Meet The Team
I was born in Wellington and have spent much of my life in the region, other than when I lived in the Manawatu (1993 – 2005) and overseas (1992, 1995-96).
My first visit to Indonesia was in 1995 when I set out on my ‘Overseas Experience’ and stayed briefly in Bali on my way to England. Ten years later I went to Banda Aceh following the Indian Ocean tsunami, in association with NZ’s support of the recovery. I had many subsequent visits to Aceh, Nias, Medan, Yogyakarta and Jakarta through my work in the field of Disaster Risk Management. Over those years I formed close friendships and a love of the Indonesian culture.
I have been President of NZIA since February 2019 and am passionate about strengthening the bonds between our two countries.
When I arrived in NZ back in 2017, I immediately looked for voluntary organization to be involved with. After trying out some NGOs inside and outside of Indonesian community, I decided to commit myself to New Zealand Indonesia Association (NZIA) mainly because it shares the same vision and aspiration.
Since then, I have learnt a lot from my colleagues in NZIA and been inspired by them. I am so lucky to be surrounded by a capable and enthusiastic group of people. Please let us know if you have ideas on how we can progress together for the next 50 years.
Social Media Coordinator
I am a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington, learning about a very cool marine organism that occupies every corner of the globe: the sponges! Yeah, that one – what Bob’s belong to.
I am in New Zealand with Anti – my wife, and my two kids – Lentera and Arung. Arung was born in Wellington, so, fair to say he’s an Indonesian kiwi! My happy place is either under the water or in the forest, two things that Indonesia and New Zealand offers the best spots in the world.
I joined the NZIA Executive Committee in 2018, and still going strong up until now.
I grew up in Nelson and left to work in Wellington where I became involved in broadcasting and publishing businesses.
I am now retired but I have always worked in administration, mainly in schools and universities, including at Massey University in Palmerston North as Secretary to the East Asian Studies Programme.
My first visit to Indonesia was in 1989 when my young son and I met up with my husband in Java where he was working and we holidayed in Bali. My fascination for Indonesia started then and I have been back about a dozen times since, staying for as long as possible.
I joined the NZIA Executive Committee in 2017.
I have a son and family who live in Auckland. I enjoy art and architecture, textiles, movies and gardening.
Chief Editor of Fifty-Fifty
I was born in the Netherlands where I studied tropical agriculture to become a plantation manager in Indonesia, but in the fifties, the Dutch were not very welcome, so I emigrated to New Zealand.
Eventually, I reconnected with Indonesia in 1989 as manager of the Indonesia New Zealand Land Resources Mapping Project, based in Solo [Surakarta]. But after 4 years, the project was stopped. During that time, I came about 4 times per year to Indonesia. The last time, my wife and I visited Indonesia were in 2014 where we still have several friends.
In 1990, I joined NZIA and was its president from 1992-2006. In 2012, I was awarded the QSM for “services to the Indonesian community”. Now I am the chief editor of its newsletter “Fifty-Fifty”, which you can read on this website.
I was born and raised in the central part of Indonesia on the island of Sulawesi. I moved to Wellington in 2009 after finishing my postgraduate study at Victoria University of Wellington. My wife (who was born in Jayapura, Papua) and I call New Zealand our second home after realizing many similarities between our hometowns and the Land of the Long White Cloud.
I love working with children and hence started my childcare business in Wellington which has been operating since early 2015. I am also involved in (and helped to establish!) the Indonesian Christian Community in Wellington. Some people in NZ, who are not familiar with Indonesia, find it surprising that there is a good number of Christians who are originally from Indonesia living here in Aotearoa. I hope my presence can help Kiwis to understand how diverse Indonesia is and help Indonesians moving to NZ to settle in.
I joined the NZIA executive as a member in 2020 and have enjoyed the discussions (and banter!) among the board members as well as the programmes we organize to enhance the relationship between the two countries. I bring the “Indonesian” perspective to the table and hope NZIA can thrive in their mission.
Editor - Fifty-Fifty
I came to Wellington in early 2019 as a student, and now in my last year to finish up my Doctoral Candidature in Development Studies. I joined NZIA to share stories about Indonesia's nature and history through the Fifty-Fifty Newsletter. So, do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you want me to write anything in particular about them.
My partner, Graeme was in Sumatra after the 2009 Tsunami. His deep fondness for Indonesia was something that led to his position on the NZIA Executive. As with so many things, it is only a matter of time before the other partner joins up. I was secretary of the NZIA for a time and stepped down from that role to an executive member.
The role of NZIA is to promote Indonesia in New Zealand and the wider region and we have promoted the language and culture in a series of events that are all aimed at maintaining a profile for Indonesia.
We are all volunteers, and as a volunteer, I believe that if you are not part of a rich and wonderful discussion on ideas and values that shape and move forward the organization one should not be on the executive committee. And, as friendships also keep and link and organization, I really value the hard-working and talented team that is the NZIA.
Fernanda Sukma Aji
When I moved to New Zealand in 2016, I immediately fell in love with this country. The friendly and welcoming people, the progressive society, and the fact that New Zealand and Indonesia shares similar culture and language have made me realize that New Zealand is my second home. Accordingly, I decided to join New Zealand Indonesia Association, an organization that focused on exploring the similarities between these two countries.
Being part of this organization, have opened my perspective towards unity in diversity. It’s not only about sharing the same cultures and languages, but it’s also about the way people maintaining diversity and living in harmony.