Eva Rahmi Kasim graduated from Deakin with a Postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies and a Master of Disability Studies. Eva used the study skills she learnt at university to become an advocate within disability, engaging with government and policy.
Q&A with Eva Rahmi Kasim
Can you tell us about your time at Deakin? Is there anything you especially remember?
The staff at Deakin were very supportive, and campus environment was comfortable for me as a student with disability. Living and studying in Australia as an international student gave me insight into how important it is to respect and support each other living in a diverse society, especially people living with disability.
What has been your journey since finishing your course? Briefly outline your career path prior to your current role.
As a government official I returned back to my previous job, but more actively for disability advocacy, especially among government, within many ministries. Since then I was Head of a Social Rehabilitation Centre for People with Hearing and Speech Impairment, after that I was Deputy Director for Social Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. Currently I am Senior Policy Analyst at The Ministry Social Affairs Republic of Indonesia. I have been involved in many activities related to disability issues, such as being a member of the Working Group 0f UN-ESCAP (2013-2017) for Implementation Agenda Action Decade of Persons with Disability in Asia and Pacific Region 2012-2022. I have also been a guest lecturer and presented papers at national/international conferences and workshops relating to disability policy.
Senior Policy Analyst at Ministry Social Affairs Republic of Indonesia
What has been the biggest influence on your career?
The successful acceptance of The National Actions Plan of Human Rights 2015-2019 by the President of the Republic of Indonesia through Presidential Decree No. 75 in 2015. The Decree, for the first time, integrated disability rights into a national plan for Indonesia. That was the first time many ministries and agencies engaged in disability issues. Previously the disability sector was seen only as tasks of Ministry Social Affairs.
Have you always wanted to pursue the kind of career you have embarked on? If so, when and how did you realise?
Yes, of course. Every time I had an opportunity I tried to communicate with many parties to create good relationship and build partnerships.
What advice would you give graduates wanting to pursue a similar profession?
Everything should be a process, learn from others, learn from experiences and have passion for your area, it will make you grow.
What do you believe Deakin University has shown you/given you as a person?
When I first came to Australia, as a student with disability, I did not believe that I could pass my studies. I was away from home and did not know what it was like to live in a foreign country. However, Deakin's staff always gave me support, including accessible accommodation, and even an electric scooter wheelchair to go to a picnic.
What are your passions outside your work?
Advocacy in disability, especially related to policy and encouraging youth with disabilities to be confident and attend school.
What is something that amazes you?
The respect and support we have for each other within a diverse society.