John Cheong-Holdaway

Economist and Policy Adviser

John is an economist and policy adviser with a long association with Indonesia. He first moved to Indonesia as a child in the early 1990s, and has spent much of his life since then living and working in and around Indonesia.

John’s career has mainly been focused on the interface between the public and private sector in the delivery of public services; especially infrastructure. He has worked on these issues throughout South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. John is currently a Senior Energy Policy Adviser at Jemena in Melbourne having returned to Australia from Indonesia in 2017. Prior to this, John split his career between private advisory, investment banking, and work for multilateral and bilateral donor agencies.

John speaks fluent Indonesian, was the inaugural Executive Awardee for the National Australia Indonesia Language Awards, and was a delegate of the Conference of Australia Indonesia Youth (CAUSINDY) in 2016. In his private life, John is a dad, and is passionate about arts and culture (especially music); he plays in several bands and musical ensembles, and is Treasurer of Melbourne-based community Balinese gamelan ensemble Gamelan Dananda.

Andrew Cong

Diplomat and International Lawyer

Andrew is a diplomat and international lawyer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Andrew has previously served overseas at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and Mexico City. In Canberra, his work has focused on the law of the sea, international environment law and oceans law and policy. In 2018, Andrew was a member of Australia’s delegation to the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York. He sees the health of our shared oceans as a common concern - ensuring they are clean, free and peaceful is important for both Australia and Indonesia. Andrew’s favourite swimming spot in Indonesia is the Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi.

Surya Setiyaputra

Software Engineer

Surya is a passionate advocate for a respectful and comprehensive Australia-Indonesia relationship, without the fluff. Originally trained as a research biochemist, Surya has experience in executing ideas, running operations and managing projects in the hospitality, fashion and digital design industries in both Australia and Indonesia.

In recent years, Surya has been focusing on honing some hard skills in enterprise product and software development. Currently, he is a software engineer at OnlinePajak, the largest provider of enterprise tax compliance solution in Indonesia with R&D teams in Jakarta, Singapore and Sydney. Surya actively seeks to contribute to the tech-enabled industries with direct links to both Australia and Indonesia through his professional and personal capacities.

In his spare time, he enjoys reading books, usually from the genres of economics, history, politics or biography. The recent pandemic has also sparked his penchant for learning new foreign languages. He is hopeful to be fluent in both Japanese and Korean fairly soon.

Jane Ahlstrand

Indonesian Studies Lecturer

Jane Ahlstrand is a lecturer in Indonesian Studies at the University of New England. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland in 2018 where she examined the representation of Indonesian women in positions of political power in the online news media. Jane speaks Indonesian fluently, and also teaches and performs Balinese dance. She hopes that the CAUSINDY-AIYA mentoring program can help build solid interpersonal relationships between young Indonesians and Australians, and provide pathways to career opportunities. She is an experienced teacher and mentor, and is excited about sharing ideas and suggestions with her mentee as part of a mutually-beneficial partnership.

Mikhael Yosia

Medical Doctor and Research Coordinator

Mikhael has lived in both Indonesia and Australia interchangeably in the past while finishing his double degree in medicine from Universitas Indonesia and the University of Melbourne. Though the two countries are close neighbours, vast differences are present in countless fields. Mikhael has seen how ideas present in these two countries can work hand in hand just as how differences in ideology and cultures sometimes clash.

Currently, Mikhael is a medical doctor working as a research coordinator for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans frontières) Spain in their Asia Unit. His work includes coordinating a multi-country/multi-center research in Asia. This research includes studies in the field of neglected tropical disease (NTDs), emergency preparedness, medical treatment in limited-resource settings, and medical responses to COVID-19. As part of a humanitarian organization, his work ensures that proper medical care is being delivered to the most vulnerable people around the world.

Dinah Yunitawati

Marine Planner and University Lecturer

Dinah has been working in ocean management and environment sustainability since 2008. She holds a bachelor's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Bandung Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in Environmental Science from the University of Western Australia. Dinah is currently a marine planner at the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. She is also the founder of an initiative called ‘Banda Aware’, which aims to reduce corals and beach sand mining in Banda Islands through community-based approaches. In 2019, she was awarded by the Ocean Legacy Awards that acknowledge individuals championing marine conservation.

Dinah actively participates in several organisations that promote women empowerment, for example the Women Leaders Forum of Coral Triangle Initiative and the platform of Southeast Asia Women. She is also a part time lecturer at the University of Trisakti. In 2021, she will start her doctoral program at the University of Western Australia.

