Confirmed Speakers

Expert Panel


Keynote speaker

Mr Sidney Myer AM


Sid Myer has been the Chairman of Asialink since 2005, an organization that builds the impact, influence and engagement of Australia and Australians in Asia.  Now 23 years old, it delivers programs in education, arts and culture, Track 2 Dialogues, leadership training, community health and corporate and public policy.

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.

Mr Richard Woolcott AC

Richard_Woolcott-200pxx214Mr Richard Woolcott AC is the Founding Director of the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre and has been a member of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue since 1992. He is also a member of the International Council of the New York-based Asia Society. In June 2008 he was appointed the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to develop an Asia Pacific Community concept.

He was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1988 to 1992 and served as deputy to the High Commissioner in Malaysia, Commission in Singapore, High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador to the Philippines, Ambassador to Indonesia and Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1982–1988), where he also represented Australia on the Security Council (19851986)

He was Chairman of the Australia Indonesia Institute (1992–1998) and a member of the Advisory Panel for the first Government White Paper on Foreign and Trade Policy, published in 1997.

Mr Woolcott was closely involved with the establishment of the Asia Pacific Regional Economic Cooperation forum (APEC). He has carried out Special Envoy roles for Prime Ministers Holt, Whitlam, Hawke, Howard, and, most recently, Rudd.

He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1985 and a Companion in the Order in 1993. He was awarded the Bintang Mahaputra Utama by the Government of Indonesia in 200 for his contribution to bilateral and regional relationships. He was awarded the 2008 Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Asia Medal for his contribution to Australia’s relationships with Asian countries. In 2008 he was selected as one of the inaugural Fellows of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Melbourne in March 2012 and gave the 15th Annual Hawke Lecture in Adelaide in November 2012.

Mr Woolcott has contributed articles to leading Australian and overseas newspapers and journals. He is the author of The Hot Seat: Reflections of Diplomacy from Stalin’s Death to the Bali Bombings, published in 2003 by Harper Collins and Undiplomatic Activities, published by Scribe in 2007.

Professor Tim Lindsey

tim lindsey 1 160 x 120Professor Tim Lindsey is Malcolm Smith Professor of Asian Law and founding Director of the Centre for Islamic Law and Society at the University of Melbourne. He is also chair of the Australia-Indonesia Institute, an advisory board within the DFAT and was a member of the Reference Group for the National Asian Languages and Studies in School Program. In 2006, Tim received a Carrick Teaching Awards Citation for his work with international students and in 2007 the Malcolm Smith Award for Excellence in Teaching. A founding editor of The Australian Journal of Asian Law, he has written extensively on Indonesia.

His publications include include Indonesia: Law and SocietyCorruption in Asia: Rethinking the Governance ParadigmChinese Indonesians: Remembering, Distorting, Forgetting; and Law Reform in Developing and Transitional States.   In 2012, he published a three volume series Islam, Law and the State in Southeast Asia (I: Indonesia, II: Singapore; III: Malaysia and Brunei), andThe Indonesian Constitution: A Contextual Analysis.

Dr. Santo Darmosumarto

Bio Photo - Santo DarmosumartoSanto Darmosumarto is Assistant Special Staff on International Relations for the President of Indonesia.

Santo began his diplomatic career in 2000, joining the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after having completed his studies in Canada. He was posted as political officer at the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing in 2005-2009. Presently, he also lectures at Paramadina University Graduate School of Diplomacy and is Associate Fellow at The Habibie Center.

Santo’s academic interests include Chinese politics and foreign policy, East Asian affairs, middle power diplomacy, and the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. He obtained his PhD from Monash University, where he was also teaching assistant for courses on international relations and Australian foreign policy.

Mr John W. H. Denton


Partner & CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, John is a global leader in three arenas; a legal expert in the areas of government, workplace relations, and international trade and investment; a national business leader and an international adviser on global policy.

John is one of three Prime Ministerial representatives on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC); a Board Member of the Business Council of Australia (BCA); a Board Member of Asialink and Asia Society; Chairman (emeritus) of the Experts Group on Trade and Investment in Indonesia; Chairman of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Australia for more than a decade (among other important positions).

John was also an external adviser on the Federal Government advisory panel that oversaw the development of the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper released in October 2012 and a member of the Australian Government Cabinet sub-committee for the Asian Century White Paper review process. He is now a member of the Strategic Advisory Board advising the Government on implementation of the White Paper and on emerging policy issues.

He is recognised as one of the best labour law practitioners in the Asia Pacific by Asialaw Leading Lawyers Survey and one of Australia’s best government and trade lawyers in the Best Lawyers peer survey.

