The purpose of the “Malaysia in Melbourne” iPhone app is to give Malaysian students “a feeling and a sense of Malaysia” in Melbourne.
JULIET JOHN, who grew up in Malaysia but completed her higher education and worked in Australia for a number of years, has developed a free iPhone/iPod app called “Malaysia in Melbourne” for Malaysian students to feel at home when studying in Australia.
“It’s my own little project to help Malaysian students settle into their lives in Melbourne,” she said, commenting on how she hit on the idea.
“I, for one, have had an extremely amazing time during my university years in Melbourne and I was extremely lucky to have met some of my best friends there.”
Juliet is currently still in Melbourne and her experiences have, thus far, been nothing short of incredible throughout her stay.
Recalling her student days, she said: “Of course, just like anyone else, I had my down moments as well, but I’ve always managed to pull through simply because of the various kinds of support I have had.”
As a Malaysian in Melbourne, she said, a steaming hot cup of teh tarik halia and a plate of nasi lemak sambal ayam were one of the many “supports” she needed. That’s right — the support she was hankering for was Malaysian food.
“When one is down and out in a new country, with loads of assignments and upcoming exams, what does one look for?” she asked. “Friends and comfort food from home, of course.”
And that was why Juliet, in formulating her idea, teamed up with an iPhone app developer and a team of international designers to launch the very first “Malaysia in Melbourne” app.
The app, which is divided into four parts — restaurants, halal butchers, Malaysian grocery shops and where to seek aid from police and such — lists several affordable Malaysian restaurants/eateries , halal meat markets and Malaysian/Asian grocery shops, as well as helpful organisations like Graduan.com.my and MASCA Victoria (Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia, Victoria), which offers job placements and internships for fresh Malaysian graduates.
“Many of my friends were unsure of what to do after they graduated,” she said, referring to the student representative council.
To give users stronger rapport, the app will feature Juliet herself presenting, reporting and explaining to Malaysian students what life in Melbourne is all about.
“Currently, the app is about 70 per cent complete. It is slated for release in June,” she said, explaining that she was waiting for more support from real estate companies, airlines, student representative councils and healthcare and insurance companies from both Malaysia and Melbourne to be listed.
“It would also be great if the government could sponsor the app,” she added.
For those who would like to feature their venue or organisation in the “Malaysia in Melbourne” iPhone app, please call +614-32-419-957 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org