Delegates announced for CAUSINDY 2013!

The Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth (CAUSINDY) today announced the thirty young leaders who will take part in this year’s inaugural event.

View the full list of delegates from Australia and Indonesia.

The conference, which is an initiative of the Australia Indonesian Youth Association, is being held at the Australian National University and will be attended by young leaders from a range of fields, including environmental scientists, food security specialists, lawyers, diplomats and social entrepreneurs, to name just a few.

Delegates will have the opportunity to connect with senior leaders in business, government, and academia, and will work throughout the conference to produce a series of concrete policy recommendations to be released to industry and government after the event.

Benazir Syaril, Finance manager of Amatha Microfinance, and a member of the Indonesian delegation, said that CAUSINDY represented an exciting opportunity to improve the bilateral relationship in her area of expertise:

“Microfinance is more than a mere tool offering financial services to the ‘unbankable’ people. Microfinance can be used as entry point for Indonesian and Australians to exchange and transfer their knowledge through social innovations and investments. Through this, I believe that the two nations can build a more sustainable and people-oriented relationship in the future”

CAUSINDY comprises a four-day program and includes highlights such as a private lunch at the Indonesian Embassy, a gala dinner and a curator-led tour through the Indigenous art section of the National Gallery of Australia.

A networking event will also be held on Friday 18 October at the National Gallery. The event will be co-hosted by the Australia Indonesia Youth Association, whose members will be in attendance alongside members of the PPIA (the Indonesian Students Association). At the event, members of government and industry will be able to meet delegates of CAUSINDY and members of other key bilateral youth groups.

“We are aiming to provide the opportunity for industry and government to rub shoulders with the bilateral leaders of the future,” said Bede Moore, conference director and founder.

“If you are interested in the bilateral relationship, this is an immensely rare opportunity to meet its youngest – and best performing – proponents,” he said.

Tickets for the NGA networking event can be purchased upon inquiry through CAUSINDY.

CAUSINDY also boasts an impressive line-up of senior speakers who will advise the delegates on critical issues in the relationship. Speakers include Mr Sid Myer, AM, former Ambassador to Indonesia Richard Woolcott, Santo Darmosumarto assistant advisor on International relations to Indonesian President, Kirsten Saywers CEO of humanitarian relief agency RedR, and Professor of Islamic Law at University of Melbourne, Tim Lindsey.

Karina Akib, conference director and co-founder, said the committee had been impressed by the breadth and quality of applications. “It’s amazing to see how many young Australians and Indonesians are passionate about bilateral ties and have already demonstrated outstanding leadership in the relationship. We believe it’s really important to help these young leaders strengthen that relationship and support their personal growth as leaders”

CAUSINDY is sponsored by a range of academic, corporate and government sponsorship.

CAUSINDY welcomes Cardno as a minor sponsor!

Cardno is an ASX-200 professional infrastructure and environmental services company, with expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world. The company has been operating since 1945 and has more than 8,000 employees worldwide.

Cardno’s Emerging Markets business works with a diverse range of international clients in the public and private sectors. They deliver and manage major aid initiatives in core disciplines such as education, health, HIV and AIDS, governance, infrastructure, resources and environmental management. Their work expands across Latin and North America, Europe, Africa, the Pacific and Asia.

Cardno has an impressive history of operation in Indonesia that spans three decades. From its large corporate presence in Jakarta, Cardno manages three AusAID’s flagship national development programs in the law and justice, decentralisation and education sectors;

  • The Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice—an AU$28 million Australian Government program aimed at increasing access to justice for poor and marginalised groups in Indonesia;
  • The Australia Indonesia Partnership for Decentralisation—an AU$61 million program to allow the Government of Australia to support the Government of Indonesia to effectively implement its decentralisation policies, with a particular focus on improving essential service delivery; and
  • The School Systems and Quality Program—an AU$88 million program that assists the Government of Indonesia to reduce disparities in access to education; improve the quality of teaching and learning in Indonesian schools; and improve management and accountability at all levels of school administration (national, provincial, district and school).

Cardno is also responsible for a number of infrastructure and environmental management programs across the country, including the Indonesia Road Survey Services—an AU$1.45 million project which forms part of the AusAID-supported Eastern Indonesia National Roads Improvement Project. It aims to improve 390 kilometres of roads and bridges in Eastern Indonesia. Cardno is responsible for the planning and implementation of the field surveys and data analysis processing.