Dr Avery Poole

Avery_Poole (54 of 66)-2

Avery Poole is a Lecturer in International Relations in the School of Social and Political Sciences and the Melbourne School of Government at The University of Melbourne.  She completed her postgraduate studies (MA and PhD) at The University of British Columbia in Canada.  Her research focuses on norms in regional organisations, particularly ASEAN; human rights in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia; the evolution of Indonesia’s regional and global role; and Australian foreign policy towards Southeast Asia.

Avery has previously held positions at KPMG (in Audit and Corporate Recovery) and the Centre of International Relations in the Liu Institute for Global Issues in Vancouver.  She has also been a Visiting Research Associate at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.  She teaches the subjects International Governance & Law and Human Rights in the Master of International Relations degree program, in the new Melbourne School of Government.

Mr Harsya Prasetyo

Harsya Prasetyo is the Head of Marketing and Sales for First State Investments in Indonesia. Prior to this he was the Head of Investment, Treasury Product and FX Sales at Citi in Indonesia. During his nine years at the bank, he has led retail investment product distribution, cash FX, and structured products, as well as managing Citigold’s customer portfolio. Mr Prasetyo helped the retail investment business successfully maneuver the 2008 financial crisis and the regulatory changes that followed. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Manufacturing) and Commerce (Finance) from the University of Melbourne, and obtained his MBA from Melbourne Business School. Mr Prasetyo is also a CFA charterholder.

Ms Kirsten Sayers

Kirsten Sayers, CEO RedR Australia

Former lawyer and senior diplomat, Kirsten has extensive experience in a range of commercially-oriented government, corporate, and advisory roles. Kirsten is currently CEO of RedR Australia, a humanitarian organisation supplying skilled personnel to United Nations relief agencies in times of crisis. She was most recently Australia’s Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner to Singapore, and Investment Commissioner to ASEAN. During this period she was also Vice President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

Kirsten has previously held senior diplomatic and commercial appointments in Paris, Bangkok and Taipei. She was Australia’s Chief Negotiator and Delegation Leader to the APEC Women Leaders’ Network meeting and GFPN APEC 2009, and managed Australia’s delegation to the APEC CEO Summit the same year. She specialised in Asian laws, humanitarian and international law, and speaks English, Mandarin, French, Vietnamese, Norwegian and Swedish to various degrees. Kirsten is an Asia Literacy Ambassador and a Companion of Engineers Australia.

Dr Dave McRae

McRae bio shotDr Dave McRae is a research fellow in the East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He has researched conflict, politics, democratisation and human rights issues in Indonesia for over a decade. His book on post-authoritarian violence in Indonesia, A Few Poorly Organized Men: Interreligious Violence in Poso, Indonesia was published by Brill in 2013. He has previously worked as Lead Researcher for the World Bank’s Conflict and Development Team in Indonesia between 2008 and 2010, and as a consultant and analyst for the International Crisis Group in Jakarta between 2004 and 2006, researching and writing reports on most of Indonesia’s major conflict areas. He holds a PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from the Australian National University, is an alumnus of the ACICIS and Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Programs, and speaks fluent Indonesian.

Dr. Dwi Noverini Djenar

Novi DjenarNovi Djenar is Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Department of Indonesian Studies, The University of Sydney. She is an alumnus of Gajah Mada University and holds a PhD in linguistics from the University of Melbourne. Novi is the author of A Student’s Guide to Indonesian Grammar (2003), Semantic, pragmatic and discourse perspectives of preposition use: a study of Indonesian locatives (2007), and co-author of the second edition of Indonesian Reference Grammar (2010, with James Sneddon, Alexander Adelaar, and Michael Ewing), and has published refereed articles on Indonesian youth language and variation. Currently she is completing an edited book on language and identity (Mouton de Gruyter, 2014) and is also working on a collaborative project on youth interactional styles (with Michael Ewing and Howard Manns). Prior to moving to Sydney in 2009, Novi was the co-ordinator of Indonesian at La Trobe University and the vice-convenor of the Indonesian community radio (Radio Kita) in Melbourne.

The Hon. Dr. Andrew Leigh

aleighSince 2010, Andrew Leigh has served as the Federal Member for Fraser. Andrew grew up in Malaysia, Indonesia, Melbourne and Sydney, which contributed to his profound sense of how important inclusive communities are. Andrew and his grandparents regularly welcomed Indigenous families and newly arrived refugees to their home, which helped inform Andrew’s lifelong passion for Australia’s multiculturalism.

A former associate to Michael Kirby, Andrew’s last job before entering parliament was as an economics professor at the Australian National University. He was awarded the ‘Young Economist Award’, a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best Australian economist under 40.

Much of his economic research has been devoted to the vast challenges of reducing poverty and disadvantage. He believes that rising inequality strains the social fabric and that too much inequality cleaves us one from another: occupying different suburbs, using different services, and losing our sense of shared purpose.

