Leon Walker

Board Member

Leon’s interest in Indonesia goes back about thirty years, both for business and pleasure. He has visited Indonesia more than 50 times. For a time he was importing Indonesian goods for wholesale and retail in Perth. He studied Indonesian at Central TAFE and later graduated from Curtin University with a degree in Indonesian. Leon operates a small contracting business in the building industry and is interested in local government. He remains interested in establishing business ties with Indonesia. About 3 hours away from Perth we have Indonesia with a population of about 270 million. There are issues between Australia and Indonesia; issues can only be resolved in communication. Communication requires language. Leon believes it is arrogant to suggest that only English should be used in communications with Indonesia at various levels. Hence the study of Bahasa Indonesia is important. Leon has joined the Board of BBIP to make a difference, to make a contribution and to give something back.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith is our new Vice Chairman in 2021. Mike’s first encounter with bahasa Indonesia was back in 1977 when he attended a short Australian Army bahasa course and was instructed by an Indonesian Army (TNI) officer. After a career in the ADF Mike went into employment with a British Mining Explosives manufacturer and then purchased an automotive repair business during which time he also assisted with the UN election in Iraq before returning to his automotive business. After 18 years Mike sold the business and now does contracting work for a Melbourne based automotive association providing technical advice and assisting with government relations. He has been to Indonesia numerous times, as far West as Jakarta and East to Labuan Bajo and the Komodo National Park. In the volunteer space Mike has been a fire brigade captain, chairman of a private school board and a member of the SAS Resource Fund Trusts Fund Raising Committee. Mike has joined the BBIP board to promote the Indonesian Language in WA. He has also attended a few BBIP courses when he was in Perth.

Sue Cooper


Sue taught Indonesian language at secondary school for 18 years, before retiring from teaching at the end of 2018. She started her teaching career as an Italian teacher but quickly found that Indonesian was a more relevant language for Australians to learn, and more enjoyable to teach. Sue gained her Indonesian language skills through TAFE, in-country study, teaching to Year 12 level, and through setting up student exchange programs in Bali and East Java. She is passionate about the importance of improving the Australia-Indonesia relationship through people-to-people contact and the study of Indonesian. Time and again she has witnessed how these can change students’ lives, and is proud of her several ex-students who have gone on to study Indonesian at university and participate in ACICIS in-country study. As President of WILTA for 7 years, Sue was involved in the support of Indonesian teachers throughout WA via the provision of professional learning and networking events and exchange opportunities. She was present at the establishment of BBIP in 2009, fulfilled the role of secretary on the BBIP Board for a year, and liaised with BBIP to help organize an Australian teacher group trip to Bali for language classes and the ASILE Conference in 2014. In retirement, Sue is keen to join BBIP again and help to promote Indonesian language and culture in Western Australia.

Joe Tomai

Joe first became interested in Indonesia when he visited a family friend living in Jakarta at the age of 17. “It was a buzz on the senses and overwhelmingly interesting. The food, the smells, the number of people. I loved everything”. Since then, he has travelled back a number of times including through East Java enjoyingen regional differences in food, language and culture.

While studying International relations at Curtin University his interest in Indonesia moved toward the political relationship between Indonesia and Australia. During this time he spent time living and studying in Yogyakarta, Central Java.

Over the last two years Joe has begun to learn the Indonesian language first though University then online with us at BBIP. He believes that learning a language leads to a deeper understanding of culture. He has joined Balai Bahasa to help promote the Indonesian language in Western Australia.   

Georgina Wigley

Georgina’s fascination with Indonesia stems back to the early 80s when she first travelled there and experienced the cultural and geographic diversity which characterises the archipelago. Over the years Georgina has travelled many times to various parts of Indonesia in a quest to learn more. To this end she studied Bahasa Indonesia at Satya Wacana Christian University in Java and later at BBIP and in 2019, completed aMaster of Education ( Studies of Asia). As an Access Asia coordinator of 25 years, a secondary Humanities and Social Sciences(HASS) educator and more recently as a deputy principal Georgina has worked to ensure that teaching and learning programs incorporated, wherever possible, content on our nearest Asian neighbour which is fast evolving into a major global economy. She has consistently worked alongside staff to demonstrate ways to integrate Indonesian content across the curriculum, particularly in the performing arts.

Zac Nichols

An IT professional and Global Politics and Policy student at Murdoch University, Zac’s Indonesian journey began with language classes at his high school in Hobart, Tasmania. His journey continued with, as is the case for many Australians, several family holidays in Bali. Enamoured by the people he met there, further visits to the archipelago (including Java and Timor) were inevitable.

