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.

Robbie Gaspar

Board Member

Robbie Gaspar is a former professional footballer and father of 2 who spent close to 8 years playing professionally in Indonesia. Robbie is now studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting and Indonesian at Murdoch University. Robbie is the Professional Footballers’ Australia Player Development Manager for Perth Glory, and a consultant to FIFPro Asia. Robbie previously sat on the committee of the Western Australian branch of the Australia-Indonesia Business Council (AIBC) for 4 years. Robbie is extremely passionate about Indonesia-Australia relations and using sport and language as a means to further improve the relations. He continues to go into schools regularly and encourage students to continue or take up the learning Indonesian. When the opportunity arose to nominate for a position on the board of the BBIP, he jumped at the chance to do so and would love the opportunity to be a part of the BBIP.

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.

Bruno de Palva


After wanting to pursue a new hobby and meet like-minded people, Bruno joined Balai Bahasa in February 2019 as a beginner. Thinking and hoping his accounting skills and enthusiasm for his new pastime could be of some benefit, he became Treasurer of Balai Bahasa soon after joining. Bruno has a Masters degree in Accounting from the University of Western Australia and is a Registered Tax Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board. He was a political analyst in a past life and was even published in the Jakarta Post back in 2011…Some things were just meant to be! Aside from learning Bahasa Indonesia, Bruno enjoys dining out, spending time with his fiancee, watching UFC and travelling (the only part of Indonesia he has seen so far is Bali, but he is aching to see other areas and testing his Bahasa Indonesia!)

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.

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).

Nick Basan

Nicholas spent an extensive period of time living and studying economics and language in Indonesia. This time inIndonesia, has fostered a deep love and passion associated with indonesia, giving him the drive to further continue his studies in Indonesia language and culture. Nicholas’ passion with indonesia is hoped to drive further working opportunities in Indonesia and the Asia Pacific Region. Nicholas is excited about becoming part of the Australian Indonesian community and hopes to engage with other students in order to spread information about 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 2020.

Fiona Bettesworth

Vice Chairperson

Since being exposed to the real Indonesia during high school, Fiona has had a strong interest in the Australia-Indonesia relationship. She has spent a considerable amount of time living, studying and travelling in Indonesia, including throughout Java, in Sulawesi and in Lombok. Fiona first learnt Indonesian in senior school at high school and is currently working on developing her small business Real Indonesia, which aims to connect Australians to authentic travel experiences in Indonesia that support local economic development. Fiona has been in the role of Vice Chairperson BBIP for two years.

Danielle Horne

President, Westralian Indonesian Language Teachers’ Association..

Syahri Sakidin

Bapak Syahri Sakidin is a former Consul of the Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia in Perth. 



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