After completing Honours in Asian Studies at the Australian National University in 2002, I travelled to Indonesia as a volunteer for Peace Brigades International (PBI) on their Indonesia project (IP). PBI is an international, independent, volunteer-based organisation that provides unarmed protective accompaniment to local civil society organisations in conflict zones as well as a peace education program.
I completed a Bachelor of Asian Studies (Indonesian) with Honours in 2006, for which I studied subjects in contemporary Asian societies, Indonesian politics, society and language, development studies, and economics. As part of my degree, I took the opportunity to study in Indonesia for a year as part of the Year-in-Asia program - an experience that has fundamentally shaped me as a person and has led me to pursue a career in international development.
I arrived in East Timor on the 29th of April to work as a translator/interpreter with an AUSAID funded project in the division of labour and social services. This contract came about following an earlier stint in East Timor with Australian Volunteers International during March - April 2001. Prior to this I spent some time in Jakarta with our Attorney Generals Department doing mediation training.