Given the breadth and depth of Cardno’s experience in Indonesia, we are very excited to have them on-board as a minor sponsor for CAUSINDY 2013.

Announcing our keynote speaker: Mr Sid Myer, AM

The CAUSINDY team is thrilled to announce our keynote speaker for the CAUSINDY Gala Dinner, Mr Sidney Myer, AM.

Mr Myer is the Chairman of Asialink, the CEO of the Yulgibar Group of Companies, and a prominent philanthropist. His bio in full can be found on the Confirmed Speakers page:

Mr Myer is a graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, with over 30 years experience in retailing and investment management industries in Australia and overseas. He has built diverse global networks, especially in Asia, across business, government, academia and the arts. He has particularly strong associations with Asia, having lived and worked in Malaysia for over four years in early 1990’s.

As Chief Executive Officer of Yulgilbar Group of Companies, Mr Myer is responsible for the development and management of local and international investment portfolios, agricultural interests in Australia, and the property and business interests within the Group.

Mr Myer is a Director of The Myer Family Company Holdings, a diversified unlisted family investment and wealth management Company; a Director of OC Funds Management, a boutique funds management firm; a Director of the National Portrait Gallery; Chairman of the Zoos Victoria Foundation; Chairman of The Sidney Myer Estate and a Trustee of The Sidney Myer Fund, which funds initiatives across a wide range of social and community projects in Australia and Asia.

Mr Myer retired from the Australia‑Thailand Institute Board after serving two, three-year terms. Mr Myer served as the Chairman of the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Ministerial Reference Group advising the Australian Government on Asian languages and literacy teaching in schools from 2009 to 2011.

Sid Myer is married to Fiona and has three children. He is a keen skier, horseman, and golfer and participates in a number of other sports.

Looking beyond ‘Beef, boats, and Bali’

This article by the Indonesia Institute’s Ross Taylor first appeared in The West Australian:

The PM-elect Tony Abbott got off to a good start in building trust and a good working relationship with Indonesia. His telephone conversation last week with Indonesia’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, (SBY) has set the scene for both countries to co-operate in the implementation of the coalition’s ‘turn back the boats’ policy.

Indonesia knows that good relations between our two countries are critical at this time throughout the region, and particularly as both the USA and China are now positioning themselves as the regional superpower.

The danger for Australia’s incoming government however, is that Indonesia has a democratic electoral system as robust as that in Australia, and as Indonesia now heads into its own national pre-election period, a ‘turn back the boats’ policy could easily become a strong point of nationalism in Indonesia used by opposition parties, for domestic political purposes, to portray Australia as the big and arrogant southern neighbour.

And the suggestion by Mr Abbott that Australia would buy old fishing boats and pay village wardens to ‘dob in’ people smugglers is seen by most Indonesians-including senior government officials-as silly and quite offensive to Indonesia.

Mr Abbott will therefore need to handle this matter with great skill and diplomacy because at some stage, if the coalition government desires to build a deeper relationship with this emerging giant of 240 million people situated on our doorstep, the focus will need to move beyond not only the ‘boats’, but also beyond the other two dominant issues that sucks any oxygen out of larger and more significant issues facing our two countries: Beef and Bali.

The term ‘Beef, Boats and Bali’ was coined on the recent ABC ‘Q&A’ program that was filmed live in Jakarta. It was a phrase that did in a way summarise how many Australians see our relationship with Indonesia; a relationship built upon misperceptions, fear and a narrow community mindset that is trapped in a twenty year-old time warp.

The PM-elect and his soon-to-be foreign minister may therefore, as a first step, take a look at a snapshot of how Australians view today’s Indonesia. The recent survey conducted within Australia by our own Department of Foreign Affairs revealed a community perception of Indonesia that is insightful but disturbing in its misunderstanding of our near neighbour:

• 50% see Indonesia as a military threat to Australia.
• 53% see Indonesia as having an undemocratic political system.
• 50% see Indonesia as having laws based on the Islamic code.
• 20% of Australians see Bali as an independent nation,
and the two words most associated with Indonesia were ‘Holidays’ and ‘Muslims’.

Ironically, very few Australians see Indonesia as it really is: the absolute opposite of the above. These misperceptions are often fuelled by politicians who seem only to focus on the ‘three B’s’, and also some sections of our electronic media who appear interested only in the latest Bali holiday disaster.

