AIYA President’s Message: 2015 in Review

Posted on 25 January, 2016

Banner President's Message

Dear AIYA members, followers and friends,

Selamat tahun baru dan selamat Hari Australia! Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support of AIYA throughout 2015. This letter provides an update on some of AIYA’s achievements over the past year.

Amongst the ups and downs of the Australia-Indonesia bilateral relationship in 2015, AIYA continued to strive towards strengthening people-to-people links between young Australians and Indonesians via our various events and initiatives. 2015 saw a ‘new guard’ of executives move into roles within the AIYA Executive Committee, and we are committed to continue to build and strengthen AIYA in 2016.

Notably, last year saw the 3rd annual Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth (CAUSINDY) take place in Darwin. Delegates gained increased exposure to the opportunities that exist in northern Australia, as well as to the fascinating history of the relationship between indigenous Australians and Indonesians. In addition, the incredible success of the inaugural National Australia Indonesia Language Awards (NAILA) and the positive response from applicants and supporters are a testament to the passion for Bahasa Indonesia that exists within the organisational committee and amongst AIYA members. Bahasa Indonesia is the gateway through which Australians can obtain a deeper understanding of Indonesia, and we believe that NAILA goes a long way to promoting the value of those language skills.

AIYA now has a chapter-level presence in every state and territory of Australia as well as in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Nusa Tenggara Timur. I am now very proud to announce that over the coming weeks and months, our latest chapter will be launching in West Java! This represents our increased focus on expanding our reach and networks across new parts of Indonesia. Stay tuned for more details shortly.

We have also now rolled out an online membership portal, and our communications team in particular have done a fantastic job of curating diverse and relevant material for our readership on the AIYA blog and weekly AIYA links mail out (which you can sign up for here).

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce AIYA’s esteemed Advisory Board. AIYA is mentored by the brightest minds on the Australia-Indonesia relationship, and we are very fortunate to be able to rely on their support and advice as we grow the organisation and develop new partnerships.

Throughout 2016, AIYA will continue to deliver on our aim to ‘inform, connect and inspire’ young people across Australia and Indonesia to engage in the bilateral relationship and to seek new and exciting opportunities in the Australia-Indonesia space. Our chapters will provide a range of social, cultural, education and career-oriented events, kicking off with AIYA WA’s hosting of the musicians from Jalanan in Fremantle as part of the Fringe World Festival. We will also be launching a new website, and our flagship initiatives will see a bigger and broader NAILA, as well as another fantastic Indonesia-bound CAUSINDY.

In light of the recent bombing incidents in Jakarta, AIYA has an increasingly important role to play in sharing the good news of Indonesia with Australians and to encourage increased cooperation and mutual understanding. The incredible resilience of the Indonesian people has shone through in the aftermath of the violent incidents, particularly with the prevalence of social media campaigns and action from civil society, as well as the positive response from President Joko Widodo.

If you have any questions about AIYA and our plans for 2016, please let me know via email at nicholas.mark@aiya.org.au.

Salam semangat,

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Nicholas Mark

President – AIYA National