In Their Own Words: Young Indonesians on Indonesia’s Next President

Joko Widido’s election as President marks a new democratic era, according to Cornelius Damar Hanung, Cynthia Sadikin, and Ronaldus Reza. Clarissa Tanurahardja asked them for their opinions and hopes for the new President.

What are your thoughts and on Indonesia’s newly-elected President?

Cornelius: Jokowi’s election will mark a shift in Indonesia’s political paradigm. For almost 70 years Indonesia has been ruled by presidents who have come from either a military background, or have links to previous leaders. Jokowi will be the first President to have proved himself eligible as a leader through his humbleness and actions as the mayor of Solo and Governor of Jakarta. Indonesia needs a figure who is free from so-called “orde baru” or military influence and Jokowi suits the criteria.

Cynthia: Jokowi’s election is like a dream come true! He is full of surprises (in a good way). This is a victory for all Indonesians. It also shows a big step forward in our political life.

Ronaldus: Well, I couldn’t be more happier to have Mr. Joko Widodo as the new president of Indonesia. I think he is the type of man that Indonesia need right now. He is honest, a man with a good heart and truly loves Indonesia. I think he sincerely wants to improve Indonesia as a country. He is actually doing some work instead of giving promises.

What impact do you think Jokowi will have on Indonesia’s future?

Cornelius: I could not say just yet — it will depend on two things. The first is who will he choose as his cabinet’s members, since effective collaboration between the President and his cabinet is at the core of good governance. We have seen so many leaders fail because of their failure to see this issue. The second is what moves Jokowi will make in order to tackle the constraining Indonesia’s development, such as pluralism, urban development and investment policy and etc. But I do expect to see lots of innovative changes over the next 5 years.

Cynthia: Indonesia will definitely have a better future, because Mr. Jokowi has the guts to make dramatic changes in politics. He takes decisions based on what’s good for the country, not for his personal interest.

Ronaldus: I believe Jokowi will bring a positive impact to Indonesia as a country. First of all, there will be greater trust in the President, given what he has done for Solo and Jakarta. Secondly, foreigners will also have greater trust in Jokowi, including foreign leaders and investors — which I believe will boost Indonesia’s economy. His humbleness and blusukan approach is a very powerful asset. He can actually interact with people and identify the core problem in a particular area and from there, come up with a solution that is applicable. One step at a time, he will solve Indonesia’s problems.

What are your hopes for the new President?

Cornelius: In general, I would like him to live up to his voters’ expectations, to serve as a symbol of a new movement toward better Indonesia. Specifically, I hope that he and his entire government can create a framework that may accommodate Indonesia’s scholars who are currently living abroad to return and apply their knowledge to develop Indonesia. Recently I have seen an article suggesting that domestic companies tend to avoid people who have been edcuated abroad. Government should channel these talents into Indonesia’s strategic industries in order to fully exploit their potential.

Cynthia: I hope Mr. Jokowi makes a real start very soon. I really hope all the best for him.

Ronaldus: As a once-sceptical Indonesian citizen, especiall toward politicians and government officials, I hope that he can build a clean and accountable government that will actually do something for the Indonesian people instead of just taking advantage. I hope he will pursue fight against corruption in every area of government, and bring justice to the corruptors. Lastly, I hope that he can bring Indonesia one step closer to becoming a first world country with a decent infrastructure and internet connections.

Cornelius Damar Hanung is an Indonesian pursuing his passion as an urban development junior business analyst in South Korea. Cynthia Sadikin studied accounting at Monash University, Australia. Ronaldus Reza is Indonesian currently practicing his architecture with PBD Architects Australia.

What are your hopes for Jokowi in his first team? Let us know in the comments below.

AIYA Links, 29 August: friends again

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In the news

Events and opportunities

Positions at Ruma, Jakarta

Ruma, a social enterprise that empowers the poor using mobile phone technology, is looking for a Payroll and Tax Accountant and a Procurement Officer, based in Jakarta.

Ruma develops mobile technology solutions that provide easy access to financial & payment services to low income and rural populations in Indonesia. These solutions are deployed through a network of 17,000+ low income entrepreneurs recruited, trained, and supported as agents in their community.

Both positions require a minimum of two years of experience. For more information, and to apply, visit their website or download the position descriptions: Payroll and Tax Officer, Procurement Officer.

AIYA Links, 22 August: it’s over

Indonesia's Constitutional Court is seen during a hearing in Jakarta

In the news

On the AIYA blog

  • Former Victoria AIYA Chapter President, Sam Bashfield, is motorbiking from Aceh to Jakarta and raising money for the Heart Foundation all the way. Check out his story at the blog!

