CAUSINDY delegates meet Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen

DSC_4503CAUSINDY 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.

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.

Big Durian send-off for this year’s 2015 CAUSINDY delegates

Photo: Rizki Pahlevi Bahfen

This year’s high-calibre- CAUSINDY delegates were congratulated for their selection into the well-regarded program now in its third year at an event held at the residence of the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, in Jakarta on Tuesday 14 September.

Through a competitive process, 30 CAUSINDY delegates, 15 from Australia and 15 from Indonesia, were selected and invited to attend the annual Conference of Australian and Indonesia Youth from 19-22 September 2015. Delegates were chosen from a range of sectors, including international development, government, business and education, with delegates selected due of their current day and future role in growing ties between Australia and Indonesia. The full list of this year’s delegates is here.

At the farewell event, Peter Varghese, Secretary of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), described CAUSINDY delegates as the “texture” in a bilateral relationship that is often only defined by the strength or weakness of current government relations between the two very different by closely located neighbours.

Karina Akib, co-founder of CAUSINDY, explained that this year’s conference was deliberately being held in Darwin, as “this is where the relationship began” between Indonesian traders and indigenous Australians hundreds of years ago. Previous CAUSINDY conferences have been held in Canberra and Jakarta.

Peter Varghese, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Paul Grigson, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia. (Photo: Alyssia Sastrosatomo)
Peter Varghese, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Paul Grigson, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia. (Photo: Alyssia Sastrosatomo)

According to Karina, not only will delegates learn more about the ancient trade in sea slugs that initially saw relations thrive between Indonesia and Australia, they will also have the opportunity to discuss businesses opportunities, politics and to talk to local school children in Darwin about what the Australia – Indonesia relationship means to them. This year’s full program including the list of impressive speakers is here.

At Tuesday’s event, which was also attended by CAUSINDY alumni from 2013 and 2014, Luke Arnold, a 2014 delegate and Jakarta-based First Secretary from DFAT, described the challenge of finding it difficult to know how to connect to Indonesian youth through his work in the justice and democratic governance sectors in Indonesia. He praised CAUSINDY for the network he now has of Indonesian youth leaders.

Stay connected to the action in Darwin through this hashtag #causindy on Twitter or this account on Instagram.

Live events in Sydney, Melbourne and Jakarta

It’s your chance to take part in CAUSINDY 2015! For the first time, we’re opening this year’s conference up to live audiences in three cities.

Register for the event →

Going Back to the Beginning is all about the links between indigenous Australia and Indonesia, bringing together three experts to present — and answer questions — on the origins of the bilateral relationship.

AIYA chapters will be showing the panel live from Darwin in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from 3pm on Saturday, the 19th of September.

Join in →

Audiences will be able to share questions and comments with the delegates and panel on #causindy.


Paul Thomas — Coordinator of Indonesian Studies, Monash University

saya4Paul Thomas is Coordinator of Indonesian Studies and lecturer in Translation Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University, Victoria. His initial interest in Indonesia began as a participant on the Australian Indonesian Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) after which he majored in Indonesian and Italian in his undergraduate degree. Upon graduating, Paul moved to Southeast Asia teaching in Bandung, Indonesia and Singapore where he also worked as a freelance translator.

On returning to Australia, he took up tertiary teaching positions in South Australia and then Victoria while completing a Masters in Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. Paul’s PhD was in the field of translation history and explored the history of communication between Australia and the Indonesian archipelago from the pre-European period through to the Cold War.

Paul is currently researching the history of the English language press in Indonesia and is completing an edited volume on the history of the Indonesian-Malay language in Australia entitled Talking North: History, Literacy and Policy in Australia’s First Asian Language due for publication later this year.

Dr Steven Farram — Lecturer in North Australian and Regional Studies (History) at Charles Darwin University

Dr Steven Farram is Lecturer in North Australian and Regional Studies (History) at Charles Darwin University in Darwin. His research interests include the history of northern Australia and Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Timor-Leste. He has published extensively in these areas and is also a regular contributor of book and exhibition reviews to various journals. Steven is an active member of the history community through organisations such as the Professional Historians Association (NT) and the Historical Society of the Northern Territory. He is a regular participant at international and local conferences and has been coordinator of the Annual History Colloquium held in Darwin for several years.

Julia Martínez — Associate Professor of History at University of Wollongong

Julia Martinez photo 2015Julia Martínez is an Associate Professor of History and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at University of Wollongong, NSW. Her interests include Australian and Asian history and in particular the connections between Darwin, Broome, north Queensland and Asia. She publishes on Indigenous and Asian labour history and on Chinese diaspora in Australia and Southeast Asia.

Her ARC-funded projects include a history on the migration and ‘traffic’ in women in Australia and Southeast Asia and a study of colonial domestic service with Claire Lowrie, Victoria Haskins, & Frances Steel. In 2013 she co-edited with Professor Adrian Vickers a special edition of the SOAS journal Indonesia and the Malay World on histories of overseas Indonesians. Her book, with Adrian Vickers, is The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian labor and Indigenous encounters in Australia’s Northern Trading Network (University of Hawai’i Press, 2015).

CAUSINDY information nights: wrap-up

The CAUSINDY information nights in Jakarta, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney were a great success. The CAUSINDY team has been overwhelmed with the quality of applicants who attended and everyone who has expressed interest in being involved in the conference. This year is going to be very exciting with some extremely talented individuals coming through the application process! Stay tuned everyone for more exciting updates and good luck to all the applicants!

See the photos →