On Wednesday 28 May 2014, Dr Garth Pratten, Senior Lecturer from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and Ms Kate Hulm, Student Engagement Coordinator from the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, represented the University at a posthumous award ceremony at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta for Indonesian Masters student Mr Arief Suryansyah, who sadly lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.
The ceremony was conducted in Bahasa and English in the presence of Mr Suryansyah's wife, Mrs Biaro Andita Annel, their 5 year old daughter Arienta Chiara Suryansyah, his brothers Mr Adriansyah and Mr Armansyah, his mother Bainar, other members of his extended family, his colleagues from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence, representatives from the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Embassy, and other invited guests. The ceremony honoured Arief's academic dedication and exceptional determination to complete his studies. He was highly regarded by both his Indonesian and Australian colleagues.
Dr Pratten presented the award to Arief's wife Biaro and his brother Mr Adriansyah who expressed their sincere gratitude for the kindness and support that was offered to Arief by staff in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre when he fell ill. They thanked the University for the condolence letter they received following his passing and conveyed their heartfelt appreciation to the University, the Department of Defence and the Australian Embassy for honouring Arief with the posthumous award, noting the deep significance the ceremony held for his family during their time of mourning.
In a touching tribute to his younger brother, Mr Adriansyah spoke on behalf of the family stating that it had been Arief's dream to complete his Masters program and even in his final days he had told his family that it was his goal to get well so that he could finish his degree. Mr Adriansyah was visibly moved when he thanked the University for €œmaking his [Arief's] dream come true€.
Arief's supervisor, Major General TNI Sonny E.S Prasetyo, MA (Director General for Defence Strategy, Ministry of Defence Indonesia) and Brigadier John Gould, DSC, CSC (Head of Defence Australian Defence Staff Jakarta), echoed Mr Adriansyah's sentiments towards the University and acknowledged the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre for its unwavering commitment to honouring Arief's academic achievements through the conferral of this award.
Following the ceremony, the family shared photos and lamingtons with staff from the University, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence, the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Embassy.