President Kerryn Filmer talked to NOW! Jakarta about the one of Jakarta’s largest expat social welfare programmes and the organisation’s significant positive contribution to society.
Running one of the largest expat social welfare programmes in Jakarta, how would you briefly describe ANZA’s endeavour in 2019?
ANZA was created almost 50 years ago by Australian and New Zealand expat spouses who recognised that by coming together they were able to provide caring support, and social opportunities for each other. Over time they began to appreciate that they were being given an opportunity to give something back to the Greater Jakarta community, particularly focusing on the under privileged and marginalised. This philosophy has remained, but with one difference: ANZA is now open to expats from ALL over the world.
Would you mind highlighting some of ANZA’s key activities in 2019 as well?
During 2019, we have held true to the original ideals, by coming together each week at our property in Kemang: Friday coffee mornings, exercise classes, children’s swimming lessons, barbecues, Happy Hours, guest speakers, a book selling library, a thrift shop, family days, Bridge/MahJong lessons, Book Club, Halloween Party, Annual Ball, Melbourne Cup Brunch, Mothers Day High Tea, Bogan Bingo, Australian and Waiting Day celebrations, Paint and Sip classes…the list goes on.
Along the way, while having fun, we have worked hard to raise substantial funds for our Social Welfare Programme which currently benefits 16 Yayasans (charities). We have achieved this through our Membership fees, our Cafe, our raffles, event ticket sales, our quarterly Pasar Murahs, and through amazing support from our Sponsors.
What’s in store for ANZA in 2020?
2020 brings in some new and exciting opportunities as we welcome new members and a refreshed Committee.
It also brings in a new challenge as we think about what the future looks like for us and other expat associations in Jakarta. Expat numbers are becoming smaller, and our organisations need to look at ways to maintain current levels of support in the future. Jakarta expats are a close-knit community, and we all endeavour to support each other’s social and fundraising events. We happily share members, sponsors and Yayasans and continued success for all expat groups will be on our agenda.
Can you tell us a little bit about some of the organisations you work with in pursuing your mission of providing resources and connections in improving education and basic needs in Jakarta?
As a volunteer organisation, ANZA provides a range of services including monthly cash support for long term projects that include orphanages, schools for the severely disabled, meals for the elderly, teaching street children in kampung schools; and also “one off” projects like school roof repairs after a storm, playground resurfacing, and earthquake relief products like blankets, cooking oil and sanitary products.
Expat schools, and local and global companies sponsor us each year with cash and product donations, which we can then distribute where needed. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors. They are all acknowledged and listed at ANZA house, on our social media, at our functions and in our quarterly Berita magazine. We are always on the lookout for companies that would like an opportunity to give back to the community.
We are also happy to be a conduit for individuals and companies who wish to support individual children’s education. We have a program which allows sponsors to pay for a child/rens education costs for a year. We provide progress reports and ensure that the money is given directly to where it is needed.
I must also make special mention of thanks to The Australian Embassy, in particular Ambassador Gary Quinlan, and also Ambassador Jonathan Austin from New Zealand Embassy.
What are your personal hopes and expectations for 2020?
I will be resigning as President at the AGM.
I have really enjoyed the opportunities it has given me to understand Jakarta and expat life. It has truly been a privilege to be associated with such a professional organisation, one that is filled with passion, love and dedication, but I know the role is ready for a fresh perspective. I am really happy to be continuing as a contributing member. ANZA is an association that I believe in.