Australian Embassy

Australian Alumni of the Year Awards Presentation

Media Release

4 December 2020

The Australian Embassy held its annual Australian Alumni of the Year Awards presentation on Friday 4 December 2020 to celebrate the successes of a number of outstanding Australian alumni, including those who have played important roles in Indonesia’s COVID-19 response.

In a virtual ceremony, Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Gary Quinlan, announced this year’s winners, including Alumni of the Year and also in the categories of innovation and entrepreneurship, outstanding young alumni and promoting women’s empowerment.

Alumni Awards are the most distinguished honours given to Australian alumni who have made exemplary contributions in their profession and community through outstanding leadership, integrity and hard work.

“Australian alumni in Indonesia make a significant contribution to Indonesia’s development and help our two countries to understand each other better,” Ambassador Quinlan said.

“Alumni play a crucial role in deepening cooperation between Indonesia and Australia.”

“Their role has never been more important as both countries work more closely together to overcome the threat of COVID-19 and to rebuild our economies and communities for an even stronger and healthier future.”

This year’s winners include:

Winner of the 2020 Alumni of the Year - Prof.Dr. Herawati Sudoyo, is the Deputy Director at Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology of EIJKMAN INSTITUTE for Molecular Biology, a Monash University and the University of Sydney alumni.  She is a Chairperson of Medical Commission of the Indonesia Academy of Sciences and a Member of Expert Team of the COVID-19 Task Force 2020.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award was given to Dr Irvan Bastian Arief, Associate Vice President (AVP) of Data Science at, a Monash University and RMIT University alumni. Dr Irvan is the creator of RUP and DA-HOC machine learning algorithm and a digital executive with over than 15 years of commercial experience in technology, digital and data related domains with some of progressive multinational global companies in both Australia and Asia.

Ms Swietenia Puspa Lestari won the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.  She is the founder and Executive Director at Divers Clean Action (DCA) and participated in an Australian Government-funded short course program on ‘tacking marine pollution issues through recycling’.  In 2019, she was announced as an ocean hero by former Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti.   Ms Lestari was listed last year as one of BBC’s 100 inspiring and influential women. She was also included in the “Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2020” in the category of Social Entrepreneurs.

The Promoting Women’s Empowerment Award went to Dr Lily Yulianti Farid, Founder/Director of Makassar International Writers Festival, and an alumna of the University of Melbourne who obtained her Master and PhD degrees under the Australian Government scholarships. She is an Indonesian writer, research, educator and cultural activist with more than a decade connecting Australia – Indonesia through research, arts, culture and literature through cultural bridge that she has built in both countries.

Australia is the most popular overseas study destination for Indonesian students, with about 20,000 enrolments in the year prior to COVID-19.

Congratulations to all of 2020 Australian Alumni of the Year Awards winners.

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