Winning Australia Awards Twice And Becoming An Anomaly


Thank you, Australia!


Well, actually everything happened so fast, til I didn’t really aware what was coming over me. Just a week after I submitted my application (at the very last minutes of deadline) for Short Term Award Scholarship, I directly received an email that it was successful and I got selected to be an awardee of AAS (Australia Awards Scholarship) once again. HOoOoO o.O

For me personally, it proved one point, as written on my late post, that every time you were brave to take a step, even though you were not sure where it would led you to, it surely would take you somewhere, while hesitation to move would just bring you nowhere. I never expected that my decision for taking fellowship scholarship in Flinders Uni would give me so much benefits, even after the program ended. One of them is, I am already categorized as an alumni of Australian university, and by that, many opportunities opened. I was invited to join the alumni network, to attend the alumni events, to make connections among great people, etc, beside as an alumni, there is also a chance to apply for grant scheme to fund our business activities that making impact for people, and this, which just brought me here, to apply for a special scholarship for alumni.

I felt nothing to lose when I applied this special scholarship, remembered that I just came back from my fellowship in Adelaide months ago (9 months to be precise, not even a year, aight?) and the new scholarship I was applying titled “Transformational Business Leadership – for Outstanding Alumni of Australian Universities”, so that the awardees must be valued as outstanding persons, no? But what made me eager to apply was, the fact that the program would be run in the coolest uni in Australia, The University of Sydney (that Hogwarts look alike campus), and that we would study about economy/finance, subjects that urgently needed by me to run my business better. And perhaps, God had a plan for me, so TADAAAA… I got it, and here I am again, in the pre-departure workshop altogether with other fellows who will leave and study in Sydney later. And I’m becoming an anomaly.


2nd day of the 3 days pre-departure workshop


Why I call myself an anomaly? Well… After flocked with other awardees, I found facts that:

  • Everyone in this group had graduated and got degree from various Australian uni long time ago. Some of them finished their bachelor in Oz, most of them got their master degree, and the rest even already got a Phd title from there. But me. I’m just a fellowship graduate by all means. Only me.
  • All the people here have crucial positions in their well-established companies, national and multi-national, senior managers and or directors who are averagely aged 40’s. But me. I’m the one and only still living in my 20’s and working in a relatively new venture. I’m the very youngest one and have no peers, literally.
  • Most of them have background in finance and or working in such field, but.. me again X))

Yea, but chill. Instead of feel alienated, I think that I’m privileged to be among them, to be given a chance to learn much from experienced people, and to do acceleration. Sometimes lonely, like “am I really belong here??”, but.. well, lets just take the bright side anyway.


funny how to call them (who aged as my father) class mates


So, as I noticed right after the workshop started, different from my previous AAS, where not all my class mates could speak English well, in this current group, I can see that everybody’s really smart and everybody has a very good English (otherwise, they wouldn’t graduated from Oz and become global business leaders, eh?). It makes the class and discussions so much alive. Anyone can participate and share their well thoughts and experiences. And it is very very exciting! We are assisted directly by one of the directors of Sydney Uni Business School, Prof.Robin Stonecash, and the program leader, the funny smart Kyle Arthars, sooo much fun!!


Kyle is so tall so you can always notice him right away


So, for those who ask me whether this program is related or is the sequel of my previous AAS, no, it is not. It’s completely apart, yet given from the same scholarship provider, funded by the Australian government.

And so what I can share with you from winning the AAS twice are:

  • I think AAS are very concerned in making impacts of their programs. So (especially for the long-term awards), they look for candidates who can give influences or create changes. That’s why some people may say potential awardees mostly come from the government institutions, rather than who work in private company, because they are more likely to be the persons who have authorities to make policy or something that will affect to the society.
  • The rule above also somehow applied in short-term award. If you’re not a PNS or working for the government, for targeting the objective of making impact, it’s good for you to have an important role in your company or institution, because in common perspective, if you do so, as you educated, there are not only you who will be benefited, but also (directly and indirectly) your environment and people in surrounding.

