul General to NSW, Mr Yayan Mulyana, and NSW state parliamentarian, Mr John Sidoti, were also in attendance.

Introducing the program, Mr de Haas recalled politicians of both sides of politics referring to the underlying strength of the relationship between Australia and Indonesia as being “people-to-people” relations. "There are many Australians and Indonesians who in their own way have contributed to the relationships. The Australia Indonesia Awards aims to recognise and honour them." he said. 

Nominations received for the three categories; Business, Community and Humanitarian, were were reviewed by an independent Selection Panel, chaired by Mr Bill Farmer AO, a former Australian Ambassador to Indonesia. 

The finalists came from all over Australia and and Indonesia. They ranged from people with a lifetime involvement, to those who are much younger but have been an inspiration to others. Mr Farmer and the other Selection Panelists remarked on the difficulty in choosing between finalists as they were all very worthy of an award.

And the winners are: 

Business category: Penny Robertson

Penny Robertson
"In 1996 Penny established the Australian International School – Indonesia (AIS) with an emphasis on delivering a curriculum which incorporated children with disabilities into mainstream classes. AIS remains the only genuine international school in Indonesia which readily accepts students with disabilities and it has become a focus school for the Indonesian national education department to demonstrate mainstreaming principles and practices to their officials and key teachers.  Penny led the Down Syndrome International campaign to have March 21 designated World Down Syndrome Day, and in a speech to the United Nations forum of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability in New York on 21 March 2012, Penny particularly referenced her work in Indonesia as a part of her successful plea for the establishment of an annual World Down Syndrome Day."  See her AIA video

Community category: Emma Larssen

Emma Larssen
"Emma Larssen had been involved in surf life saving for fifteen years in Australia before moving to Bali as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development to work with the Indonesia Surf Life Saving Association. She is a member of the Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club in Sydney and is currently the Assistant Secretary/Treasurer. Working with the Indonesia Surf Life Saving Association, she was a key trainer and assessor in First Aid and lifeguard training of over 1,000 lifeguards, staff, water park employees and search and rescue employees across Indonesia. She was a finalist in the Bali Women’s Role Model Awards in 2014 in the Humanitarian award category and was also the winner of the Bali Watermans Awards for Water Sports Mentor." See her AIA video

Humanitarian category: Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo

Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo
"Dr Poespoprodjo (Rini), an Indonesian citizen, has spent the last 10 years researching and implementing malaria treatments in Papua, one of the poorest and most remote provinces in Indonesia where maternal and infant mortality remains alarmingly high.  Educated at Padjadjaran and Gadjah Mada universities where she attained her medical doctor and paediatric qualifications, Rini then studied at the University College in London for a Master of Science in Mother and Child Health before completing her PhD at the Menzies School of Health Research in Australia (2008-2011).  In 2008, she was awarded one of the inaugural Allison Sudradjat Scholarships awarded by AusAID (DFAT) to outstanding scholars and leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2010 she received the Appreciation Award from The Vice President of Republic of Indonesia for outstanding contributions to the malaria research program." See her AIA video