Building ties between Indonesia and Australia: Andrew Leigh, MP

The Member for Fraser, Dr Andrew Leigh, welcomed attendees of the inaugural Conference of Australian and Indonesia Youth (CAUSINDY) to Canberra at the Australian National University (ANU) on Thursday 17 October.

“There’s no better place to introduce young Indonesians to Australian society than Canberra, which is home to our most important civic institutions and the nation’s premier universities”, Dr Leigh said.

CAUSINDY is a recently-founded initiative of the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) which brings together 30 young leaders from Australia and Indonesia for a three-day conference.

Hosted by the ANU, participants had the opportunity to connect with experts in business, government and academia, as well as engage in an exchange of ideas with each other on how to build relationships across our two countries.

Dr Leigh featured on a panel discussion on Australia-Indonesia relations along with Professor Tim Lindsey, an Indonesia expert at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Santo Darmosumarto, a former Indonesian diplomat and current advisor to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“What you are doing here today is enormously important,” Dr Leigh told CAUSINDY participants.

“What matters are the friendships you forge out of this, and the on-going ties which you can benefit from.”

Dr Leigh highlighted the importance of his own personal experiences spending time with his parents in Indonesia as a child, being the only westerner at the local school he attended.

“In the Australia in which my parents’ generation grew up, our relationship with Asia developed with the White Australia Policy as a background.

“Yet while the White Australia Policy has come and gone, the fact is that too few Australians work and study in Asia.”

Dr Leigh spoke about the role that the Australian Parliament can play in building the relationship. “We need to ensure that our parliament becomes more Asia-literate,” he urged.

ANU announces its delegate to CAUSINDY 2013!

The Australian National University (ANU) has selected Natalie Sambhi as its delegate to CAUSINDY 2013. Natalie will be representing the university at the conference in her capacity as an ANU alumnus.

Natalie is an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and editor of ASPI’s blog The Strategist. Her research interests include political and security affairs in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. She has previously worked at Department of Defence as an analyst.

Natalie was a Hedley Bull Scholar at ANU where she gained her MA (International Relations)/MDiplomacy. She also holds a BA (Asian Studies) (Hons) from the University of Western Australia. Natalie is currently the vice-president of the ACT branch of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA).

In 2010, she founded Security Scholar, a blog on security and defence issues. You can follow Natalie on Twitter at @SecurityScholar. She enjoys travelling regularly to Indonesia, improving her Indonesian language skills and playing the cello.

Announcing the Australian Embassy in Jakarta’s delegate to CAUSINDY

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta is proud to support Benazir Syahril as its delegate to CAUSINDY 2013. Benazir Syahril is currently a Finance Manager at Amartha Microfinance, a social business institution in Indonesia focusing on providing affordable financial services for the low-income earners in rural areas. She previously completed a Bachelor of Accounting & Finance degree with Honours at the University of West England, Bristol. She believes in the importance of microfinance as a platform for empowering women, and believes it allows Indonesians and Australians to exchange and transfer their skills and knowledge, enabling a sustainable and people-oriented relationship for the two nations.

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.

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.

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.

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.