Jakarta, 27 January 2016

“Look at the bright side! The beauty of having to revise your PhD thesis is that you have both the experience of writing and submitting, as well as rewriting and resubmitting the thesis.  No, you don’t fail if you respond well. So don’t give up!” (Ikong, my husband, 2 September 2014).

I submitted my PhD thesis on 7 January 2014, and two years later, I finally received my PhD degree on 17 December 2015.

When I was notified that I needed to do quite a major revision on September 2, 2014, I was not certain how to react.  I was given one year, up to 2 September 2015, to revise and resubmit; and needed to advise the Examination Office of ANU about my plan.  The reactions from my husband and my supervisors, Dr Royston Gustavson and Dr Andrew Bradly, were very encouraging, more positive than my own.  They were so sure that I could actually get this done, and they were willing to support me all the way.

Indeed, this PhD journey was one of the most challenging endeavors that I have ever done in my life.  It took me almost six years altogether to get it done: four years full time at ANU to submit, 8 months to wait for the Examiners’ comments, 10 months to revise and resubmit. It was a truly spiritual journey.

Here, I would like to share my responses to one of the Examiners.  Maybe it can be of use to those who are interested in getting a PhD; or who need to revise their thesis.  Don’t give up!  We’ll get there somehow. Continue Reading »

Jakarta, June 1, 2014

I have returned to Jakarta for four months now. I am so happy to be home during a very interesting period of parliamentary and presidential elections. Now we only have two pairs of candidates running for the positions of President and Vice President: Jokowi-JK and Prabowo-Hatta. The vision and mission of the two pairs are more or less the same, but I see there are big differences on the way in which the vision and mission to be implemented by the two candidates. It is the competition between the leaders who are willing to make innovation and breakthrough in doing things; and the leaders who will continue the practice of the old regime. I do hope that the leaders who are honest and have empathy for people will win.

The condition of political situation in Indonesia and my personal life are almost similar. Both are in transition. After returning to Jakarta on 31 January 2014, I have been in the process of moving towards the new chapter of my life, from being a PhD student and a mum for four years in Canberra, into my new routine as a wife and a contributing member of society. Continue Reading »

Jakarta, 26 April 2014

Dari hasil ‘real count’ yang dilakukan KPU 25 April lalu, saya mendapatkan 12.248 suara atau berada di urutan 24 dari 94 caleg di Dapil Jakarta III (Jakarta Barat, Jakarta Utara dan Kepulauan Seribu). Walaupun jumlah suara saya terlalu kecil untuk mendapatkan satu kursi dan tidak duduk di DPR-RI periode 2014-2019, saya sangat berterima kasih kepada para pemilih.  Saya bangga dan bersyukur karena telah menjadi bagian dari upaya pendidikan politik, perbaikan demokrasi dan tata kelola pemerintahan Indonesia yang sangat saya cintai.  Saya berharap bahwa 12,248 suara yang dipercayakan pemilih kepada saya tidak sia-sia. Setidaknya saya dan para pemilih telah berupaya memberi pencerahan bagi potret demokrasi Indonesia yang sedang suram.

Revisi laporan akuntabilitas berisi kegiatan dan keuangan yang saya dedikasikan sebagai Caleg DPR-RI saya bisa dilihat disini:Catatan kegiatan caleg Risa Bhinekawati 26 April 2014+

Dari pengalaman saya di Pemilu 2014 ini, saya tidak jera menjadi caleg. Pengabdian dan dedikasi yang saya berikan baik dalam bentuk pengetahuan, jejaring sosial, uang dan waktu pada Pemilu kemarin telah saya pertimbangkan baik-baik. Pencalegan ini telah memperkaya pengalaman saya, dan akan sangat berguna bagi perjuangan saya selanjutnya, dimanapun saya berkarya.

May God bless Indonesia.

Jakarta, 21 April 2014

Selamat hari Kartini!

Sekembalinya  ke Jakarta setelah menyelesaikan studi S3 di Canberra  31 Januari lalu, saya mendedikasikan waktu, tenaga dan pikiran untuk mempersiapkan Pemilu 2014, sebagai Caleg DPR-RI mewakili Jakarta Barat, Utara dan Kepulauan Seribu dari PDI Perjuangan dengan nomor urut 8.

