Former beauty queen of Papua serves as Indonesia’s ‘transmigration ambassador.’

24-year-old Augustine Ariella Nere embarked from Jakarta on a mission to Mesuji district in Lampung, her second trip with government officials as the country’s “transmigration ambassador.”

Augustine was appointed to the post by the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration on Dec. 14. The former beauty pageant contestant says she wants a chance to talk with the minister, Muhaimin Iskandar, about her own ideas on how to improve relocation programs in far-flung areas of the country.

“Before sending people to new transmigration sites, I think it is important for the ministry to first identify the potential of each of the areas. For example, in Papua, where I come from, we are very good in athletics and arts. I think it’s important for the ministry to consider this at the start. Then they could build facilities, such as fields to practice sports for longtime residents and transmigrants there. But I think the government so far has not given enough attention to these things,” said Augustine Nere.

As transmigration ambassador “I don’t have the power to ask the ministry to turn these suggestions into policy, but I still want to tell my ideas to the ministry, and hope for a response.”

Augustine, who joined the Miss Indonesia competition representing Papua in 2006, said she is scheduled to visit 18 transmigration areas during her one-year post as ambassador. In December, she joined a ministry team on a visit to a transmigration area in Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra.

Source: the Jakarta Globe

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