Australia Awards in Indonesia

The Australia Awards are prestigious, transformational scholarships and short courses offered to emerging leaders for study, research and professional development in Australia

28 Feb 2016

An Electrical Engineer for Life

Bob Saril's pathway to his current role as Manager of Distribution Depatment at PT. Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero), South Sumatra, Jambi and Bengkulu Region – a state-owned electricity company – started with his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Universitas Sriwijaya.

Universitas Sriwijaya is a well-respected South Sumatra university in Palembang, location of a seventh century kingdom formerly known by the same name as the university. 

Having always wanted to become an engineer and excelling in both mathematics and English, it seemed natural for Bob to enrol in engineering at his local university, especially with the support his parents gave him to study.

In his early thirties, Bob decided that he needed to advance his qualifications, and so applied for an Australia Awards scholarship.

“One thing in my mind at that time was that I had to try to get a scholarship from abroad.”

“The Australian Development Scholarship – under the Australia Awards umbrella – was one of those offered by the Australian Government through my company, PT. Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero).”

Bob continued, “So I investigated further and saw that Australia Awards offered a very interesting and worthwhile scheme with a stipend that would allow me to take my wife and daughter with me – to allow them to also experience life in Australia.”

In 2001, Bob was granted the scholarship and together with his family travelled to Australia for Bob to commence his Master of Electrical Engineering program at the University of New South Wales. It was not too long before they realised another benefit of an Australia Awards scholarship experience.

“My second daughter was born in Australia," he explained. “The hospital service was very remarkable, organised without any hassle, and everything was taken care of.”

“I also admired the academic atmosphere at the University of New South Wales, one that provided ample opportunities for students to improve – the tutoring and discussion sessions were particularly valuable.”

In his spare time, Bob pursues his commitment in helping the poor through his role as Chairman of Lembaga Amal Zakat (Good Deeds Agency). Bob is also currently actively involved in Persatuan Insinyur Indonesia – Institution of Engineers Indonesia – as a member of the Executive Committee of the Electrical Department, as well as serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Indonesia Marketing Association, Jakarta Chapter.  He occasionally has time leftover for a game of tennis or a bike ride.

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