Today’s Doodle celebrates Prof. Dr. Julie Sulianti Saroso who was one of Indonesia’s first female doctors and was illustrated by guest artist Lenny. Prof. Dr. Saroso dedicated her life to helping vulnerable communities access quality healthcare.
Sulianti Saroso was born on this day in 1917 in Karangasem, Bali. Her father was a doctor and inspired her interest in medicine at a young age.
She went on to graduate with a medical degree from Geneeskundige Hoge School in 1942 and continued her education in Europe and the United States, where she earned several advanced degrees in public health.
Prof. Dr. Saroso also received a World Health Organization (WHO) scholarship to study maternal and child healthcare systems across Europe. When she returned to Indonesia in 1952, she helped bring birth control and family planning education to her homeland.
Shortly after her return, she joined the Ministry of Health to lead programs that improve healthcare access for women, children, and villagers.
After a long and successful career in public health, Prof. Dr. Saroso began teaching at Airlangga University in 1969 and helped train the next generation of doctors and healthcare workers.
She went on to become the second female President of the World Health Assembly and served in several distinguished organizations — including the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Maternal and Child Health, the UN Commission on Community Development in African Countries, and the Indonesian Women's National Commission.
Happy 106th birthday, Prof. Dr. Julie Sulianti Saroso! Your unwavering commitment to healthcare equity changed the course of medicine in Indonesia. The Prof. Dr. Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital in Jakarta carries on your legacy.
Guest Artist Q&A with Lenny
Today’s Doodle was illustrated by guest artist Lenny. Below, she shares her thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:
Q. Tell us a bit about your experience working on this Doodle. What did you enjoy and what did you find challenging? How was it different from other projects?
A: I enjoyed learning about the amazing Doctor Soelianti Saroso and made a drawing to honor her. Of course, this was a dream project for me as well. I’ve been dreaming for so long to create Google Doodle. The challenge is to depict her as well as I could. It’s different as it was my first time drawing a real historical figure.
Q. Did you learn anything surprising or noteworthy while researching for this Doodle?
A. Doctor Soelianti Saroso introduced family planning (limiting families to two children) in Indonesia, a concept that was once taboo but is now more accepted.
Q. Can you describe your art-making process?
A: First, I read several articles about Doctor Soelianti Saroso. Then I scribbled several concepts in my sketchbook. I made several sketches digitally with Photoshop and sent the best three. The Google Doodle team chose the one they liked, and I threw some rough colors digitally. After all was approved, I transferred it to hot-pressed paper with my light pad. I painted it with acrylic gouache and scanned it.
Lenny’s early Doodle concept sketches
Lenny’s acrylic Doodle paintings
Q. Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
A: I always love to learn new amazing figures from Google Doodle!