President Joko Widodo has just appointed Fientje Maritje Suebu as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Indonesia to New Zealand and concurrently Samoa, Kingdom of Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue.
She was sworn in along with two other ambassadors at the State Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday (12/1/2022). Fientje is the only female ambassador sworn in that day, and she is also the first woman from Papua to serve as Indonesian ambassador.
According to Kompas TV, Fientje Suebu is the only daughter among the five sons of a tribal chief in Papua. The woman (red: Fientje) who was born in Sentani has been an active diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 31 years.
After she graduate from University, Fientje continued studied at the Diplomatic Training School. After graduating, she was recruited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and moved to Jakarta. Prior being appointed as Ambassador of New Zealand, Fientje served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to India. She has served as DCM in Indonesian Embassy in India since February 2018. In July 2021, the People’s Representative Council of Indonesia (DPR RI) declared that Fientje had passed the fit and proper test as an ambassador.
Papuan women are capable
Fientje admits that her decades of career in diplomacy as well as being a mother of three children is not easy. Her profession required her and the family to travel to another country every three to four years. One of the challenges they are facing is to adapt to different education systems in different countries. Luckily, she has the full support of her husband, Philipus Sarwom.
With her career achievements, Fientje wants to show that Papuans are capable of being empowered like other people from different province in Indonesia. She believes that Papuan women are capable of becoming agents of change in their respective fields. Not only securing the position at executive, legislative, or judicial positions, but most importantly being able to compete in this era of globalization. “Achievements lead to happiness. We try our best in this life and we feel good about it,” said Fientje. “Whether at the office, at home, raising a family and nurturing a relationships, educating children, or anything that leads to satisfaction is a success,” she added.