Photos by Campbell Bridge
The Australia Indonesia Association (AIA) of NSW unites people with a social and cultural interest in Indonesia.
The association provides an opportunity to attend Sydney based Indonesian events, socialize with people who have a common interest in Indonesia and learn about Indonesian culture.

Who we are



AIA members have lived, worked, traveled or studied in Indonesia – or they plan to.

It includes people who have a fascination for the culture, music and art of Indonesia.

Some members have an Indonesian background and family living there while others have an academic interest in the country.

Whilst most of our members live in NSW, we have members in several other states and in Indonesia.

Everyone with an interest in Indonesia is welcome!



The Australia Indonesia Association was founded in 1945, making it one of the oldest and longest established organizations in the world with an interest in the newly independent country of Indonesia.

In 2020 we celebrated our 75th Anniversary.

This photo shows an early meeting of the AIA at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney in 1946.

What we do

The AIA have a range of activities to cater for the varied interests of our members.

Australia Indonesia Awards

The AIA initiated this national program of annual awards to recognise and honour Australians and Indonesians who have made significant contributions to the greater understanding and friendship between Indonesians and Australians. The awards are made in 3 categories which are different each year. Nominees for the awards are assessed on the basis of:

⦁ Demonstrated excellence in their field;

⦁ Demonstrated commitment to Australian Indonesian relationships;

⦁ Being a role model for others.

An independent Selection Panel selects the finalists and the winner in each category, with the Awards presented at a gala dinner attended by government and diplomatic leaders and dignitaries.

Zoom Cocktail Sessions

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, we reached out to our members via Zoom online sessions, held on a fortnightly basis with guest speakers on a range of interesting topics. The sessions are very social, not webinars.

Social functions

Members get together for regular dinners (where not restricted by Covid-19), and participate in social functions conducted by other Indonesian community groups.

Education

The AIA endeavours to promote the study of Bahasa Indonesia and Indonesian culture at high schools, universities and adult education courses. We have arranged immersion courses in Indonesia for senior high school students, and provide the Lottie Maramis annual prizes to the top students of Bahasa Indonesia in NSW schools.

History

The AIA was founded in 1945, making it one of the oldest and longest established organizations in the world with an interest in the newly independent country of Indonesia. In 2020 we celebrated our 75th Anniversary. We are proud of the history and are working on documenting our achievements over the years.
We also promote discussion and documentation of the history of the relations between Indonesia and Australia.

Communications

We issue a weekly email to members and friends of the AIA, informing them of upcoming Indonesian related events in NSW and elsewhere. This is based on information received from various organisations, including AIYA, AIBC, AIA in other states, AIC, ICC.
Our Facebook page continues to attract new members and lots of posts.

Governance

The AIA believes strongly that it is important not only to do what we consider right, but to ensure that we do it the right way. Our Committee, including Office Bearers, are all volunteers, elected at the Annual General Meeting each year. They are accountable to the members.

Our Constitution provides the basis for the governance and operations of the organisation.
The Constitution has been updated twice since the original Constitution of 1945 to reflect changes in regulatory requirements. The current Constitution adopted by the Annual General Meeting in 2016, is based on a template by the NSW Dept of Fair Trading.

Annual Financial Statements are presented to and approved by members at the Annual General Meeting.

Our Constitution

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Annual Reports

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Committee

The Committee is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. This is the current 2020-21 Committee.
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President

Neil Smith

Neil Smith has run his own construction company for over 30 years. His interest in Indonesia started back in 1983 travelling through Indonesia as a tourist, where he met his Indonesian wife in Yogyakarta.

He has been involved with the Australia Indonesia Association since joining in 1985. He became Vice President in 1986, then President the following year. He has served several terms as President and Vice President, and is the current President of AIA. Neil has been an adviser to several organisations including the Department Education’s Asian Studies Advisory Panel, and the NSW Ethnic Affairs’ Asian panel.

He is particularly interested in history, including the history of Australia Indonesia relations, and also the local history of the Parramatta and Blacktown areas. He has been active within the Parramatta Historical Society for many years, has been Vice President of the Blacktown and District Historical Society for 15 years, and President for the last 2 years.

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Vice President 1

Sally Madaida-Luxton

Sally was born in North Sulawesi, went to school in Makassar, then moved to Jakarta for work. Here she met and married her Australian husband. They moved to Melbourne in 1977 and Sally became involved with DHARMA WANITA and with the local Indonesian Community for 15 years. In 1992 Sally moved to Sydney and married John Luxton and has been active in the AIA since then. In addition to her involvement with AIA she has pursued other interests currently with Kawanua and St Vincent De Paul Society.

