Finalists AIA Awards 2016 – 2017



Luke Bowen is currently the General Manager of the division of Northern Australia Development and Trade within the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation in the Northern Territory of Australia. Prior to being in this role Luke was the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) for over five years. The NTCA is the peak industry body for the Northern Territory cattle industry, representing over 90% of the herd and 45% of the Territory landmass.

This role included high level engagement with Indonesia including the establishment, in 2012, of the NTCA Indonesia Australia Pastoral Program (NIAPP). This annual program was established in partnership with the Indonesian Society of Animal Science (Ikatan Sarjana Peternakan Indonesia – ISPI) to enable young Indonesian animal husbandry students to live and work in the Northern Territory cattle industry and gain life changing skills, relationships and career opportunities. A highlight and feature of the program is 360 degree cultural exchange which sees the Australian colleagues and coworkers of the Indonesian students travel to Indonesia to visit universities, farms and homes of the students. While the program provides technical training and experience it has deepened understanding of Indonesian people, culture and traditions by Australians and provided the reverse opportunity for the Indonesian students. The program has established life changing and lifelong relationships.

Jeffrey Neilson is a geographer at the University of Sydney who has a deep passion for Indonesia, having lived, studied, worked and researched there over a period of 25 years. Jeff’s work focuses on two complementary research programs: environmental and natural resource management; and on improving living conditions in Indonesia’s rural communities. Before returning to the University in 2001, he worked with mining companies and communities affected by their operations in Central Kalimantan.

Jeff’s current Indonesia-related research interests include agrarian livelihoods and change, land reform, food sovereignty and the impacts of value chain sustainability programs on rural communities. He is currently involved in research projects with coffee-growing communities across Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi and Flores. Jeff’s work on the Indonesian coffee industry has also involved developing relationships between Australian specialty coffee roasters and Indonesian farmer groups

He organises an annual field school to Indonesia for university geography students, along with reciprocal visits to Australia for Indonesian geography students. He has pioneered the University of Sydney’s relationship with Universitas Indonesia, by organising 8-month immersion programs for Australian students to study both geography and Bahasa Indonesia in Depok, spreading the study of Indonesian language beyond traditional language learners. He also encourages studies of Indonesia in NSW primary schools.

Mark Pillsworth has demonstrated excellence in the fields of forestry (mangrove), fishery (prawn) and agriculture (ongoing Segara Anakan reclamation) and has participated as a specialist in these areas in 2 major ADB projects in Indonesia: Mangrove Management and Rehabilitation based in Sulawesi); and Segara Anakan Conservation and Development Project based in Central and Western Java). In Sulawesi he filled the role of mangrove specialist, while in Java he fulfilled two roles as Environmental Engineer (monitoring impacts of dredging) and Civil Engineer (dredging specialist).

He has continued with conservation / fisheries/agriculture development with a local NGO, Yayasan Sosial Bina Sejahtera (YSBS) Cilacap (2005 – present; headed by Fr Charlie Burrows) as advisor and performing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in reclamation of 12,000ha for agricultural purposes in Segara Anakan and including prawn fisheries conservation. The villagers are now more prosperous, and food security for the region has been strengthened significantly.


Bruce Christie is a pioneer of the Indonesian indigenous cricket movement starting as far back as 1996 when Bruce, a veterinarian, was posted to Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia as part of an Australian government agricultural aid program. During his time in Kupang, Bruce trained a core group of local disadvantaged youth to play cricket. With the support of many other Australians, and the Australian and international expatriate community in Indonesia, cricket is now a recognized Indonesian national sport with indigenous players competing in regional, national and international competitions. Cricket Indonesia is also recognised and supported by the International Cricket Council. An estimated 100,000+ Indonesians have now come into contact with cricket, and more than 30,000 indigenous Indonesians, particularly school students, now play cricket at schools and at competition level.

The development of cricket in Indonesia would not have been possible without Bruce’s vision, dedication, and support over the past 20 years. Bruce continues to seek assistance from the Australian expatriate community, Australian cricket players, and Australian cricket teams in ‘growing’ cricket in Indonesia, in order to transform the lives of those Indigenous players who are now part of Cricket Indonesia and the East Nusa Tenggara Cricket Club (NTTCC).

