The first recipient of the Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship is Fuad Zaka.

The second recipient of the scholarship is Paska B. Darmawan.

The third Recipient of the Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship is Ms Nurkhasanah Eka Riyani


Late in 2007, after the untimely death of our good friend Lestari Widyastuti there was some talk of setting up a scholarship in her name. ACICIS has been working on this idea and we are now in the process of setting up The Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship.

We hope to raise money to endow the scholarship with sufficient funds so that the interest each year is enough to pay the tuition fees of an Indonesian student studying at UGM. Using only the interest and not the principal will ensure that the scholarship continues in perpetuity.

Applicants for the scholarship would be Indonesian students from a poor economic background, who had a good academic performance in their first year at UGM, and whose degree has some relevance to Indonesia-Australia relations. The student would be expected to maintain a connection to ACICIS, such as becoming a tutor to a new ACICIS student or a volunteer guide (pendamping) during orientation. The heads of relevant jurusan, such as Hubungan Internasional and Bahasa Inggris, would be invited to sit on a selection committee for the scholarship, along with the ACICIS Resident Director and a nominee from the ACICIS alumni family.

The Scholarship will be administered and managed by Direktorat Kemahasiswaan UGM. They are very enthusiastic to participate in this worthy venture, and they already oversee the selection of scholarship candidates and disbursement of funds for many scholarships at UGM. As such they have lists of potential candidates from whom recipients of the scholarship may be chosen. They maintain data on student background (mampu/kurang mampu) and the grade point averages (GPA) of possible candidates. We hope to have an article about each scholarship winner on the ACICIS website. There will be a small ceremony each year for the awarding of the scholarship, to which members of Lestari’s family will be invited. Lestari’s family have expressed their support for the scholarship idea and are overwhelmed at the feelings of warmth coming from Australia for the memory of Lestari.

It is suggested that the extent of the scholarship per student be restricted to tuition fees which are currently Rp. 3,880,000 a year. At current rates this is around AUS$485 per year. The final amount in Australian dollars will vary according to the fluctuations of the exchange rate for Indonesian Rupiah.

The Jakarta Bintangs Australian Rules Football team have already started raising money. Many people never knew that Lestari was the chief talent scout and patron of the Yogyakarta School of Footballing Excellence (a branch of the Bintangs).

Anyone wishing to donate money to the Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship (any amount welcome, no matter how small) can send the money to ACICIS at Murdoch University. We will send you a receipt for your donation. Payment can be by cheque or money order payable to “Murdoch University – ACICIS”, or by credit card. The money will then be transferred by ACICIS to Direktorat Kemahasiswaan UGM.

Yoo…..Hoo…..We reached the target…..

On 2 May 2008 donations passed the $8,000 mark. This is the amount we calculated that we needed to generate sufficient interest to pay one student’s fees at UGM. We have now sent the money off to UGM to establish the Scholarship.


Donations have so far been received from Prof David Hill, David Armstrong, Kirrilee Hughes, Ben Clanchy, David Cook, Clare Harvey, Luke Arnold, Matt Zurstrassen, Alice Fenwick, Craig Furmage, Steve Girschik, Syakirah Hashim, Prof David Reeve, Sally McDonald, Erin McMahon, Jakarta Bintangs, Camille Beckingham, Rebecca Duffy, Catherine Mills, Yacinta Kurniasih, Prof Adrian Vickers, Claire Tatyzo, Traci Smith, Xeron Hood, Nic Parsons, Allison Zelkowitz, Rupert Banks, Marg Tatyzo, Sunanda Creagh, Martine Robins, Ray Webber, Kiran Hutchinson, Jessica Dunn, Paul Whitefield, Simon Nichols, Clare Kerley, Claire Harding, Robert Letchford, Nina Michaelides, Susan Cattermole, Liam Prince.

May God bless you all for your generosity.

If you would like to donate to The Lestary Widyastuti fund, please contact the ACICIS Secretariat in Perth by email or phone.

Jakarta Bintangs

The Jakarta Bintangs report that on their recent trip to Yogya in late February they provided a small contribution of Rp 3 million directly to Lestari’s sisters Wida and Yanti. They have also donated a substantial amount to the Lestari Scholarship fund, and throughout the year will raise additional funds on top of that amount. They also expect to provide more direct support to Wida and Yanti and to the scholarship fund as necessary in future years. What a warm hearted group of people.

Signing an MOU with UGM

On Monday 24 August 2009 at 1330 there will be a ceremony held at the Rectorate at UGM to sign the MOU between UGM and ACICIS that will mark the official beginning of the Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship. The MOU will be signed by the Rector of UGM and Dr Philip King representing ACICIS. Others will be present including the first recipient of the Scholarship, A/Prof David Reeve, members of Lestari’s family, current ACICIS students, donors and friends. The initial amount of the Scholarship capital fund is Rupiah 75,000,000.