Events and opportunities

  • CAUSINDY, Jakarta, 14-17 September: The second Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth is just a few weeks away, and we’re pleased to announce great new speakers and sponsors.
  • Melbourne, 29 August: come along to a seminar on the new book The Professionals: Strategy, Money & the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia at Melbourne Uni.
  • At the AIYA Job Board: the Australia Indonesia Business Council needs a new Administrative Officer.

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Photo above: Reuters.

Administrative Officer at the Australia-Indonesia Business Council

The Australia-Indonesia Business Council, an AIYA partner organisation, is looking for an Administrative Officer to support the operations of its national secretariat.

The position reports to the National President and will work closely with the Board and State/Territory branches.

The Administrative Officer will work from their own home office using AIBC’s web-site and remote facilities. The position is offered as a full-time role, 38 hours a week, and will be paid in accordance with Clerks – Private Sector Award, up to $49,064.08 (depending on experience) plus superannuation. For the appropriate candidate, a part-time arrangement may be considered.

Duties include managing membership enquiries, event support, communications and support for the AIBC’s leadership team. For more information about the role and how to apply, download the full position description. Applications close on the 1st of September, 2014.

Meet the Australian Riding from Banda Aceh to Jakarta

Sam Bashfield studied Indonesian and was the chapter president of AIYA Victoria. After finishing a semester studying abroad in South Korea, he’s riding the length of Sumatra from Banda Aceh to Jakarta to raise money for the Heart Foundation — a journey which will cover 3,000km over one month.

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First up, we asked him why he chose a motorbike trip.

I have always enjoyed motorcycle riding, and during my ACICIS semester in Yogyakarta I completed several multi-day motorcycle tours around Central and East Java. While this journey is a step up from the trips I have previously experienced, I feel I am capable of riding the kilometres and feel it is an experience I must attempt.

But why Sumatra? This trip is will be my first visit to Sumatra. While I have travelled around Bali and Java reasonably extensively, this trip is my first adventure further afield. During high school, I completed an exchange program to Malaysia. In Australia I studied Indonesian, so while in Malaysia I always wondered about Sumatra, as it is so close to Malaysia. During my time in Malaysia I never got the chance to cross to Sumatra, so now is my chance! Furthermore, the province of Aceh has always been a dream destination for me. Politically and geographically I find Aceh a fascinating place. Coupled with the tragic tsunami of 2004, I have always wanted to visit the region.

Aceh aside, I am very interested in exploring the various cities of Sumatra, and to experience the landscape. While I am completing this journey alone, I anticipate I will meet many new fiends along the way. Already during the preparation for this journey I have had offers of city tours, and beds to stay in at many of Sumatra’s larger cities. I anticipate that I will meet many more people who will be able to show me around their respective cities when I arrive.

My decision to support the Heart Foundation is due to my grandfather, Bill Bashfield, who passed away last year. He was an avid traveller, who owned and ran his own travel company. He would tell me fascinating stories of travel in Indonesia, including taking a group to Yogyakarta over 20 years ago, which featured enjoying a dinner reception with the Sultan. His stories about Asia and Indonesia, and time we spent looking at atlases really kindled my interest in Asia and travelling.

My aim for the trip is to raise $3,000, of which 100% goes directly to the Heart Foundation. While I acknowledge that this money is not going directly into helping Sumatra, I am sure that the research and work of the Heart Foundation has global implications.

One of my blog entries discussed how much I should pay, if anything, in the event that I run over an ayam kampung (village chicken). While I hope I don’t hit one, I’d rather flatten a chicken than ride into oncoming traffic. My former Indonesian honours supervisor at Monash University, Paul Thomas, advised me to simply pay and keep riding. I think that’s the best course of action, but the price is still a point of contention. I have asked many Indonesian friends, and the consensus is to pay IDR 100,000. While I’ll try my best to avoid killing an ayam kampung, I’ll also keep a crisp pink IDR 100,000 note ready just in case!

My itinerary is definitely not set in stone, and at the moment is constantly changing. The basic outline is to ride from Banda Aceh to Jakarta using the ‘main road’ only when absolutely necessary. From past experience motorcycle touring in Java, taking the Jalan Kabupaten ( regional roads) and the Jalan Desa (village roads) provide the best riding experience (despite the increased chance of flattening ayam kampung).