Robbie Gaspar was the first Australian footballer to play professionally in Indonesia. He played in Indonesia for seven years including playing for one of Indonesia’s biggest football clubs, Persib Bandung. During his time as a professional player, he earned the respect of his colleagues, to the extent that he was nominated for, and became, an executive committee member of the Indonesian Professional Footballers Players Union or Asosiasi Pemain Pesepakbola Indonesia (APPI) for several years. In this capacity, he represented a very high-profile industrial organisation in a variety of national and international negotiations. On his return to Australia, Robbie was awarded Life Membership of the Professional Footballers Association in 2014 in recognition of his efforts in establishing player associations in Malaysia and Indonesia.

He currently works as a FIFPro (International Federation of Professional Footballers) consultant and is studying a Bachelor of Accounting and Asian Studies degree at Murdoch University. He speaks Indonesian well and regularly commentates for SBS on the world game, especially the progress of the Socceroos. He is blown away by the passion of Indonesian supporters. He is keen to see Indonesia optimise its potential in the most popular sport in Indonesia and has strong opinions about where things are going wrong and how things might be improved, but his approach is collaborative rather than didactic. In particular, he is convinced of the benefit of regional collaboration, and sees Australia playing a big part in that.

Paul Mead operates a sports consultancy that focuses on Northern Australia and into Asia. Paul is passionate about redefining sporting pathways, sport alliances and community participation to achieve success. He provides a unique insight to the sport sector around the opportunities for the development of sports organisations in a commercial context, whilst achieving community based outcomes.

Paul provides the strategic focus and Indonesian context for the “Diamonds in the Rough” program, which uses baseball to show Indonesian girls and women that they have choices beyond what society dictates. The program, funded through DFAT, has made three trip to Indonesia in 2016, taking an Australian Squad to act as mentors and coaches to the Indonesian‘Diamonds’. On the last trip, the Program visited Bandung, Jakarta and Bali. Paul is an integral part of these trips, supporting the strategic intent with the operational delivery, whilst building diplomatic and bilateral relationships.


Brisbane-based Judy Anglim has worked in the travel industry for many years, and maintains that Indonesia, has always been her favourite destination. Her active involvement with Bali and Indonesia began in 1997 when she became product manager for Venture Holidays, during this time she worked tirelessly to raise Indonesia and Bali’s profile as a preferred holiday destination for Australians within a highly competitive market, building trust and loyalty with her agency partners in Indonesia, while forging industry relations and goodwill.

Judy is now working for Infinity Holidays as their Destination Specialist to Asia, working closely with reservations, retail and marketing to drive more business to Indonesia and Bali from the Australian market, contributing, without a doubt, to Indonesia’s year on year increase in tourist numbers from Australia.

Some of Judy’s most admirable work has been during times of trouble such as immediately after the Bali bombings. When other travel agents have focused on sending their Australian clients to alternative destinations, Judy has focused on helping Indonesian hoteliers with recommendations and suggestions to help improve the business from Australia. One of her industry partners in Indonesia commented that Judy is the “Godmother of Bali”.

Ochie is co-founder of the Yayasan Cinta Bahasa Indonesian Language School in Ubud, Bali. She has travelled to several parts of Australia to meet with teachers in public schools, private schools and universities, and has contributed both to the Australia Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) and Causindy, the Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth.

She has been very committed to building a strong relationship between Indonesia and Australia. Her school also receives many Australian citizens, government staff and university students. For the past 6 years, she has been the Volunteer Coordinator for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Ubud, with lots of Australian volunteers. She is an Indonesian who speaks fluent English and encourages Australians to speak fluent Indonesian.

Jessica McKelson is Founder Director of Raw Wildlife Encounters. She began her career as Supervisor Primates at Melbourne Zoo, where she has worked since 2000–2013. Jessica developed a deep passion for animal conservation during a confronting visit to Indonesia’s orangutan habitats in 2003.

In 2006, she was the youngest Australian to be awarded the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI) Fellowship funded by The Pratt Foundation. This enabled her to travel for four months in Indonesia studying and evaluating conservation programs, and working with leading conservationists to develop key skills that would assist her as she continued with her long-term work in Indonesia.

For the past 4 years, Jessica McKelson’s role has been the Quarantine Supervisor for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), based in North Sumatra, Indonesia. She oversees the management of the orangutans from the time they are confiscated to the time they are released back to the wild. Jessica also has a strong role with SOCP International Operations and is often working closely with major sponsors/donors, developing key campaigns for targeted projects and fundraising programs. She is also working on the SOCP Orangutan Haven, a 48ha newly designed conservation education centre, for non-releasable orangutans. Jessica is also a Board Member for The Orangutan Project (TOP).

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