Waterford resident is building bridges

Karen Bailey has been recognised for building links with Indonesia. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix. com.au d402327
Karen Bailey has been recognised for building links with Indonesia. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix. com.au d402327

It is for this reason she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

The Waterford resident’s journey started in 1980 as a teacher; from there she has volunteered and participated her way to founding Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth.

BBIP was established in late 2007 when Mrs Bailey coordinated a steering committee.

‘This steering committee constituted representatives from the Indonesian Consulate in Perth, the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra and the Westralian Indonesian Language Teachers Association,’ she said.

‘It was launched at an event in April 2008.’

She said the organisation was formed as the centre for the West Australian community to learn about Indonesia.

It was a place for people to discover Indonesia’s language, arts, cultures and people, she said.

‘A balai in Indonesian is a meeting hall where people gather, generally to discuss, learn or obtain information,’ she said.

Mrs Bailey said she was humbled by the award.

‘I feel very honoured and humbled by this acknowledgement from the Australian Government through the office of the Governor-General,’ she said.

‘I would like to thank all those people who have worked beside me and supported me and share my passion.’