My first week though is planned. I will begin riding west then south from Banda Aceh down towards Meulaboh, which was the worst hit town during the 2004 tsunami. The road between Banda Aceh and Meulaboh was completely destroyed by the tsunami, and has been rebuilt by USAid. That 250 kilometre stretch I am told will only take four hours due to the quality of the road. From there I will head inland and into the mountains eventually reaching Bukit Lawang and Danau Toba. That stretch will take about four days, so some rest days in Bukit Lawang will be welcome. From there, I am not sure my exact route, but I won’t miss Pekan Baru, Bukit Tinggi, Padang and Palembang, before the push to Jakarta. When I reach these provinces, I will map out a suitable route, ensuring I see as many points of interest as possible.

The majority of the trip will be riding days, during which I hope to cover around 200 kilometres. Spending a month covering the distance from Aceh to Jakarta should ensure quite a leisurely timeframe. I have read blogs written by motorcyclists who raced down the island in under two weeks, but I fear that those riders fail to adequately enjoy the sights.

I have also read the blog of some New Zealanders who cycled the length of Sumatra in two months, so a month on a motorbike will allow me time to stop and soak in the atmosphere. The last thing I want to be doing is riding ridiculous amounts of kilometres all day and night in order to keep to abstract schedules, essentially missing the beauty which is Sumatra. One month will allow me the time to take detours, and to spend a few extra nights in places of interest.

As the start date fast approaches, I am very keen to get riding. I am ecstatic to be able to see Sumatra, and even more pleased at being able to do it from the back of a motorcycle. I can’t think of a better way to spend a month!

You can follow Sam’s journey on his blog or Facebook page. To make a contribution to his fundraising campaign, visit MyCause.

AIYA Links, 15 August: Happy Birthday Indonesia

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We at AIYA wish the Republic of Indonesia a very happy 69th birthday.

In the news

On the blog

Events and opportunities

  • Stand up comedy, traditional dances and eating contests: these are some of the ways Indonesians in Australia will be celebrating Indonesian Independence Day on Sunday, 17 August. Check out AIYA’s list of celebrations around Australia.
  • At the AIYA Job Board: Pozible needs a full time Crowdfunding Coordinator to help work on its plans to expand into Indonesia.
  • AIYA Victoria’s former President Samuel Bashfield is motorbiking from Banda Aceh to Jakarta and raising money for the Heart Foundation all the way. Follow the trip on his Facebook page!

Where to celebrate Hari Raya Kemerdekaan

This Sunday, the 17th of August, marks Indonesian Independence Day — and with it, the country’s 69th birthday. Indonesian communities around Australia will be coming together to celebrate the occasion, and we’ve prepared a list of events where you can take part, too!

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New South Wales

The Indonesian Community Council of New South Wales will host an Independence Day celebration at Leichardt Town Hall, on the corner of Marion and Norton Streets from 11am-4pm. The event will include a live performance from Suara Band, along with food, special presentations and more.

The Consulate General of Indonesia will also host a flag-raising ceremony at the Consul General’s house at 25 Kent Road, Rose Bay, Sydney, from 10am on Sunday, 17 August 2014. (Dress code: Batik or National attire or Formal wear.)

Victoria

PPIA La Trobe University (KiLat) has organised an event involving  games, Indonesian dance, Indonesian food — and prizes! It’s taking place tonight, in the Agora at La Trobe’s Bundoora campus from 12-2pm.

On Saturday, PPIA Victoria will host its first ever theatrical performance, Panggung Merdeka. The theme of this year’s Panggung Merdeka this year is Lensa Kecil Seorang Pejuang (Small Lens of a Fighter), adapted from the life story of student activist Soe Hok Gie. Soe Hok Gie was a student activist opposed to the Sukarno and Suharto regimes, arguing that fair and transparent leadership is of fundamental importance, particularly for the younger generation, and supported Indonesia’s motto of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.

Live music will be performed from the Indonesian Creative Community of Australia. The event will take place at the Athenaeum Theatre on Collins St, from 12-4pm. Tickets should be booked in advance.

Later on Saturday, PPIA’s Swinburne University and Deakin University chapters will present the first Indonesian stand-up comedy event in Melbourne. The event will feature stand-up comedy by Pandji Pragiwaksono as well as local comedians. The event is taking place at Melbourne City Conference Centre from 7-10pm — tickets can be reserved through Eventbrite.

On Sunday, the Indonesian Consulate-General in Melbourne will an official host a flag raising ceremony at 9.30am, at 72 Queens Road, St Kilda (enter via Queens Lane). The Consulate will host another ceremony and saman performance with Saman Melbourne later in the day at Federation Square, starting from 3.00pm.