Paul Mead


Paul’s 11 years in the NZ Army taught him skills in strategy, leadership and taking action. The Army also gave him a strong sense of purpose. The Army also gave Paul a sense of how the world works, how important cross-cultural relationships are, and the importance of good mentors.

Since leaving the Army, Paul has taught, built businesses, and stayed connected to international relationships. Paul helped establish Diamonds in the Rough, a female empowerment program using baseball, taking Australian female national players to Indonesia to work with other young women. Baseball was the vehicle to inspire confidence and leadership skills.

In 2020, Paul returned to Indonesia with his social enterprise, She Maps, to engage with education leaders and students to help inspire confidence in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths). Paul continues to support other entreprenuers and emerging leaders to find their purpose.

Lia Zakiyyah

Associate Researcher and Climate Reality Leader

Lia has just finished her service at the Office of the President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change 2015-2019. She is currently an associate researcher at Institute for Sustainable Earth and Resources, Universitas Indonesia. Her research focus on the field of behavioural change communication related to low-carbon lifestyle for individuals and organizations.

Lia has been trained as a Climate Reality Leader at Climate Reality, an organization led by Hon. Al Gore, former US Vice President. She has been involved in various initiatives related to environment and climate change nationally and globally. She has represented Indonesia in several international conferences, speaking about low-carbon development and climate resilient future. She sits in the board of several organizations, among others: Youth for Climate Change Indonesia and Alumni of Junior Achievement in Indonesia.

Lia has a mission to contribute to solve climate crisis through better communication to the public, engaging organizations & individuals to adopt low-carbon lifestyle. She is a keen urban gardener and beekeeper, obsessed composter, enthusiastic drummer and Latin dancer.

Astri Arini Waluyo

Public Policy and Government Relations Associate

Astri has worked on a wide range of development and public policy issues in Indonesia representing international organizations, research institutes and the private sector. In her latest work, she conducts research on carbon market governance and policy in Indonesia, and supports review on the implementation of the special autonomy fund for Papua and West Papua.

In the past, she was an analyst at Vriens & Partners providing policy and political analysis for private sectors. Prior to that, Astri was a Research Associate at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Southeast Asia, where she oversaw a quantitative and qualitative research project in collaboration with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She had worked for several United Nations bodies. She holds a double master’s degree in Public Policy and Diplomacy from ANU.

Fitri Mayang Sari

Government Official, Ministry of Finance of Republic of Indonesia

Fitri is a passionate bureaucrat who aspires to refresh the face of Indonesian bureaucracy. Marking one decade working in the government sector Fitri has served in wide-ranging fields such as IT, budgeting, procurement, bureaucracy reform and transformation, and communications.

In her spare time, Fitri is actively involved in Aparatur Muda, a youth-led community in public sector. Her interest on Australia-Indonesia relationship are reflected on her role as AIYA Co-Director of Partnerships and Membership, and Causindy delegate in 2017 and 2019.

Iona Main

Master of Public Policy Student, Princeton University

Iona is undertaking a Master of Public Affairs at Princeton University, where she is the co-chair of the student government and recipient of a full tuition scholarship. As part of her program, Iona completed a three-month rotation at the World Bank, where she worked to implement the bank's goal of halving the number of children who can't read by 2030. Prior to this, Iona worked as a Southeast Asia adviser at Australia's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She was on the taskforce that planned and delivered the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, where her highlight was speaking (very briefly) to President Widodo about ferries. Iona holds a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney. She speaks Indonesian and French.

Tisha Rumbewas

Director and Co-Founder, SAGU Foundation

Tisha is the director and one of co-founders of SAGU Foundation, a Papua province-based NGO established in 2015, focusing on human resources development and research. She earned her MSc in Chemistry from University of Wollongong under the Australia Awards Scholarship. She conducted phytochemical studies on Alstonia scholaris from Papua for her research, supervised by Prof Stephen Pyne. Tisha received two-time Alumni Grant Scheme in 2015 and 2019 for her research on traditional medicinal plants in her village in Kurudu Island of Papua. Tisha is involved in ELTA program, an Australia Awards-funded program, managed by IALF Bali as a Master Trainer since 2013. Tisha was a two-time CAUSINDY delegate of Indonesia in 2018 and 2019 in Makassar and Darwin. Tisha is also a YSEALI Professional Fellow (Fall 2017), where she was placed at Brainfood in Washington, DC for her internship, and was selected to attend YSEALI Summit in Singapore in 2018.

