CAUSINDY alumni had the opportunity to meet Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen at Sydney University last Thursday. The discussion, hosted in partnership with the Australia Indonesia Youth Association and the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, focused on Mr Bowen’s experiences learning Bahasa Indonesia and his thoughts on the Australia-Indonesia relationship.
Mr Bowen, who is in his second semester of Indonesian language study by distance at the University of New England, spoke of the importance of learning Indonesian in both education and professional capacities. He emphasised that his desire to learn Indonesian came after the release of the Asian Century White Paper in 2012, which encouraged Australian school students to learn an Asian language. Instead of simply telling students to study Indonesian, he felt it was better to put words to action and learn himself.
— Agung Wasono Achmad (@agungwasono) November 19, 2015
The discussion gave CAUSINDY alumni the opportunity to ask Mr Bowen his thoughts on the bilateral relationship, particularly with regard to economic cooperation in both the public and private sector. Mr Bowen recommended more institutionalised meetings between Australian and Indonesian policy makers and interactions based on respect rather than self-interest.
CAUSINDY thanks Mr Bowen for his time and enlightening comments and looks forward to his future engagement in the Australia-Indonesia relationship.