See more events taking place in Victoria.

Queensland

PPIA Queensland are organising a special Koempoel Rakyat event on Sunday at Sherwood State School from 10am to 4pm. There will be a traditional food bazaar, music, games and performances.

They’re also hosting a 69km Independence Day bike ride, from Brisbane to the Gold Coast — leaving from Holland Park at 7am. Contact the organisers for more information.

Western Australia

The Perth Indonesian Film Festival will run until Sunday night, with screenings scheduled for Sokola RimbaMata Tertutup and Soekarno scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

A flag raising ceremony will also be held at the Indonesian Consulate-General in Perth, however all places have been filled.

PPIA Curtin University will host an Independence Day barbecue on the 18th of August,

South Australia

flag raising and food bazaar will be hosted by PPIA South Australia and the Australia-Indonesia Association on Sunday from 9am, at the Goodwood Community Centre, including angklung, stand-up comedy and saman performances.

ACT

The ANU Indonesian Students’ Association are holding a Hunger Games-themed food eating competition on the 23rd of August.

Have we missed an event? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Crowdfunding Coordinator at Pozible

Australian crowdfunding platform Pozible is looking for a full time Crowdfunding Coordinator to work with the Marketing Manager on its plans to expand into Indonesia.

According to their position description:

Pozible is a young, rapidly-growing Australian crowdfunding platform, one of the biggest globally and still expanding. Dealing every day with innovators, change-makers and motivated creative types, it’s an inspiring and amazing place to work.

We are seeking a full time Crowdfunding Coordinator to work with the Marketing Manager as Pozible expands in to the Indonesian Market. This entry level position is full time with a 6 month contract and a view that it will be on going should the expansion be successful.

The role is based in Melbourne, and requires fluent Indonesian, a strong understanding of Indonesian culture, media and government — amongst other things. Read the full list of criteria in the position description.

Applications close on the 22nd of August.

Wawancara dengan Muhammad Nur Rizal, Perhimpunan Indonesia Belajar

Pendidikan adalah salah satu hal yang terpenting dalam kehidupan kita, terutama bagi orang yang tidak mampu. Menagapa? Karena pendidikan bisa membantu anak-anak mendapatkan kehidupan yang lebih baik.

Perhimpunan Indonesia Belajar (PIB) adalah organisasi yang “membantu anak usia sekolah yang tidak mampu di seluruh Indonesia dalam mendapatkan akses pendidikan yang berkualitas...” Ini wawancara saya bersama dengan Ketua PIB Muhammad Nur Rizal.

Indonesia Belajar in Melbourne earlier this year. Photo by Tim Flicker.

Indonesia Belajar in Melbourne earlier this year. Photo by Tim Flicker.

Secara ringkas, bisa anda menceritakan tentang Program Indonesia Belajar (IB)?

Perhimpunan Indonesi Belajar (PIB) adalah Rumah Bersama untuk memajukan pendidikan Indonesia melalui penguatan kerjasama dengan perseorangan dan institusi pendidikan di Australia. PIB dikelola oleh para kandidat PhD dari berbagai universitas di Australia dan kalangan professional.

PIB mengajak seluruh elemen masyarakat, baik di Indonesia maupun di Australia, untuk bergandengan tangan berkontribusi mewujudkan pendidikan Indonesia yang berkualitas, berkeadilan, inklusif dan memiliki sinergi antara pembelajaran global dengan kearifan lokal.

Pak Rizal mendapat ide atau inspirasi IB dari mana?

Kami terinspirasi dengan pola dan paradigm pendidikan dasar di Australia yang mampu membuat anak-anak kami senang dan mencintai sekolahnya.

Ketika liburan tiba, mereka kebingungan dan menginginkan segera bertemu dengan teman-temannya di sekolah. Tidak jarang kami keliling mendatangi berbagai “public library” di sekitar tempat kami tinggal untuk membaca dan menulis (review) bacaan apa saja yang telah mereka lahap.

Kebetulan kami memiliki 3 orang puteri yang duduk di Grade 7, Grade 4 dan Grade 1. Berbekal penasaran kami, secara rutin kami mendatangai acara “Assembly” yakni sejenis upacara yang diselenggarakan setiap minggu oleh primary schools (hari Senin atau Kamis) untuk memberikan berbagai penghargaan kepada murid-murid dari grade (prep) hingga grade (6) yang telah melaksanakan nilai-nilai sekolah mereka, seperti “respect each other”, “integrity”, “honesty”, “care”, “read and learning” dan berbagai tugas dan karakter positif lainnya.