Noudhy Valdryno

Politics and Government Outreach Manager

Valdryno is currently serving as Politics and Government Outreach Manager at Facebook Inc. Handling few markets in Asia Pacific including Indonesia and Malaysia. He loves to spend time watching football and playing tennis. Previously he led numerous digital campaign team in various elections in Indonesia at both regional and national levels. Most recently, he worked with candidates for the 2014 Indonesian Presidential and 2017 DKI Jakarta Gubernatorial elections. He also worked with regional-level consultancy firms and government institutions specialising in parliamentary updates, government relations and policy analysis. Valdryno holds a Masters degree from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, majoring in Public Policy.

Charlotte Corbyn

Policy Officer, Australian Department of Defence

Charlotte is a Policy Officer with the Australian Department of Defence in Canberra. Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Law and Politics and International Studies with Honours from Murdoch University. In 2014, Charlotte completed a semester in Bandung, West Java, with the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS), and credits this experience for cementing her interest in Indonesia. Subsequent to completing her degree Charlotte worked for ACICIS, supporting 20th anniversary projects and the development of a new program on agriculture.

Charlotte commenced as a graduate with the Department of Defence in 2016, and since 2019 has worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She is currently completing her Masters of Law in Law, Governance and Development at the Australian National University, and has a particular interest in international law and labour rights. Charlotte’s best ever holiday was diving in Flores and Raja Ampat, and she can’t wait to travel more in Indonesia.

Robbie Gaspar

Development Manager, Perth Glory Football Club

Robbie was the first Australian footballer to play professionally in Indonesia. He played in Indonesia for over seven years including playing for the country’s biggest football club, Persib Bandung. He was an executive committee member of the Players Association in Indonesia in 2011-2014.

In 2017, Robbie was the recipient of the Australia Indonesia Award for the Sports Category, and in 2014 was awarded Life Membership of the Professional Footballers Australia for his outstanding contribution in supporting professional football players across South East Asia, especially in Indonesia.

Robbie recently completed a Bachelor Business degree with majors in Accounting and Indonesian at Murdoch University, Western Australia and currently works for the Professional Footballers’ Australia as a Player Development Manager for Perth Glory Football Club.

Dhimas Utomo

Digital Innovation, Bank Mandiri

Dhimas is an entrepreneurial banker with broad experience in product and business development both in corporate and start-up environments. He developed his expertise in business spin-off, incubation, and scale up mostly during his time as an intrapreneur at a social enterprise in Jakarta. His mission is always to nurture innovation culture and materialize Indonesia’s digital economy potential.

His involvement with Indonesia-Australia relations began when he studied at UNSW as an Australia Awards scholar and became international student ambassador for the City of Sydney in 2014-2016. He was also part of the Indonesian delegates for CAUSINDY 2017 in Melbourne, themed technology and innovation in the bilateral relationship.

Francisco Widjojo

Venture Capitalist, Arkblu Capital

Francisco Widjojo is a Managing Partner at Arkblu Capital, a private investment firm focused on the venture capital asset class in Indonesia. Arkblu Capital is both a direct investor in early-stage tech startups in Indonesia as well as a fund-of-funds investor in venture capital funds with a mandate to invest in Indonesia and broader Southeast Asia.

Splitting his time between Jakarta and Sydney, Francisco is extremely active within the Australia-Indonesia business community where he is regularly asked to speak and moderate panel events on Indonesia. Francisco is the Indonesia Country Ambassador for the Sydney Landing Pad, a joint initiative between the City of Sydney and Haymarket HQ, and also the NSW Secretary for the Australia Indonesia Business Council. Prior to being a venture capitalist, Francisco was a Corporate Lawyer at global law firm Baker McKenzie.

Mira Sulistiyanto

Graduate Associate, Coffey International

Mira is a Graduate Associate at Coffey International Development and an alumna of the University of Adelaide where she completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science (with courses completed cross-institutionally at Flinders University). She is an alumna of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship through which she completed via an exchange program at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta and internships with Rifka Annisa Women’s Crisis Center, KAPAL Perempuan, and the Australian Consulate-General in Makassar. Informally, Mira is trying her hand at literary translation from Indonesian to English using poems written by friends.

Balawyn Jones

PhD Candidate, Melbourne Law School

Balawyn is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at Melbourne Law School. She researches across the fields of Indonesian law and women’s rights, in particular with respect to gender, religion and law. Her doctoral thesis examines community and criminal justice responses to domestic violence. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, Balawyn worked as an Associate to the Federal Court of Australia and as the pro bono Legal Clinic Coordinator at Strategic Advocacy Human Rights (NGO).

