This morning I got a special chance given by GoLive Indonesia and the Faculty of the Professions, University of Adelaide to have breakfast with former Indonesian minister of trade and minister of tourism and creative economy, Dr. Mari Pangestu, at Intercontinental Hotel. I was there with my friends, Carl Fakaruddin and Dian Kurniasari. I, myself, have similar interest with Dr. Mari.
Realizing that the event was a business breakfast where the attendants were experts in trade and business area, I tried my best to not look like an immature unexperienced student.
At the venue, my friends and I decided that finding the most strategic seat will help us interact and engage better with the attendees. We found the table where Ibu Mari is to be seated and inevitably put our belonging there. We just wanted to take this rare moment to be memorable as it can possibly be, since we know that we do not come across this kind of opportunity often.
As predicted, Dr. Mari was seated between me and Carl and we had a chance to chat with her before the event started. We really enjoyed the nice breakfast and conversation with people in our table. Professor Christopher Findlay, Executive Dean of the faculty of the Professions, University of Adelaide and Steven baker, Chairman of Australia Indonesia Business Council was also seated at tour table.
The atmosphere remained fairly casual and delightful and it even got more interesting once the talk show between Prof Findlay and Ibu Mari started. Dr. Mari was firstly asked to briefly explain her activities and projects during the former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono era. Ibu Mari highlighted the fact on how democracy has successfully brought Indonesia to a different level especially with the support of social media.
For me personally, I find myself deeply drawn into the talk show. It was so interesting to see how Dr. Mari unfold the events of that era especially when she struggled with unpredicted challenges coming from both external and internal environment. As I follow the conversation, I realize that I must use this opportunity to voice my concerns simply because there might not be a next time. Finally, I asked about potential tourism in Kalimantan, the island where I was born and spent majority of my life. Surprisingly, the answer I got opened up my mind on how great Indonesian is. Indeed Indonesia faces many crucial issues, but the struggle is worth fighting for especially to achieve Indonesia’s greatness in the hope that it can influence world on economy, politic, even social spheres.
What have I got out of this? Priceless experience!! Surely there is still hope for a better Indonesia where I am the player, not a spectator.
This post is written by Marvin Lucky, currently studying Master of Global Food and Agricultural Studies at University of Adelaide. Edited by GoLive Indonesia.