Hal ini yang sangat membedakan dengan sekolah di Indonesia, dimana penghargaan lebih diorientasikan kepada anak atau siswa yang memiliki nilai baik di mata pelajaran tertentu seperti matematika atau ilmu alam atau yang memiliki peringkat tinggi di kelasnya. Hampir tidak pernah aspek penghargaan disematkan kepada mereka yang memiliki karakter positif dan gemar membantu atau membuat suasana ceria di antara teman-temannya.

Kalau tidak salah IB mempunyai dua cabang di Australia, satu di wilayah Victoria dan satu di Australia Barat. Apakah ada rencana untuk membangun cabang IB di setiap negara bagian atau state di Australia?

Agar gerakan Indonesia belajar semakin dikenal dan memberikan efek signifikan, kami akan terus bekerjasama dengan berbagai pihak agar terus tumbuh dan meluas di seluruh Australia dan Indonesia.

Apakah kira-kira program jangka pendek dan jangka panjang untuk IB?

Saat ini IB memiliki 3 program utama yakni (a) Gerakan Orang Tua Asuh atau beasiswa kepada siswa SMA kelas 1 hingga lulus (b) Program Pendampingan kepada penerima beasiswa dan (c) Promoting sekolah yang menyenangkan dan berkarakter.

Untuk program beasiswa, pada tahun 2013 kami membiayai 50 siswa dari 20 kabupaten/kota di Indonesia dan tahun 2014 ini, kami menargetkan untuk menambah jumlah hingga 100 siswa berasal dari berbagai wilayah berbeda di Indonesia.

Terkait program pendampingan, kami telah melakukan korespondensi ke sebagian siswa pada tahun lalu, dan pada tahun 2014 ini, kami telah bekerjasama dengan PPIA Australia untuk menambah jumlah Mentor/Pendamping agar dapat mendampingin hingga 100 siswa tersebut. Selain itu, kami juga sedang mempersiapkan kegiatan Pendampingan by Post Card bersama PPIA Victoria yang akan di launching di bulan Agustus ini di acara Panggung Merdeka. Kegiatan ini mengundang seluruh pelajar yang tergabung di PPIA Victoria untuk menuliskan surat harapan, motivasi, memberikan wawasan tentang pendidikan di Melbourne atau Australia. Harapannya kegiatan ini akan dapat meningkatkan partisipasi pelajar yang akan bergabung dalam gerakan IB ini. Dalam waktu dekat, kami juga sedang menyiapkan tim yang akan membuat newsletter yang akan disebar ke seluruh siswa penerima beasiswa dan sekolah tempat mereka belajar.

Untuk program ketiga, saat ini kami masih terus mensosialisasikan kepada seluruh pelajar dan masyarakat untuk menuliskan berbagai pengalaman bagaimana sekolah Primary schools di Australia mendidik, menekankan aspek pendidikan karakter dalam setiap kegiatan belajar-mengajarnya yang kami muat di website IB www.indonesia-belajar.org. Dalam waktu dekat, kami akan meluncurkan buku perdana IB yang berjudul: “Sekolah itu Asyik” yang akan kami distribusikan ke guru-guru di Kabupaten paser, ke sekolah-sekolah Indonesia melalui Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia (KPAI). Pada bulan September 2014 ini, kami juga akan bekerjasama dengan Universitas Ahmad Dahlan (UAD) di Yogyakarta untuk mengadakan workshop dan training kepada calon-calon guru dan guru-guru di beberapa sekolah di Yogyakarta tentang bagaimana menerapkan konsep dan pelatihan pendidikan karakter di setiap aktivitas belajar di sekolah (khususnya SD) berdasarkan best practises dari Australia. Kegiatan ini diharapkan menjadi pilot project, yang jika berhasil diharapkan dapat diterapkan secara nasional (national-wide) bersama universitas-2 dan sekolah-2 lainnya di Indonesia.

Bagaimana teman-teman AIYA bisa mendukung IB?

AIYA adalah salah satu komunitas yang kami harapkan dapat bekerjasama secara erat. Sehingga selain membantu program IB, kerjasama ini diharapkan dapat meningkatkan hubungan people-to-people relation antara Indonesia dan Australia melalui aktivitas pendidikan.

Anggota AIYA sekaligus menjadi Pendamping atau “Penpal” dengan melakukan korespondensi baik melalui email atau facebook atau post. Korespondensi dapat berupa pertukaran budaya, bahasa, sekolah ataupun informasi lainnya yang bermanfaat dan meningkatkan hubungan kedua negara atau masyarakat.