“The Australia Alumni Awards are prestigious, transformational scholarships and short courses offered to emerging leaders for study, research and professional development in Australia.” Tetra Tech manages the Australia Awards in Indonesia on behalf of the Australian Government.
The 2023 Australian Alumni Awards celebrated 70 Years of Australian Scholarships in Indonesia, showcasing the accomplishments and contributions of Indonesian alumni.
The Alumni Awards winners highlight the positive impact of education and the enduring partnership between Australia and Indonesia. Through their experiences, these stories inspire future generations to pursue educational opportunities in Australia and foster continued collaboration between the two countries.
Cracking the Glass Ceiling in Indonesia
Koesmarihati Koesnowarso is a remarkable woman who shattered the glass ceiling in Indonesia’s male-dominated telecommunications industry. As the first CEO of Telkomsel, she led the company to become the industry’s largest player by implementing groundbreaking strategies. Koesmarihati separated telecommunication services from mobile devices, making them more affordable and revolutionising the market. After retiring, she served at the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Body, where she drafted a roadmap for cellular phone number portability.
Koesmarihati’s journey began with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tasmania in 1965, achieved under the Colombo Plan scholarship scheme.
She credits her success to supportive male allies and emphasises the need for women’s access to technology and increased opportunities in the sector. Koesmarihati believes technology, particularly the internet, can empower women and expand their horizons.
“I hope women’s access to technology and their role in the telecommunication sector can be improved. The internet can really expand the horizon of women.”
Koesmarihati received the Distinguished Alumni Award and Doctor of Honoris Causa in Engineering from the University of Tasmania.
Transforming Healthcare Access in Indonesia
Jonathan Sudharta has transformed Indonesia’s healthcare industry through Halodoc, a digital health service app with over 20 million users. It provides convenient access to online consultations and medication recommendations.
“I remarked at the time that technology may help the community gain less complicated access to healthcare,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan’s journey began at Curtin University, where he studied Marketing and E-Commerce and developed a passion for addressing patient challenges. Despite initial setbacks, he improved Halodoc based on user feedback, resulting in a four-star rating.
The app played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering essential telemedicine services and collaborating with the government to facilitate medical consultations and medication purchases for people at home.
With its innovative approach, Halodoc effectively tackles Indonesia’s limited healthcare access, benefiting millions of individuals. Jonathan Sudharta’s commitment to technology and innovation has revolutionised healthcare accessibility, connecting patients with vital medical services.
Eradicating Malaria in Papua
Dr Jeanne Rini Poespoprodjo in Papua using evidence-based strategies. She focuses on pregnant women and children who are at higher risk. By providing intermittent medication, she effectively prevents malaria in expectant mothers.
“In a remote area with few doctors, I can save lives simply by being there and bringing them the medicines. It’s my reward, making me very happy,” she said.
Her research also targets relapses of Plasmodium vivax malaria by promoting complete treatment.
Collaboration with institutions like Charles Darwin University’s Menzies School of Health Research has expanded Rini’s network and facilitated knowledge exchange. The Australian Government has recognised her humanitarian efforts and awarded her for her work.
Inspired by her experience as a rural doctor in Papua, where healthcare is limited, Rini is dedicated to improving community health. She advises policymakers and implements research findings to reduce malaria cases, driven by her mission to make Papua malaria-free.
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