VINCENTIA High School student Jay Edwards is now Australia’s top Indonesian student after winning the Deakin University’s inaugural Indonesian Language Student of the Year award.
The 16-year-old was recently presented with a framed certificate to acknowledge his efforts.
The year 11 student is pretty modest and did not want to talk too much about his success.
“I suppose I am fluent in Indonesian but I still have lots to learn. I do want to learn more about the culture,” he said.
Jay was selected after nominations were submitted from every state and territory in Australia to Deakin’s Centre for Teaching Asian Languages and Cultures (CTALC).
The nominations were critically assessed and Jay’s winning submission was selected by associate professor Ismet Fanany, lecturer in Indonesian at Deakin University, as the best.
Jay regularly travels to Indonesia and apart from soaking up the culture now has a special reason to visit.
“My mother Kerrie and I sponsor a boy whose name is Gede. We pay for him to go to school and he is pretty funny,” Jay said.
“I also like meeting the Indonesian people and speaking the language.”
Jay’s aim is to live and work in Indonesia.
He will continue to study Bahasa Indonesia in Year 12 and will also study an Indonesian extension course.
For the last four years, Jay participated in an Indonesian writing competition, Kompetisi Siswa, which he once won.
This year, he travelled to Java and Bali, and volunteered in the Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre in Ubud.
Jay, who is an outstanding junior Australian football player for the Bay and Basin Bombers, also wants to learn Japanese and Mandarin in the future.