Carly grew up in Sale in Country Victoria and went to high school at Newcomb Secondary College in Geelong. Her fond memory is of her High School Indonesian teacher, Bu Ellis, who encouraged Carly to continue language classes after they were no longer compulsory.
“I was undecided about continuing Indonesian until that moment, and her words set me on the path I’m on now.”
Her academic path led her from a Bachelor of Arts with majors in International Relations and Indonesian language at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds (Geelong) and on to honours at Deakin in Burwood (Melbourne) which she finished with First Class.
Carly also finished a PhD in the Department of International Relations at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs in 2020. Her PhD examines the historical cooperation between Australia and Indonesia in managing irregular migration.
Shortly after Carly started her PhD at ANU, she began volunteering for the Asia Pacific Youth Organisation, where she was involved in organising the Youth Conference running alongside the APEC Conference in Beijing. She says that winning some grants that gave her opportunities to travel were the highlights of her time at ANU.
“The ANU Ruth Daroesman Graduate Study Grant allowed me to conduct fieldwork while I was based at the Habibie Centre in Jakarta, after brushing up on formal Indonesian at a language school in Yogyakarta. It also helped me fund another trip to Indonesia, where I was able to present my research at an Indonesian conference with Indonesian academics, NGOs and policymakers.
With the Australian government’s Endeavour Research Fellowship (2018), I spent three months at the CSIS in Jakarta and three months at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto. I also travelled to Geneva to interview Indonesian diplomats and access the UNHCR archives, which contained a wealth of information I didn’t have access to in Australia.
The ANU Vice Chancellor’s Travel Grant (2019) also helped me present my findings and receive feedback towards the end of my studies at conferences in the United Kingdom, as well as being a visiting fellow and accessing the extensive Indonesian library at the KITLV institute in Leiden, the Netherlands”.
Carly was also awarded the Ann Bates Postgraduate Prize for Indonesian Studies. Winning this prize helped her realise that even though her journey was difficult, it resulted in something so worthwhile and has encouraged her to apply for a Postdoc. She begins her Postdoc in the Coral Bell School this week where she will begin turning the thesis into a book manuscript and proposal.
“The Ann Bates Postgraduate Prize for Indonesian Studies has helped me realise that the thesis itself is not only an achievement but a result of rigorous study on Australia-Indonesia relations that deserves to be shared with a wider audience. Receiving this prize has made me feel more confident in what I produced and determined to have it published”. The sense of achievement she feels is very real, and to be part of ANU College of Asia and the Pacific is something to be proud of.
“ANU is well-placed to shape government strategic thinking, especially under our current Vice-Chancellor. Not only do we have leading thinkers as faculty members, but we attract visitors from across the globe. One thing I love about the Coral Bell School (part of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific) is that these thinkers are accessible. There is a never-ending schedule of events and public lectures that encourages participation from everyone in the school, students from all levels, and the wider community.”
Carly is currently taking leave from her job in the Australian Public Service to take on a Postdoc in the Coral Bell School.