Conference Wrap-Up

The inaugural Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth took place in Canberra from the 17th to the 20th of October, 2013. 28 delegates from around Australia and Indonesia headed to the Australian National University for four days of panel discussions, social events, and activities.


On the final day, the delegates developed actionable recommendations to strengthen the relationship which will be submitted to the Australian and Indonesian government and industry bodies.

Drawing on the insights they developed throughout the conference, some of these recommendations included an elite internship program for talented youth to access relevant in-country work experience, a cultural hub to facilitate stronger cultural understanding and an SME Mentorship program to strengthen trade and investment.

This report will be available on our website early December.

Day 1: Breakfast and KBRI Canberra

Delegates met for breakfast at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, where they were addressed by conference co-founder Chris Urbanski, the Australian National University's Dr Peter McCawley, and former Australian ambassador to Indonesia Richard Woolcott.

Shortly afterwards, the group moved to the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra for our first panel discussion, Starting with cross-cultural engagement. Dwi Novi Djenar, Fiona Hoggart and Dr Ariel Heryanto spoke about the 'building blocks' of cross-cultural engagement.

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Next, the ABC's Bonny Symons-Brown spoke to Richard Woolcott about his experiences in the relationship, and delegates were officially welcomed to the embassy by with a performance by KBRI's Pak Gede.

Delegates then spent the afternoon on a tour of Canberra, including a visit to the National Gallery of Australia and Mount Ainslie (pictured right).

Panel: The relationship — why we should care

Later that afternoon, Professor Tim Lindsey, Dr Santo Darmosumarto and Dr Andrew Leigh, MP, joined us to discuss how Australia and Indonesia could be better neighbours.

Professor Lindsey highlighted the decline in Asian studies in Australia, and the need for greater nuance in Australian media's reporting on Indonesia, while Dr Leigh highlighted the need for more Indonesia-literate MPs in Australia's parliament.

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CAUSINDY Gala Dinner

That evening, CAUSINDY was officially opened with a Gala Dinner at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, with special guest keynote speaker Sid Myer AM, Chairman of the Asialink Board. The dinner was an opportunity for delegates, speakers and sponsors to come together to celebrate the bilateral relationship.


Day 2: ABC International Workshop

Erwin Renaldi from Radio Australia's Indonesian service joined us to talk about social media, including their Facebook page and #ramyworld.


Panel: Economic and political update

Next, the conference was joined by Dr David McRae, Dr Harsya Prasetyo and Debnath Guharoy, who discussed the future of Indonesia's economy, and efforts to strengthen the relationship through strengthen economic and political ties.

The Australia Network's Karen Barlow sat in on some conference sessions, and filed a news report from the sidelines:


Panel: OUR turn to decide, shaping the future of the relationship

After lunch, John Denton, Kirsten Sayers and Mark Pruden discussed what they thought the key issues in the relationship will be going forward, and gave delegates advice on how they can harness the present in order to shape the future. Delegates then broke into groups to discuss these ideas with each speaker.

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Networking at the National Gallery of Australia

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That evening, delegates joined conference sponsors, speakers, and members of the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association and Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia-Australia for an evening of networking at the National Gallery of Australia.

AIYA's national President Arjuna Dibley, and Austrade International Issues Branch head Philippa Dawson spoke, followed by a ukelele performance by Orkes Ukelele Indonesia.

Day 3 Workshop: Australia-Indonesia relations in the context of Asia-Pacific regionalism

Melbourne University's Dr Avery Poole spoke to delegates about the various facets of Australian and Indonesian foreign policies, and in particular, Australia-Indonesia relations in the context of multilateral institutions.

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Panel: Learning from unique experiences in the relationship

In the final panel session of the conference, Dr Jacqui Baker, Fitrian Ardiansyah and Kirrilee Hughes joined Hugh Passmore to share their own first-hand stories about overcoming differences in the bilateral relationship.


Delegates then broke into groups, and spent the afternoon planning their presentations and final recommendations for the CAUSINDY expert panel.

Day 4: Expert panel and recommendations

The three delegate groups—Evatt, O'Neill, and Sudirman—presented their findings to an expert panel: Former Trade and Investment Commissioner Leith Doody and the Boston Consulting Group's Danny de Schruter.

Finally, delegates shared lunch together, and made their final farewells after a busy—and successful—four days.