Robbie Gasparwas the first Australian footballer to play professionally in Indonesia. He played in Indonesia for seven years including playing for one of Indonesia’s biggest football clubs, Persib Bandung. During his time as a professional player, he earned the respect of his colleagues, to the extent that he was nominated for, and became, an executive committee member of the Indonesian Professional Footballers Players Union or AsosiasiPemainPesepakbola Indonesia (APPI) for several years. In this capacity, he represented a very high-profile industrial organisation in a variety of national and international negotiations. On his return to Australia, Robbie was awarded Life Membership of the Professional Footballers Association in 2014 in recognition of his efforts in establishing player associations in Malaysia and Indonesia.
He currently works as a FIFPro (International Federation of Professional Footballers) consultant and is studying a Bachelor of Accounting and Asian Studies degree at Murdoch University. He speaks Indonesian well and regularly commentates for SBS on the world game, especially the progress of the Socceroos. He is blown away by the passion of Indonesian supporters. He is keen to see Indonesia optimise its potential in the most popular sport in Indonesia and has strong opinions about where things are going wrong and how things might be improved, but his approach is collaborative rather than didactic. In particular, he is convinced of the benefit of regional collaboration, and sees Australia playing a big part in that.