    Based on these two, my tip is: when you apply, tell them clearly about your role, and show them how influencing you are.

  • Another hint from me; Australia has special concern in particular subjects, such as women empowerment/gender equality, people with disabilities, and development in rural areas. So if you want to biggen your chance in winning their scholarship, you can tell them how you involve in those issues. If you are a disabled person, I strongly recommend you to apply, because instead of be ignored, you are more likely to be prioritized. I can guarantee that. (And don’t worry, Australian environment is adequately inclusive)
  • Become an alumni of Australian Uni will bring you so many advantages, so that you should not miss the chance to be a part of it. Moreover, when this post published, AAS do even have (very) short courses that only take 2 weeks.

my bag is ready


And what make the short-term award special:

  • We don’t have to provide any certificate of English proficiency (maybe it can help, but not compulsory). They asses fully based on our CV, applications, and essays.
  • They will help to make our student visa. In my case, I give them the data, and the AAS officer proceed it to the embassy.
  • The stipend and facility are a bit higher compared to for the long-term awards
  • Most likely, you will be gathered with leaders of the industry.
  • To maximize the output, the program must be including business visits, networking events, and social programs for you to experience Australia way more.

So, what are you waiting for? For Indonesian, you can check to for looking for suitable program for you. Meanwhile, I’ll be finishing my pre-departure workshop and preparing for my next journey in Sydney very very soon. Wish me luck, guys!!


In the cold un-air conditioned hotel room,

still absorbing today’s material and trying to fit in these grown-up people

Belajar Soal Bisnis Wine


Mister dan nyonya pemilik tempat.


Beberapa hari yang lalu aku dan temen sekelas di Flinders Uni kunjungan lapangan seputar bisnis ke salah satu winery, kebun anggur dan tempat pembuatan wine di Adelaide, namanya Sinclairs Gully. Lumayan jauh dari city, entah berapa lama di jalan, yang jelas rasanya di bis aku sampe bisa ngobrol lama dan liat berbagai tempat. Kebetulan tuannya adalah sepasang suami istri yang juga jalanin eco-tourism di Sumatra Utara, Indonesia (makanya mungkin agak relate kalo ketemu orang Indo). Untuk yang suka wine, pasti seneng banget main ke sini, nyobain berbagai macam wine. Tapi walaupun aku gak minum, tetep banyak yang bisa dipelajari dari bisnisnya kok. Ya selain karena memang “dipaksa” harus bisa begitu sih, haha.. karena setiap habis kunjungan, kami selalu harus bikin summary, nemuin key ideas-nya, apa yang bisa diimplementasikan di bidang masing-masing, didiskusiin di kelompok, dan lalu dipresentasiin di depan semua orang.

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Menurut empunya, wilayah ini adalah milik keluarga yang luasnya mencapai 26 acre (atau sekitar 12 hektar?). Tapi walaupun bersifat pribadi, dalam pengelolaannya mereka tetap diawasi oleh pihak kementrian, sudah dimintakan izin, dan mereka berjanji bahwa ini akan tetap bisa jadi cagar alam atau wisata lindung. Komunitas di sekitarnya pun diberdayakan dalam menjalankan usaha, dari pemetikan anggur, pengolahan, dan pembotolan higga bisa jadi produk siap jual. Karena dikerjakan bersama, maka semua yang terlibat pun harus memegang value yang sama, ya itu tadi, agar menjaga supaya wilayah ini bisa tetap sebagaimana mestinya (keep sustainable).


“Hani was here”


Katanya sih, istimewanya wine produksi sini adalah, karena udah dikategorikan sebagai bio-dynamic wine, levelnya udah di atas wine organik, karena prosesnya dilakukan dengan alam (sumpah aku juga gak ngerti-ngerti amat sih, pokoknya anggep aja wine premium lah ya >,< #kali). Dan seperti sering disebut di film-film, makin lama wine disimpen, rasanya akan makin enak. Si mister sempet cerita dia bahkan punya wine dari edisi tahun kapan tau (dan si Hani makin gak ngerti).


