A good friend and ex-colleague, Allison Sudradjat, died in the terrible Garuda aircraft crash last week.
I became friends with Allison at the start of her career with AusAID, and had the great fortune to work together with her on posting to PNG. Allison was a loyal, brave, generous, wonderful friend. During my time in AusAID we would frequently have lunch or morning coffee together to catch up on the latest office, political and personal gossip. With a twinkle in her eye Allison would detail the exploits of her adored family.
Allison was great fun to be with; extremely intelligent with an amusing satirical eye for the cant, hypocrisy and various forms of naked self-promotion that are part and parcel of the human condition. With a rapier wit that was never nasty, she was able to cut through the fog of bureaucratic confusion, management hubris and outright silliness that lurks in the corridors of any Federal Government agency.
Allison was brilliant at her job, because she really cared about people and the potential impact of development aid. She was very supportive of colleagues, and helped many along the way, including yours truly. When I was going through a personal crisis affecting my career she was one of the few to stand by me with friendship and advice.
Allison was an inspiring role model for those lucky enough to know her - she was truly blessed and selfless. Her genius for life can be found in the words of a Sufi poem
"I thought of You so often
that I completely became You.
Little by little You drew near,
and slowly but slowly I passed away."
(Javad Nurbaksh, In the Tavern of Ruin")
I am going to miss you Allison...you will always be in my heart.