The Scholarship will be administered by the Office of International Affairs at UGM. They are very enthusiastic about this worthy venture, and already oversee the selection of scholarship candidates and disbursement of funds for various UGM scholarships. As such, they have lists of potential candidates from whom recipients of the scholarship may be chosen. They maintain data on student background and the grade point averages (GPA) of possible candidates.

The MOU will govern all aspects of the Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship. In particular it stipulates:

  • Students must be Indonesian citizens;
  • Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate program in the area of Humanities at Gadjah Mada University;
  • Students will be paid Rupiah 1,500,000 towards their tuition fees, for which they must furnish proof of payment;
  • Scholarship funds will be kept in two separate bank accounts, one for the capital and one for the interest;
  • Scholarship funds will not be mixed with UGM funds;
  • 95% of disposable income (interest from the capital account) available each year will be spent on scholarships to students and no more than 5% will be spent on administration;
  • Any unused income will remain in the income account for the following year;
  • A committee will be formed to administer the Scholarship, and this will comprise:
  • Head of the Office of International Affairs at UGM (Chairperson);
  • Director of Directorate of Student Affairs;
  • Dean of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences;
  • Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences;
  • ACICIS Resident Director (or their nominee);
  • Each year UGM will provide ACICIS with an annual plan and detailed budget, followed by an annual report, and a certified copy of an annual audited financial statement;
  • Should UGM be found to have used the Scholarship funds for any purpose other than the Scholarship, or UGM is no longer able to administer the Scholarship, ACICIS may terminate the MOU, and UGM must repay the capital amount of the scholarship to ACICIS.

All donors to the scholarship, ACICIS alumni and friends are invited to attend the MOU signing ceremony. If you would like to attend please contact us so that we can be prepared.

MOU signing ceremony – Monday 24 August 2009

Elena Williams and Steve Girschik wrote the following:

The Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship MOU signing ceremony at the rektorat office at UGM on 24th of August 2009 was a short but very moving event.

In attendance were Lestari’s older sister Mbak Yanti and her son, Pak Prof David Reeve, Resident Director Phil King, Program Manager Elena Williams and Sinta Sulistianingsih Padmi, representatives from UGM including the Rector Pak Prof Sudjarwadi, staff from the UGM Office of International Affairs, Pak Rachmat Sriwijaya and Ibu Rio Dini, Mas Ugi, three ACICIS alumni, some of the new angkatan of ACICIS students, some friends of Lestari’s, and of course the inaugural recipient of the scholarship Mas Fuad Zaka , who was looking a bit overawed at all the attention.

For me, who could not be in Yogya to attend Lestari’s funeral and meet with her family, it was quite an emotional ceremony, especially seeing Lestari’s sister struggling to maintain her smile, while fighting back tears listening to people talk fondly about her little sister. It was comforting to be in a room with people who were thinking about Lestari and, like me, remembering the many good times shared with her.

Phil gave a short speech, then the rector, then Ibu Rio from Kerjasama. David Reeve spoke about how Lestari came to be employed with ACICIS and how important she was. Then we had the first recipient of the scholarship, Mas Fuad Zaka, who was chosen based on his HD essay on bilateral relations between Australia and Indonesia (among other selection criteria), and he spoke about his interest in the area and thanked ACICIS/ KUI for the opportunity etc. Finally Mbak Yanti – Lestari’s older sister – spoke briefly just to say a few words of thanks for creating this opportunity for young Indonesian students in Lestari’s memory.

It was Pak David Reeve who produced a nice anecdotal speech to describe Lestari. I am sure that he is a man of many talents, but the talent I most admire, and have been witness to on several occasions, is his ability to make a perfectly-timed impromptu speech in Indonesian that brings the house down, and on this occasion he made no exception. Pak David described how he first met Lestari, who he had overheard helping an American student at UGM, when he asked if she could also help him, she replied with her usual enthusiastic ‘bisa!’ Pak David’s story continued to say that Lestari’s talent for bonding with and helping new ACICIS students and their myriad of problems saw himself quickly resigned to the clerical jobs that he had originally intended for Lestari. Throughout the years and the coming and going of many angkatan ACICIS, Lestari’s stamina, commitment and friendliness always stood out and her memory will be in the hearts of those of us who have spent time in Yogya.

It was noted by all of the speakers at the ceremony that the Lestari Widyastuti scholarship, like the meaning of her name, will be everlasting, and ensure that her memory remains with us and at UGM where she did so much great work and made so many friends.