Living on the EDGE: Juniarti Siswoutomo

HOW old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Age is no barrier when it comes to chasing dreams for Indonesia’s Juniarti Siswoutomo.

What’s your name, and how old are you?

My name is Juniarti Siswoutomo. Friends call me Juni or Juniarti. How old am I? Well, could you guess? Most people tell me that I’m younger than my age. For me, age is not a thing that prevents you to fill life with things that are worthwhile for you and the universe.


Where are you from? Where and what course or program are you doing?

I come from Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia). I’m doing Vocational Education and Training at Swinburne University of Technology in Community Development Program.


How long have you been in Melbourne for and why did you choose to come to Melbourne? Did you come alone or with family?

I’ve been in Melbourne for one year and seven months already since July 2010. I did a lot of research before I decided to choose Melbourne as my destination to study and I found Melbourne was a nice city and well known as a multicultural society. Melbourne also has many universities with world class standards. I came here alone after my scholarship was guaranteed by the Australian government.


What got you into the EDGE program? And what are you expecting to get from the program?

I was interested in participating in the EDGE International Student Leader’s Program because it would enrich my leadership skills and open up many opportunities for me to explore and access many activities in Victoria. It would also help me to expand my networking in Australia, meet new people and friends and collaborate with them someday.


What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership for me is setting a good example. Leadership is not just about yourself but related with others as well, so a good leader should be able to inspire and motivate other people to do their best by giving an example to achieve the goals together.


What or who do you draw inspiration from, and why?

From the Prophet Muhammad SAW, Soekarno (the first President of Republic Indonesia), the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa.  For me, they are all good leaders. Leading with love and showing a good example, visionary and never giving up.


If you could champion one cause for international students in Melbourne, what would it be?

Public transport concession for international students.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like reading books – especially personal development books, listening to music, social networking, watching movies and traveling to see the beauty of nature.


What song gets you pumped or excited? Think Eye of the Tiger or Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” or any Bon Jovi track.

When you believe by Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey
One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston
The Power of Dream by Celine Dion

The lyrics in these songs are very positive and motivate me.


If I had a million dollars I would…. spend it for investment and social activities – such as expanding my business and investing the money in a new business, starting a foundation and building schools for unfortunate people.

If I only had $5 I would…. network with my friends by spending $5 on a cup of hot chocolate, from there maybe we can get some ideas on how we can collaborate together to make more money.


Juniarti is among the 20 international student leaders selected to take part in the City of Melbourne’s EDGE 2012 program.

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