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Vice President 2

Sri May
Sri’s background is in Accounting, Event, and Data Management, currently running her online business A-I Directory and working for the Australian Dental Association. She was the Admin Officer of the Australia Indonesia Business Council (AIBC) for 9 years. Her involvement in regional business in Indonesia and Australia since 1990 included the organisation of a series of successful bilateral trade shows. She hopes her experience will help her to contribute to the AIA in general and her favourite quote is: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – John F Kennedy

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Treasurer

Lucy Surtandi

Lucy has retired from her accounting and book keeping career and is now focussed on her volunteer work for several organisations, particularly within the Indonesian community in Sydney. She has been a member of, and held positions in the Indonesian Community Council of NSW Inc (ICC NSW) Committee and the Indonesian Australian Women’s Association. She joined the AIA Committee in 2020.

Secretary & Education Coordinator

Michael Kramer

Michael is a retired chemical engineer who has lived in Indonesia for 10 years. His jobs with Dow Chemical there included plant engineer, project manager and operations manager. He has lived in Medan, Cilegon and Jakarta, and travelled widely, from Aceh to Papua. Michael is married to Tini who hails from Siantar in North Sumatra. They have 3 adult children. Michael passionately believes that Australia needs to develop more young people with a knowledge and interest in Indonesia. Hence his interest in the teaching of Bahasa Indonesia in schools. He is also very interested in the history of Indonesia, particularly wherever there is an Australian connection. He visits Indonesia 2 or 3 times a year to pursue various history related activities and to maintain contacts.

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Committee Member & Events Coordinator

Eric de Haas

Eric is a former Chartered Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor. After working in the accounting profession in Australia and the Netherlands he moved to Indonesia in 1980, working in the accounting profession before diversifying to mining consultancy in Indonesia for almost 10 years. He worked with Price Waterhouse Consultants in Indonesia for 2 years and then spent four years as Corporate Internal Auditor for PT Bakrie and Brothers, a large Indonesian public company with diverse interests.

Since his return to Australia in 1998, Eric has continued to work in the Internal Audit and Risk Management area, and has maintained his interest in Indonesia completing three terms as National President of the Australia Indonesia Business Council (AIBC). Eric was then President of the Australia Indonesia Association for 10 years.

Whilst living in Indonesia, Eric was active in the Jakarta Youth Soccer organization, firstly as a Coach, then a Commissioner and finally Chief Commissioner. He was on the Board of Governors of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Here in Sydney, Eric was a director of the Institute of Internal Auditors and is Director and Company Secretary of the Juliana Village, a retirement and aged care facility in Miranda.

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Committee Member

Steve Sharp

Steve is a journalist and media educator whose association with Indonesia began as a backpacker in 1996.

Since then, he has travelled to Indonesia to work as as media trainer and researcher. In 2012 his book 'Journalism and Conflict in Indonesia: from reporting violence to promoting peace' was published by Routledge.

He joined the AIA NSW committee in 2020 and has served on the communications sub-committee.

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Committee Member

Pat Hanna

Pat Hanna is a consulting geologist and has worked for over 40 years in Australia, USA, Canada, Alaska, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, India, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, China, Mongolia, Thailand, Japan, Philippines and New Zealand. Pat’s first trip to Indonesia was in 1989 and he has worked extensively in the jungles of Kalimantan and Sumatra. He has travelled through Java and Timur for sightseeing. Pat served on the committee of the NSW Branch of the AIBC in 2019 – 2020.

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Committee Member

Isla Winarto

Isla Winarto is Eurasian, with an Australian mother, and Indonesian father, who was one of the Founding members of the AIA in Sydney, in 1945. She has a BA Honours degree in Indonesian language and literature, and a graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Sydney. For the past 37 years, Isla has lived and worked in Jakarta, Indonesia. After graduating, Isla taught Indonesian language and literature at the University of Sydney, and later at Griffith University, Australia. For some years, she was also involved in broadcasting Indonesian language lessons over ABC Radio Australia. From 1985 - 1996, Isla worked at USAID, American Embassy Jakarta, in Indonesian language training, international education and project management. During that period she also acted as the interpreter for Ambassador Paul Wolfowitz, and for Hillary Clinton during the U.S. Presidential visit to Indonesia in 1994. From 1996 until her retirement in May, 2014, Isla was the Country Director for Indonesia of a global company, owned by the Australian universities. In this role, she managed ten offices across Indonesia and also had short-term assignments in South Africa, and as Acting Country Director in HK. In 2003, Isla’s autobiography, entitled Kopi Susu, was published world-wide in the book: Australian Expats: Stories From Abroad. In her spare time, Isla is an active committee member of the Indonesian Heritage Society, Jakarta. She is also the UN Liaison Officer for the Jakarta chapter of Soroptimist International, a global organization for professional women.

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Public Officer Public Officer

John Luxton

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