Catatan perolehan suara, latar belakang, kegiatan sebelum dan sesudah pencalegan, laporan keuangan semuanya saya tuangkan dalam laporan berikut ini: Catatan kegiatan caleg Risa Bhinekawati 21 April 2014

Kelihatannya jumlah suara saya terlalu kecil untuk mendapatkan kursi di DPR-RI. Saya ikhlas dan tetap bersyukur karena diberi keberanian dan kekuatan untuk berjuang. Continue Reading »

Jakarta, 12 March 2014

Hello again!  It has been more than two months since my last update.  I’ve returned to Jakarta on 31 January and has been busy with finalizing my report on the “Role of Government in Supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs): Australian Experience that may be Applicable to Indonesia.  The report will be launched in a seminar on 18 March.

In the meantime, I would like to capture my Australian memories that keep me smiling during my PhD journey: my friendship and outdoor activities.  Indeed, PhD has been one of the most tiring journey that I have undertaken in my life.  In my previous career, I usually worked with my team to solve both strategic and practical issues.  On a contrary, my PhD was very solitary.  I had to do all my tasks alone, starting from reading literature, conducting interviews, photocopying, tabulating data, analyzing, filing… and writing my dissertation.  There were my supervisors whom I could consult, but 90 per cent of my tasks had to be done in solo. Continue Reading »

Canberra, 9 January 2014

Finally… I submitted my thesis on 7 January 2014, and I am very thankful!

First and foremost, I thank God the Almighty for countless blessings during my four-year PhD journey.  By surrendering to God, I have been able to overcome the various challenges that I have encountered along the way.  On a very personal level, my sincere gratitude goes to my husband, Adhyasa, and my son, Rifqi, for their continuous support and prayers.  They always encouraged me to believe that I could actually complete a PhD.  I also thank my parents, Rosad and Amalia; and my parents-in-law, the late Professor Yutono and Kistati, for trusting me in embarking on this journey.  Without the support of my family, I doubt this dissertation would have been written.

I would also like to thank my primary supervisor, Dr Royston Gustavson, for his dedication in guiding me and providing me with valuable insights throughout these four years.  I thank my supervisors, Dr Andrew Bradly and Dr Gary Buttriss, for giving me feedback and commenting on my drafts.  I have also benefited from the expertise of Professor Sidharta Utama of the University of Indonesia, who reviewed my final draft as my advisory panel.

I express my heartfelt thanks to Astra International for providing me with the knowledge and access to documents and interviews with its internal and external stakeholders on the cases of small enterprise development, manufacturing polytechnic and palm oil farmers’ development.  I am so inspired by the collaborative actions between Astra and thousands of its ‘grass root’ partners in achieving the aim ‘to prosper with the nation’.  Indeed, the case study of Astra has shown that mutual relations and trust between companies and communities could improve the dignity and prosperity of Indonesian society. Continue Reading »

Canberra, 5 November 2013

Wednesday, 31 October 2013 at 11.30am to 12.30pm, was the most memorable moment in my PhD life.  During that one hour, I presented my 3.8 years of PhD work in 40 minutes! The PhD oral presentation was attended by all of my supervisors: Royston, Andrew and Gary; faculty members and my PhD colleagues at Research School of Management, and my Indonesian friends: Kanya, Billy, Henri and Kiki.  The session went really well, with very positive feedback and comments from the audience.  I was so relieved! It was indeed a happy moment! Finally I could see the PhD submission within my reach;  after experiencing ups and downs of being a PhD student for so long!!

Practically I only had 11 days to prepare two very important documents after returning from Indonesia on 19 October. The first document was the final draft of my thesis that I should submit to my Advisory Panel for review.  For this draft, I had to incorporate inputs from Astra and from my three supervisors.  The second document was my presentation slides that should cover important points of the thesis so I could deliver the breath and the depth of the thesis to the audience in 40 minutes.  It was really a challenging task.  My Facebook status on 29 October: “2 days prior to my final PhD oral presentation; got a lot of butterflies in my stomach”.  I was stressed out!. Continue Reading »