The Ruth Daroesman Endowment was established in 2013 in memory of Ruth Daroesman by Ruth’s family and friends.
Ruth Daroesman was born in California. At the end of World War II she married an Indonesian and briefly lived in post-war Europe before moving to Sumatra, Indonesia in 1950. She adjusted quickly to life in Indonesia, learning the language and developing enduring relationships with her in-laws. After separating from her husband, and with three young children, she lived in Malaysia and then Singapore from 1957 until 1968 when she joined ANU. She had lifelong interests in formal education, which she saw as professionally and personally transformative, and spent all of her working life from the 1950s engaged with Indonesia and South-East Asia. As Assistant Editor of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies at what is now the Research School of Asia and the Pacific, and in her research, she came into regular contact with graduate students from Indonesia as well as other parts of Asia. Her familiarity with the region, its languages and cultures – and her understanding of what it meant to be alone and struggling in a foreign country – made her a sympathetic figure for many students for whom she acted as informal or formal adviser and friend. She knew from personal experience how kindness and generosity could change lives. She had a particular affection for Indonesia and Indonesians and maintained her ties for many years following her formal retirement.
The aim of the grant is to assist students of The Australian National University who are engaged in postgraduate study of Asia and the Pacific, with special emphasis on Indonesia.