Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana engaged in a conversation with 29 students from Indonesia at the Waterfront Wellington on Monday.
Deputy for Protocol, Press, and Media of the Presidential Secretariat Bey Machmudin noted that the warm ambience was apparent when President Jokowi held a casual conversation with dozens of Indonesian students studying in New Zealand.
During the conversation, President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana also walked along with 29 students, of which 15 were from Papua.
The president and First Lady Iriana walked from the hotel in the CBD area of Wellington to the Waterfront, a distance of one kilometer.
The head of state and First Lady Iriana thereafter sat along with the 29 students on one side of the Waterfront near the Te Papa Museum.
Apart from the students, Indonesian people staying in New Zealand had also joined the president and his entourage, one of them being Marvijs Ajoomi, a lecturer from Papua, who had an interesting story to share with the president.
"I came here when I was 15 years old. I could not speak English at all at that time. I am grateful to be given an opportunity, from high school until post graduation. Now, I am teaching at one of the universities here," he remarked.
The president also received some suggestions from the students, one of them being to increase employment opportunities for overseas graduates.
Currently, employment opportunities are few and far for graduates to serve and apply their knowledge to advance Indonesia. One of the students remarked that the knowledge they had gained can be a form of investment to ensure continued progress of the country in future.
On the occasion, the president was heedful of all suggestions.
In addition, President Jokowi highlighted that the government was currently building infrastructure in Papua.
"The government is currently building roads, bridges, airports, and harbors, so people can have broader access to the isolated areas," he explained.
In addition to conversing with the students, the president also took time off to do a vlog recording and signed a car bearing the number plate "JOKOWI."
The car belonged to Dedy Muardi, an Indonesian from Yogyakarta, who has been living in Auckland since 2001.
The distance from Auckland to Wellington is quite far, about a 10 hours drive by car, but he drove all the way to meet the Indonesian president.
President Jokowi and Mrs. Iriana were accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Political, Law, and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, State Secretary Pratikno, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, and Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya.
Source: ANTARA News