Elena is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology, CHL. Her research interrogates how the impact of DFAT-funded study abroad programs to Indonesia has been felt by Australian students studying there, and by Indonesian communities hosting them. By speaking directly with students and host communities, asking them to define and reconceptualise what the ‘impact’ of study abroad means to them in their own lives, this project sheds new light on what constitutes ‘people-to-people’ relationship building, from the lived experiences of those directly involved.
Prior to commencing doctoral studies, Elena served as the Indonesia-based Resident Director for The Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS), facilitating study programs in Indonesia between 2013 and 2017. She has worked as a consultant in roles with The University of Melbourne, The Victorian Department of Education, and The University of Sydney. She regularly publishes and presents on Australia-Indonesia education issues, and in 2021 co-edited a special edition of Inside Indonesia about student mobility during the pandemic.
Elena holds a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (Gender Studies) from ANU, an Honours degree in Indonesian Studies from The University of Sydney, and a BA Communications and International Studies (Indonesian) from The University of Technology Sydney. Elena currently serves on the boards of DFAT’s Australia-Indonesia Institute, and The ANU Indonesia Institute, and is a panel member for Australia Awards Indonesia’s scholarship selection committee.
In 2021, Elena was awarded The College of Asia & the Pacific’s Ruth Daroesman Graduate Study Grant at ANU in recognition of her research on the Australia-Indonesia relationship.