Valedictorian selection surprise for parents

23 Jul 2019

Indonesian student Ayu Namira Paramecwari kept her graduation valedictorian nomination a secret from her parents until the moment she walked on stage to address the audience at Thursday night’s ceremony.

Ayu was awarded the Oei-Sarwono scholarship as part of UQ’s longest-standing academic partnership with Universitas Indonesia (UI).

“I’d always wanted to study abroad and experience studying in a second language so that I could hone my English skills, make connections with people from different backgrounds and learn to live independently,” Ayu said.

“I chose Australia because UQ’s School of Psychology has so many world-renowned researchers, and because both my parents and my big brother studied here before me, which is why it is so special that I was selected as this year’s valedictorian.”

Ayu said moving to another country wasn’t as hard as she expected.

“I’ve always wanted to travel overseas and be independent, therefore I don’t often get homesick but do miss the food from my home town Jakarta, which is a very dynamic, modern, busy city,”

“Taking care of yourself and having to consider things like groceries, cooking and paying rent on time can be tiring, but I try to focus on how excited I am to be here, concentrate on my studies and keep busy by joining as many UQ programs and activities as I can.”

Ayu's parents had no idea she had been nominated Valedictorian


“I love everything about Brisbane; simple things such as the blue sky, the friendly people, ease of public transport options and the many different places to explore,

“As well as Brisbane itself and the inner city, I love Redcliffe, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay and finding hidden gems like little antique stores.”

Choosing psychology as an extended major has provided Ayu with great opportunities.

“This program has really broadened my horizons and allowed me to discover more about human nature and about myself in many ways.

“I hope to return to UQ In February to continue my psychology studies as I would love to one day work in neuroscience, social psychology, or perhaps use my psychology studies in the entertainment and creative industry.”

Ayu with her family in the Great Court

Professor Virginia Slaughter Head of UQ’s School of Psychology said the UQ-UI articulation program attracts outstanding Indonesian students who begin their studies at Universitas Indonesia and then transfer to UQ for their final two years.

“These remarkably capable students earn psychology degrees in two languages, providing them with a unique breadth and depth of experience which will set them up for incredible careers post-graduation,” Professor Slaughter said.

“We are very proud of the long record of outstanding graduates that this partnership has produced.”

Media: Jo Hickman, UQ Communications,, +61 7 3346 3037.