Paul Halliday: spreading the footy spirit across Indonesia

23 years ago when internet was almost unheard off and watching footy from outside Australia wasn’t always accessible, Paul Halliday who moved to Indonesia for work and his mates founded Jakarta Bintangs AFL football club as they were looking for “something else to do on the weekends”.

Fast forward to 2019, Paul now calls Jakarta home and as President of Jakarta Bintangs, he is connecting the local community with footy and fostering children’s passion and interest to play the sport in Jakarta.

Through the hard work and dedication of Paul and his team, Jakarta Bintangs now has some 1,000 children participating in the sport. The Club is also a member of the AFL Asia – a formal affiliate with the Australian Football League.

Interview by Tammy Lee, Marketing & Communications & Digital Manager, Advance

What made you move to Jakarta?

I moved to Indonesia in June 1990 to work on the construction of KPC Coal Mine in Kalimantan. My role at that time was drill deep water wells to provide water for the town site and mine operations. Two years later I moved to Jakarta and started my own business as a Drilling Contractor.

Can you tell us your role and what you do?

I own and operate a Drilling Company which provide services to the Oil, Gas and Mining sectors. My role is to oversee day to day operations, the business operates throughout Asia.

How did you get involved with Jakarta Bintangs AFL Football Club?

 I am founding member and current President of the Club which has been in operation since 1995. We currently have some 1000 odd children playing AFL.

How do you motivate individuals in sport?

Motivation comes from encouraging young or old that no matter what level they play to be involved and have fun. I am 61 and still love to play AFL, motivation is part of why I am involved seeing young kids growing with sport and developing a personality.

What do you enjoy most living and working in Jakarta?

I love the locals who have made me welcome for the past 28 years, their sense of humor makes me laugh everyday. I have also made friends from all over the world.

What do you miss most about Australia?

I guess sometimes I miss the ease of getting around and traveling to the beach or another city. Of course I miss meat pies and going to the Football on the weekends.

As President of Jakarta Bintangs AFL Football Club, what were the challenges you faced during the start of the Club and how did you overcome them?

The Jakarta Bintangs Football club was founded in 1995 by myself and a few other guys who wanted something else to do on the weekends. Early issues faced were finding a place where we could train and play games. Forming a club that could be ongoing for many to enjoy. This involved putting in place club rules and regulations. Through the hard work of many the club is now a legal association in Indonesia and recognised as an official club by AFL Australia.

Jakarta Bintangs are one of the 18 member clubs under AFL Asia, how do you drive engagement with other member clubs in Asia?

 Communication throughout the AFL Community in Asia is by a close working relationship with the President of AFL Asia and the club presidents of each country. Each year before our biggest event Asian Championships we hold a Presidents meeting where we discuss different issues facing each country.