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Meet Lia Marpaung: advancing inclusion in Indonesia

Could you tell us about who you are and your career to date?

Rina Erlina Berliana is my formal name, but professionally, I’m known as Lia Marpaung. I love being in nature and island living. I am especially fond of Papua, its nature, and its people. I grew up in urban, district, and rural settings, giving me a breadth of experience and perspective in the diversity of local, national, and international contexts.

I’ve worked on economic and social development issues in challenging development settings in Indonesia for more than two decades. This includes working with the United Nations and the Australian Government aid programs under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for Indonesia. My most recent appointment prior to joining AAI was with the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice Program where I led the first national strategy on preventing child marriage, access to justice regulations for people with disability, organized policy dialogue among government, CSOs and DPOs in addressing concerns for people with psychosocial disability, and in driving collaboration of CSOs, government officials, parliamentarians, in passing the seminal sexual violence law.

I hold a Master of Economics and Public Policy from the University of Indonesia and a Master of Social Policy from the University of Melbourne, Australia, which I completed through the Australia Awards. My first degree was a bachelor’s degree in business administration which I obtained as I concurrently embarked on working in the private sector and in development works. I value all learning, whether it be in classrooms, workspaces, or through interaction with people.

Why did you choose to work with Tetra Tech?

My role at Tetra Tech is as Gender, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Adviser for the Australia Awards in Indonesia (AAI). I began this role in June 2022, it allows me to open equal opportunities for people, including women from disadvantaged backgrounds, people with disability, and those living in disadvantaged districts, to have access to higher education. GEDSI is my passion and I love that I can share my knowledge and skills with the program while working with and learning from the many experts at Tetra Tech. GEDSI is still nascent in Indonesia’s development and I believe it is essential to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion for all.

Tetra Tech’s purpose is thriving people, communities, planet. In your role, how do you create a positive impact?

It is critical that from the start diverse people are included in the program, which is aligned with the principle: Nothing about us without us. Being a GEDSI Adviser allows me to promote enhancement in people’s capacity, facilitate collaboration among diverse groups of people in the communities, and advance inclusive society.

What makes Tetra Tech’s culture unique?

Since joining Tetra Tech, I’ve experienced a culture of collaboration, encouragement, and spirit to learn about diversity in all aspects of the program. The spirit of collaboration and learning can be felt deeply among colleagues. It is exciting to know that I can always get support and direction from Tetra Tech Global, the Inclusion, Justice and Transformation Practice Team, and from other advisers and colleagues.

LIA MARPAUNG

Gender, Disability, and Social Inclusion Adviser ‐ Australia Awards in Indonesia


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