It is often said that the key to a meaningful life is to develop a sense of purpose. For Diana Taty Azman (February Main 2008), currently working with the Malaysian government, her purpose is simple, to make a positive difference by directly impacting the lives of others.
Diana grew up in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital. As a child, she had a desire to learn about new cultures, meet new people and live in new places. It was this desire that drew her to the Trinity College Foundation Studies Programme. Whereas Diana’s experience in Malaysia was ‘text book driven’, she thought Trinity would be far more ‘agile’. It was a chance to step out of her comfort zone.
Reflecting on her time at Trinity, Diana commented, ‘strangely enough, what I enjoyed a lot was drama class. You are often put on the spot, and driven to improve yourself immediately. Classes required a lot of interaction and collaboration, which is great for self-development.’
It was this passion to learn more about others that led Diana to major in Political Science and International Studies at the University of Melbourne with a minor in Gender Studies. Diana also wanted to solve real problems such as poverty and climate change that directly impact on the quality of people’s lives.
‘I wanted my life to be meaningful, and the only way I saw that was how much I could impact people,’ Diana explained.
Diana’s resolve to fix problems has shaped her professional career. Whether it be volunteering to alleviate poverty at Oxfam or assisting other governments in problem-solving social or economic roadblocks in her current role as an analyst at the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) for the Malaysian government, she is committed to being a driver for change.
In a previous role, Diana worked with multiple agencies and departments in Malaysian government that played a role in keeping Kuala Lumpur alive. During this period, she had the opportunity to oversee major projects within the city centre including working with the transport commission to develop Malaysia’s first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line. Other projects include improving basic services and creating new attractions in Kuala Lumpur to make it a more liveable city. Some of the initiatives introduced include car-free days on Sunday, and new art and cultural precincts throughout Kuala Lumpur.
It’s not only through her work that Diana devotes to enacting change. Her next adventure is with a group of young leaders called Global Shapers, a movement focused towards improving communities.
It is this focus on creating change that defines Diana’s approach to life, ‘no matter how little or big it is, what matters most is making change happen.’