It’s your last chance! Our survey on the attitudes and opinions of young people on the Australia-Indonesia relationship is closing tomorrow. If you haven’t already, take it now.
Events and opportunities…
With the AIYA survey left to run until Friday, we thought we’d share some early trends in your responses. If you haven’t given your feedback just yet, don’t miss out! Your responses will inform our submission to the federal government’s Indonesian Country Strategy, as well as AIYA’s advocacy worth going forward.
The first thing we noticed was that, amongst Australian respondents, the vast majority have expressed an interest in a long-term career in Indonesia – more than 85% indicated that they’d be interested in working in-country for at least five years. Likewise, just as many Indonesian respondents (86%) indicated that they’d be interested in working in Australia, too. For us, this shows that most AIYA members are interested in building a career in – or about – the other’s country.
We also found it interesting that relatively few respondents indicated that Australian news and current affairs coverage had improved their understanding of the Australia-Indonesia relationship. By contrast, more than 50% indicated that they had found Indonesian news and current affairs useful in this respect. For most respondents, cultural exchange – through music, art, food, and sporting events – had deepened their knowledge. Membership organisations (including AIYA), social media, and in-country experiences were also popular responses – which is reassuring!
One of the most evident trends came in reply to our question about obstacles to the bilateral relationship: almost 65% of respondents indicated that cultural misunderstanding between Australia and Indonesia was the most significant issue. Mutual suspicion, a lack of work opportunities in each others’ countries, and language differences also featured prominently.
We’ll have more – including your ideal policy solutions, what can be done to improve the relationship, and how you think we should measure success – in a future blog post. In the meantime, make sure you’ve had your say – and let your friends know, too!
Do these observations square with your own opinions? Let us know what you think in the comments.
We’re conducting a survey into the attitudes and opinions of young people towards the future of the Australia-Indonesia relationship. If you haven’t already, tell us what you think!
Events and opportunities..
We’re looking for your help!
As you might have seen at the start of the year, our national executive have been hard at work responding to the federal government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. We published the full response back in January, and we’re now working on a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Indonesia Country Strategy.
According to DFAT:
The strategies will outline a vision of where the relationships should be in 2025 and how we intend to get there. They will be forward-looking documents taking in the views of groups with important stakes or insights in each relationship.
We feel it’s an important opportunity for youth in the Australia-Indonesia relationship to share their thoughts, which is why we’re conducting a survey into the attitudes and opinions of young people on a series of topics. We’d like to know what you think of our relationship right now, and where you see it heading in the future.
Take the survey now.
To take the survey, and read more about what we’re planning, head over to the AIYA Survey page. If you’ve got any questions or comments about it, post away below – or send us an email.
Events and opportunities:
- The Indonesian Film Festival is running in Melbourne until the 2nd of May.
- The Lowy Institute is looking for op-eds from undergraduate students to potentially appear on their Interpreter blog.
- AIYA member
Going on exchange is an important part of studying Indonesian at university. We are fortunate that the great work of a few has given us excellent opportunities in the ACICIS‘ programs in Java and the RUILI program in Lombok, along with government programs such as AIYEP, and numerous others across the archipelago. These provide us with opportunities to travel to Indonesia and connect with our Indonesian counterparts. The continuance of these programs, their expansion and the establishment of new programs are essential to Australia’s future relationship with Indonesia.
I have been lucky enough to participate in both the RUILI program in Lombok and in two semesters of study in Java with ACICIS. On both occasions I have come home surprised by the progress in both my understanding of Indonesian language and Indonesian society. I have also come home slightly disappointed. Not with the programs, but with myself. As I reach the end of my degree I realise my opportunities for extended, government subsidised study in Indonesia are just about over and although I enjoyed blissful days of drinking kopi while waiting for tides to turn and swells to arrive, I wish I had taken advantage of all the opportunities presented to you in a country like Indonesia.
So with that in mind, I give to you my top three regrets while studying in Indonesia.
1. Not taking my studies seriously
You are guaranteed to encounter three things while studying at UGM; kelas kosong, token questions on your view as an Australian and a general disregard for your opinion from the lecturer. It is not the fault of the lecturer. Other exchange programs often enrol their students in classes taught in Indonesian without the requisite skills, and some of us will drift off after half an hour of trying to keep up. I know I did. Lecturers seem to take this as a sign to just let us sit there and doodle our way through the semester. In hindsight, I wish I had spent that extra hour going through readings or preparing answers for class, employing a post-graduate tutor or just sticking my hand up and bumbling my way through my opinion in front of the class.
2. Not being active in student society
Campus life in Indonesia is a big thing; people meet on campus for lunch, arrive early and leave late, and even go there on the weekends. Just for fun. At my university students tend to be a bit ‘kupu-kupu’ and go straight home after studying. Involving myself in debate clubs, sports, arts and other campus societies would have given me the opportunity to connect with like-minded Indonesians who could form a useful network as I reach the end of my degree.
3. Not engaging in more meaningful ways outside of campus.
Just about all of us will volunteer a bit of our time while away. We might do things like teach English in a nearby village or change nappies at a local orphanage. It is a great way to ground yourself in Indonesian life and provides assistance to the NGOs themselves. Now that I am back in Australia the opportunity to engage with Indonesian businesses and organisations does not so readily exist. If given the chance to relive my trips to Indonesia, engaging with volunteering on a deeper level would be at the top of the list.
Interested in getting involved with AIYA? Tell us a little about yourself.
Events and opportunities:
- We’re looking for contributors to the AIYA website.
- AIYA Victoria will be holding a social evening in Melbourne on Monday evening.
- Monash University will be running a free screening the documentary Denok and Gareng at the Clayton campus this evening.
- AIYA WA are also holding a catch-up event, next Sunday, the 28th of April.
Sign up to receive these links direct to your inbox every week.
Receive these links direct to your inbox every week.
Events and opportunities:
- Adelaide’s Indofest is coming up next week! AIYA’s South Australian chapter will have a presence; be sure to check out the full program on their website.
- Inside Indonesia are running a photography competition: to enter, see their website.
Dalam bahasa Indonesia..