Eva Medianti

Financial Inclusion Manager, Rare International

Eva Medianti is a Financial Inclusion Manager at Rare Indonesia office. Here, she promotes gender equality and financial inclusion in fisheries community in South East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Her important work related to this is value chain analysis, gender training, financial literacy training, and saving clubs formation. She has experiences in development programs particularly in policy planning, behaviour change on conservation, financial intervention, livelihood, and microfinance that she gained in previous career, such as Cash Outlet Manager at Bank Mandiri, Microfinance Manager at Wahid Foundation, Policy Planning Consultant at Rare and Intern at Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub. She took her bachelor’s degree on accounting in University of Indonesia and her master’s in development practice in Monash University. She loves the sea. This became her reason to be a certified dive master, formed Sahabat Laut Indonesia initiative, and combining marine conservation efforts through social development programs as her work.

Doni Marmer

Australia Awards Scholar

Doni was until recently the resource development manager at IDEP Foundation for years, a local NGO building community resilience where he helped designs community development programs. From the prevention of water crisis in Bali, provision of disaster recovery aid, developing adaptive capacity, as well as designing more inclusive conservation initiatives. Wherever IDEP uses permaculture principles for community engagement, he has witnessed rural and small island communities claim back their food security, building their resilience towards disaster risk management and the impact of climate change. Now, Doni is pursuing his Master's degree in Environment with Specialisation in Climate Change at the University of Melbourne under the Australia Awards Scholarship program. Based on his interest in community-based disaster risk management and inclusive conservation, his study aims to develop tools to increase Indonesia's community resilience facing climate change impact.

Made Utari Rimayanti

PhD Candidate, LaTrobe University

Made Utari Rimayanti is a passionate learner who understands the value of mentoring through her own personal journey. Without the advice of a respected mentor, she would not have continued her medical degree when her mother passed away. Without the guidance of another admirable mentor, she would not have applied for LPDP scholarship, which led her to study Master of Public Health in the University of Melbourne. Mentoring was also a core part of her program, Australia-Indonesia Medical English Development program (AIMED), which was the love child between AIYA Victoria chapter and Student Engagement Grant awarded to her by the University of Melbourne. Currently, she is studying PhD in Motivational Interviewing sponsored by La Trobe University, and she hopes that her experience as a PATHWAYS mentor will help her realise her dream of leading Indonesian students towards their own paths to reach their fullest potential.

Rio Afifuddin

Program Manager Governance and Decentralisation, DFAT Australian Embassy Jakarta

Rio is a development practitioner who obtained a Master of International Development Practice under Governance and Democratisation stream from Monash University after receiving a fully funded Australia Awards Scholarship. He has worked in the development sphere in Eastern Indonesia since 2009, and had experience working and finalising three donor-funded programs within the sphere of Eastern Indonesia region through several NGOs and international development agencies. Currently Rio works at DFAT at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, where he oversees and monitors the implementation of an Australian official development assistance program on decentralised governance to support Government of Indonesia’s efforts in achieving poverty reduction targets, improving access to basic service delivery, and increasing economic opportunities.. He aspires that the youth of Indonesia and Australia can continuously collaborate and contribute to a better and stronger relations moving forward. In his spare time, Rio enjoys watching movies, blogging, photography, backpacker traveling, and wisata kuliner.

Amelia Lemondhi

Interpreter/Translator/General Manager, PT IndoSpeak Swara Nusantara


Ghian Tjandaputra

Partnership and Engagement Coordinator, Australia-Indonesia Centre

Ghian Tjandaputra is the Partnerships Coordinator of The Australia-Indonesia Centre, an Australian Government initiative based at Monash University established to connect leaders in government, business, universities, and communities from both nations. He co-founded Krakatoas FC, an Australian rules football community of Australians and Indonesians based in Melbourne, and was AFL Multicultural Community Ambassador. Ghian has represented Indonesia in international forums, including the UNFCCC COP 15, G20 Youth Summit, British Council Global Changemakers, and the Study of the United States Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and the Monash MBA.

Dwiky Wibowo

CAUSINDY Partnerships Lead

Dwiky currently works with the Public Diplomacy team at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Prior to this, he worked for the Culture and Information Division of the ASEAN Secretariat and the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) where he was involved in Journalism, International Relations, and Public Health programs. Dwiky holds a degree in International Relations from the Universitas Padjadjaran.