Zac believes it important that Australian children be provided with the opportunity to appreciate and interact with Indonesia, for both their own enrichment and because the strengthening of bilateral relations is vital to the prosperity and security of the Indo-Pacific region. 

Janelle May

  Janelle’s interest in Indonesia ignited as a high school student when she began learning the language. She has subsequently spent the past two decades learning, teaching, travelling, living and working in the dynamic country and in Perth, studying at Curtin University..

As part of her Asian Studies master’s degree, Janelle spent a semester studying at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta through ACICIS Study Indonesia. She undertook field research for her dissertation, looking at the profitability of international organic certification for small-holder rice farmers in Boyolali, Central Java.

Janelle continued her association  with ACICIS at the Secretariat in Perth, where she helped develop and facilitate study programs for Australian and international students in Indonesia, and in 2018 moved to Jakarta to take on the role of Deputy Resident Director with the organisation.

Janelle is passionate about Indonesia and international education and has dedicated her career to introducing students to the wonders of the Indonesian language, culture, history, food and its beauty. Janelle joins the BBIP board in 2021 and looks forward to continuing to be involved in introducing Australians to wonderful Indonesia. .

Karen Bailey OAM

Karen taught Indonesian to students in Western Australian schools for over twenty years. A former President of WILTA from 1996-2006, she has been involved in many projects which have enhanced professional development opportunities for teachers of Indonesian and created closer links with teachers and organisations in Australia and Indonesia. Karen has always believed strongly in the place of in-country learning in improving student outcomes in second language learning and organised her first school-based study tours for her students to Yogyakarta in 1997. She has since also led several in-country study tours for teachers of Indonesian and school leaders. After retiring as WILTA President in 2006 Karen became founder of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth (Inc), established in 2008 in cooperation with WILTA, the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra and the Consulate General of Indonesia in WA. During 2009, Karen was awarded an Endeavour Executive Award from the Australian Federal Government and undertook work experience at the Pusat Bahasa (now called Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa), the institution in Jakarta responsible for designing and regulating the growth of the Indonesian language in Indonesia. This experience consolidated Karen’s interest in the teaching and learning of Indonesian in Australia and Indonesia. In June 2013 Karen was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s birthday honours list for service to education, particularly through the promotion of Indonesian language and culture. Karen retired from the Department of Education in 2015 after 35 years teaching and now consults in the area of Indonesian language education.  Karen retired as Chairperson of BBIP in Feb 2020 after 12 years in the role. She remains on the Board in a general capacity during 2021.

Liz Hayes

  Liz Hayes’ interest in Indonesia grew from lots of travelling solo in Indonesia – in the Komodo islands, various parts of Java, all over Bali and Lombok. where she was warmly welcomed by local families everywhere. She particularly loves the warm welcomes she has experienced in the villages around Rinjani in Lombok and is still waiting for the opportunity to trek that beautiful mountain!

Liz first fell in love with Indonesia via Bali; and spent a year volunteering there in 2007/ 2008. During that year in Bali, Liz learnt to surf (not very well); to ride a motorbike (even worse!) and picked up some Indonesian language. Along with volunteer work Liz was a contributor to the local expat magazine, The Bali Advertiser, with her own regular column. In 2018, during the Lombok earthquakes, Liz joined a group of Balinese leaders, travelling to Lombok and distributing aid to badly affected communities.

Liz runs a small business organising Elopement Weddings in Indonesia and Indonesian marriages in Perth. Liz plays Gamelan Jawa, here in Perth and is keen to promote Australian understanding of Indonesian language and culture whenever possible.

Danielle Horne

Danielle Horne

Danielle Horne is a passionate educator with over 25 years of experience teaching Indonesian. She is the current President of WILTA (the Westralian Indonesian Language Teachers Association), and regularly runs workshops for teachers on engaging students in the language classroom and the use of authentic texts to support language learning. Danielle is a strong advocate for languages and particularly Indonesian in schools. Co-author of the Saya Bisa! series, Danielle has a public blog that contains an extensive collection of classroom games and activities for language teachers. 


Moya McLauchlan

Web manager/ Course enrolments

Moya is a retired teacher of Indonesian and a language teacher educator who just can’t give up her connections to teaching and Indonesia. BBIP helps Moya to stay involved with dynamic people committed to improving mutual understandings between Australians and Indonesians. Moya has been a member of the BBIP Board for four years, during which time she has managed all Indonesian language classes and has gradually been lured into the web manager role. She enjoys meeting BBIP’s members, students, teachers, assistants and ambassadors and tackling the challenges of learning new IT skills (not always, but frequently enough to keep her hooked).



What is BBIP all about?


Print Friendly, PDF & Email