It is often said that the key to a meaningful life is to develop a sense of purpose. For Diana Taty Azman (Foundation Studies 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, which is what initially drew her to Trinity. 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 driven to improve yourself, but only within the means of your own boundaries. You have a lot of interaction and team orientated classes.’
It was this passion to learn more about others that led Diana to major in Political Science at the University of Melbourne with a minor in Gender Studies. Diana also wanted to solve real problems such as poverty 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.
It is this resolve to fix problems that has shaped Diana’s professional career. Whether it be working to alleviate poverty at Oxfam or driving tighter climate change regulations 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 the liveable cities department in the Malaysian government. During this period, she was involved in several major projects including working with the transport commission to develop Malaysia’s first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line. Other projects included trying to make Kuala Lumpur a more liveable city. Some of the initiatives her department introduced include car free days on Sunday and new art and cultural precincts throughout Kuala Lumpur.
It is not only through her work that Diana devotes to enacting change. She is about to embark on a new project working with a group of other young leaders called the Global Shapers, to help manage projects and hopefully make a difference for those trying to create their own start-ups.
‘When you’re just starting up you can feel very alone so want to connect people who can leverage off each other’s talents or areas of focus to create something bigger.’
It is this focus on creating change that defines Diana’s approach to life, ‘no matter how little or big it is, making a change is very important to me.’