It’s been a wild ride to ANU for Gracia Yosaphat Y Mambrasar, known as Billy. From a small village on an island in eastern Indonesia to gracing TV screens as a competitor on Indonesian Idol and onwards to become one of Canberra’s brightest young leaders, Billy has packed a lot into his 28 years.
Having moved to Canberra in 2013 to study a Masters of Business Administration, Billy has taken Australian life in his stride as a Residential Scholar at Toad Hall. He is also an ANU College of Business and Economics Student Ambassador, Vice-President of the ANU Indonesian Students Association and a Senior Community Ambassador to Australia for ANU Pasifika. He was one of 16 young ANU leaders who were picked to meet US Ambassador John Berry last year and is also a tutor in a Canberra high school.
His achievements at ANU come as no surprise for those who know him. Billy has always been at the heart of the action but has always put others first.
Billy’s poor West Papuan community rallied to help him gather enough money to pursue further study and it’s a debt he has never forgotten. As a result, he founded the not-for-profit organisation Kitong Bisa to help promote the importance of education in West Papua. Through this organisation, Billy set up learning centres in his home village where students can study English and maths for free.
While doing all of these things, Billy worked with British Petroleum (BP) on a permanent waste water treatment facility for liquefied natural gas in Indonesia. He also worked as an advisor for BP on the integration of the company’s activities with local communities in Indonesia.
For Billy, his ultimate goal is to help educate West Papuans and inform mainland Indonesia about his home town. Much of the community at ANU has seen first-hand that this goal is certainly achievable.