The second thing that Ms Bishop should consider doing is to attend the inaugural Conference of Australia & Indonesia Youth in Canberra next month. Thirty youth leaders from both countries will attend this event that has the appropriate title, ‘Our turn to decide’. They are right, as these young people can provide our foreign minister with an honest and achievable vision for the future, and some good starting points.

These could include making it easier for our youth to move more freely between our respective shores; to be able to work, holiday and learn without bureaucratic red tape that makes it simply too hard at present for many young people.

We need to look how more young people from Indonesia can undertake temporary work here in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and how young Australians can live and study in Indonesia. In this regard the coalition’s reverse ‘Colombo Plan’ is an excellent initiative.

As part of the review of our foreign aid budget for Indonesia we need to ensure the focus is on how to lift the living standards and education of young people into the 21st century. Indonesia is already number three in the World for Facebook usage and number two for Twitter, yet online banking using smart phone technology is almost non-existent. Their youth are ‘high tech’ savvy, but the country’s internet infrastructure is rundown and outdated. Here is an opportunity for Australia to make a difference.

So whilst the immediate challenge for Mr Abbott and Ms Bishop will be about turning around the boats, there must be a broader agenda to completely review the relationship to move beyond the too often used cliché, of needing, ‘to build closer ties’ because without a coherent plan they indeed become ‘just words’.

The ‘Indonesia Strategy’ as developed by DFAT provides the framework for a substantial upgrading of the bi-lateral relationship. Australia and Indonesia are very different in many respects but we are also natural partners. Therefore the sooner we start to look beyond ‘Beef, Boats and Bali’, the sooner we will genuinely strengthen the relationship, starting by re-focusing on our young people, language skills, technology, and exchange programs. Then business, cultural and educational opportunities will flow to benefit both countries, and the region.

It’s just a matter of whether the new PM and his foreign minister are willing to seriously invest in a new and more vibrant relationship with our close – and very youthful – neighbour.

All the indications are that they will.

Ross Taylor AM is the Chairman of the Indonesia Institute (Inc) and Australia’s 2013 ‘Presidential Friend of Indonesia’.

CAUSINDY welcomes UNSW as a sponsor!

CAUSINDY is proud to announce that the University of New South Wales has joined with CAUSINDY as a sponsor.

UNSW is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities and the university’s reputation is based on the strength of its research activities, links with industry and for its strong regional and global engagement.

UNSW offers Indonesian studies and language through its Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as well as a number of Indonesia-focused courses through other Faculties, including Law. UNSW was the first Australian university to accept scholarship students through the Colombo Plan and has welcomed Indonesian students to its campus for more than 60 years.

We warmly welcome UNSW as a sponsor of CAUSINDY 2013.

CAUSINDY welcomes Anthropologist Jacqui Baker on board as a speaker

JacquelineBakerCAUSINDY is excited to welcome Jacqui Baker as a speaker. Jacqui has a very unique experiences with the Australia Indonesia relationship. While most of the time she is infatuated with the country, she has found also found herself in very challenging situations feeling vulnerable, afraid and uncomfortable.

Delegates will have the opportunity learn how Jacqui overcame these challenges as she dealt with Indonesian police and military officers, gang and militia members, Chinese capitalists, drug offenders, politicians and illicit casino operators to produce some inspiring work including  a audio piece in collaboration with ABC Radio National, Eat Pray Mourn, a radio documentary that uses public storytelling to present research on the killing of petty criminals in Jakarta. You can find this audio here 

She once conducted a Kopaja bus from Ancol to Blok M and don’t feed her kripik tempe because once she starts, she can’t stop.

Welcome aboard, Austrade!

We are pleased to announce that the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), has become a sponsor of CAUSINDY 2013.

Austrade helps Australian businesses to take advantage of commercial opportunities in Indonesia, helps Australian businesses understand the Indonesian marketplace and has an extremely important role in promoting our education sector in Indonesia. Austrade also promotes Australian investment opportunities to Indonesian investors.

Austrade has undertaken some great work in building person-to-person links with Indonesia. In April this year Austrade held a seminar in Jakarta on entrepreneurial skills with 60 returned Indonesian female alumni of Australian universities. Engaging with returned alumni of Australian universities was a key recommendation in AIYA’s recent submission to the Asian Century White Paper Indonesia Country Strategy. Consequently, we are pleased to see Austrade demonstrating innovation in this area.

Based on Austrade’s strong track record in building connections with Indonesia we are pleased to welcome Austrade again to its partnership with CAUSINDY. We look forward to building a strong relationship into the future.