Numpang mejeng doang di bar-nya.


Setelah para temen aku “minum-minum” di bar-nya, dan borong sekian botol (mumpung dikasih harga bagus juga), kami lanjut ke kebun dan hutan. Menarik, karena dikasi liat berbagai vegetasi khas Ostrali. Di hutan, pohonnya putiiiihh semua, jadi beneran kayak hutan hantu. Sepanjang batang sampe ranting, kulit kayunya emang warna putih, dan si mister pasang beberapa kamera di badan pohon. Katanya sih, untuk ngerekam dan motret fauna yang pada muncul dan sering lewat. Di hari itu, kami juga liat kangguru dan koala (ya walaupun sejak tinggal di sini liat kangguru udah kayak liat kucing di kampung sih). Tapi si mister justru paling tertarik motret burung-burungnya. Apalagi katanya, menurut penelitian, beberapa jenis burung kecil tertentu, akan punah dalam waktu 20 tahun karena cuaca di sini.


Mulai masuk hutannya.


Si mister ngejelasin ada apa aja di sini.


“pohon hantu”


trap camera


Di tengah perjalanan, kami juga diliatin area outdoor-nya yang biasa dia sewain untuk acara, pernikahan dan berbagai event (suasananya jadi ngingetin sama nikahannya Bella Swan sama si vampir di film Twilight!). Ini bisa jadi tambahan pendapatan juga, sebagai kompensasi kalo musim untuk bisnis utamanya lagi kurang bagus. Bagian dari rumah kediamannya juga sering dia sewain jadi guest house, untuk turis-turis dari berbagai negara. Apalagi yang lagi penelitian, atau banyaknya adalah orang-orang yang tertarik dengan berbagai spesies burung di sini, karena memang (katanya) banyak burung di sini yang gak akan ada di belahan dunia lain (jadi ngomongin burung lagi deh).


foto kunjungan


Mmmm… jadi kalo liat proses bisnisnya sih ya, mereka ni gak cuma jualan produk, tapi memang ahli di bidang eco-tourism, yang kuncinya adalah: great memory, gimana caranya menjual momen sama konsumen. Sekembalinya kami ke area rumah, gantian si nyonya yang cerita proses dari awal mereka bangun industri ini. Bahwasanya, produk itu memang gak harus selalu berupa fisik, tapi bisa juga berupa pengalaman berkesan. Contohnya ya tur kebun anggur mereka, orang jadi bisa metik langsung, nyentuh, dan ngalamin sendiri, bahkan bantu proses produksi yang sebenernya nguntungin pihak pemilik. Sangat personal, sangat berorientasi ke manusianya. Si nyonya bahkan pas cerita soal kehidupannya di Sumatra, dia sampe nangis juga, dan bikin kami semua terharu (walaupun di otak sadar aku mikir, “wah, emang bisa banget nih doi “nyentuh” konsumennya”).


Nyonya lagi cerita.


Selain itu, yang bikin aku tertarik adalah, karena mereka adalah suami istri yang menjalankan usaha bersama. Makanya aku juga jadi penasaran gimana caranya biar urusan rumah tangga sama kerjaan gak terlalu nyampur, apalagi jadi destruktif. Dan dia jawab sih, ya so far so good. Paling kalo ada “sesuatu” terjadi, mereka fokus kerjaan masing-masing aja, dimana dia lebih banyak ngerjain back office, ngurusin website, booking, itinerary, dll, sedangkan suaminya ngerjain yang “outside job”, hohoho ^_^


presentation time


Mbuh ngarane, mbuh rasane. Mending minum jus2 buah yang sehat aja.


Begitulah kira-kira.