Today I announce the appointment of Ms Astrid Vasile and Ms Noni Purnomo to the board of the Australia-Indonesia Institute. Ms Vasile and Ms Purnomo join existing board members Mr Nick Anstey, Associate Professor Greg Fealy, Mr Greg Sheridan, Dr Dwi Noverini Djenar, Mr Andrew Ross, and Ms Lydia Santoso.

Established in 1989, the Australia-Indonesia Institute fosters links between Australia and Indonesia by increasing cultural awareness, promoting cooperation and exchange, and enhancing understanding between our two nations.

The board brings together individuals with demonstrated expertise in academia, business, the arts, education, medicine and the media to advise the Government on ways to continue strengthening Australia’s cultural, people-to-people, and institutional links with Indonesia.

Ms Vasile is the Chief Executive Officer of GV Constructions, Regional Director of the Indonesia Diaspora Business Council, and is involved in a number of organisations promoting women leaders in business. Having lived and worked in Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, she will offer a deep regional focus and expertise to the Board.

Ms Purnomo is the Chief Executive Officer of Blue Bird Group Holding, Indonesia’s most well-known and trusted taxi company, and was named one of Asia’s 50 most powerful businesswomen by Forbes magazine. She will bring leading experience of Indonesia’s transport industry, a commitment to women’s empowerment via Blue Bird’s philanthropic projects, and strong ties to Australia having graduated with a Bachelor in industrial engineering from the University of Newcastle.

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