Andrew is a fan of the Brumbies, Raiders and Capitals. He enjoys spending time with his wife Gweneth and their three sons, Sebastian, Theodore and Zachary

Dr Jacqui Baker


Jacqui Baker is a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Change where she lectures on Indonesian politics. She is a John Monash scholar and her fellowship supported her Masters in Social Anthropology and a PhD in Government, both from the London School of Economics. Jacqui has worked in development in Jakarta with the Asia Foundation and the British Council and provided research for CAVR, International IDEA and Amnesty International. Her fieldwork in Indonesia has taken her to from the headquarters of Laskar Jihad in Ambon to mass graves in Timor, and from Jakarta’s illegal gambling dens to the city’s prisons. In early 2013, Jacqui collaborated with ABC Radio National to make Eat Pray Mourn, a radio documentary that uses public storytelling to present research on the killing of petty criminals in Jakarta. 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.

Mr Fitrian Ardiansyah

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 10.16.09 PMFitrian Ardiansyah is a climate and sustainability specialist, and has over sixteen years’ experience in the fields of natural resource management, climate change, energy and sustainability. At present, he is finalising his doctoral research at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is also the Program Development Director for Pelangi Indonesia and Fellow at the International League of Conservation Writers.

Last year, he contributed to the formulation of a policy paper which was used by the Indonesian president at the United Nations’ High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda. In previous years, he was a Program Director for Climate and Energy (WWF-Indonesia), and an expert member of the Indonesia Forest Climate Alliance (IFCA) and the Indonesian Official Delegates to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He was also actively serving as a member of the Advisory Board of the Asian Young Leaders Climate Forum and the Executive Board of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Fitrian is a prolific writer, having published more than 80 articles, papers, book chapters and reports for reputable media and organisations across the globe. He has received Australian Leadership Award and Allison Sudradjat Award from the Government of Australia.

Ms Kirrilee Hughes

Kirrilee Hughes-1Kirrilee Hughes is Associate Director, International Sponsors at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Between 2009 and 2012, Kirrilee was Executive Officer for the Australia Indonesia Business Council. Prior to this, Kirrilee was employed as a Market Manager in the International Division of The University of Newcastle, Australia.

Kirrilee holds undergraduate qualifications in Asian Studies and postgraduate qualifications in Marketing and in Australian Migration Law and Practice. She is fluent in bahasa Indonesia and has worked and studied in Indonesia. Kirrilee also serves on the Board of Directors for AFS Intercultural Programs Australia.

Kirrilee is completing a PhD in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. Her doctoral research focuses on Australia’s Asia literacy programs and is currently under examination.

Dr Ariel Heryanto

heryantoarielAriel Heryanto is Associate Professor and Deputy Director (Education), The School of Culture, History and Language. He joined The ANU in 2009 and held the position as Head of Southeast Asia Centre, Faculty of Asian Studies before it transformed into the School of Culture, History and Language. Previously he was convener of Indonesian Program of the Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne. His first two degrees (Sarjana Muda and Doktorandus) were in Education from Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Indonesia. He gained his MA degree in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan (USA), and PhD degree in cultural anthropology from Monash University.

Mr Mark Pruden

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 5.11.38 PMMark is an international development specialist and experienced manager of development projects around the world, including Indonesia, China, Timor Leste, Sudan, UAE, PNG and Fiji. He currently manages Cardno Emerging Markets’ Asia Pacific social development operations, a portfolio of 20 AusAID and private client projects with a combined contract value of nearly A$500m. He directly manages a team of 27 project management staff, and maintains overall responsibility for the performance of Cardno’s Indonesia, Philippines and PNG offices.

He has extensive experience directly managing complex governance, education, law & justice and agricultural projects for multiple donors across Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. He is the current Contractor Representative for AusAID-funded Timor-Leste Governance for Development Program and National Village Development Program. He leads Cardno’s Governance and Law & Justice Communities of Practice. Mark also spent three years in Indonesia where he led Cardno’s 22 person corporate office and held overall responsibility for the AusAID-funded School Systems and Quality Program, Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice Program, and Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Decentralisation.

Dr Peter McCawley

ADBI--official pic--about 2005Peter McCawley is a visiting fellow in the Indonesian Project, ANU. He is an economist who has worked on Indonesian and Asian economic issues for many years. His most recent work in Indonesia (2011-2013) has been with the SEADI (USAID) project in Jakarta as an economic advisor in the National Planning Board (Bappenas).

He has a PhD in economics from the ANU. He later taught at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta before returning to the ANU and becoming head, Indonesia Project, ANU. In 1986 he joined AusAID as a Deputy Director General and later became an executive director on the board of the Asian Development Bank in Manila. He was dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo in 2003-2007. He has written a number of books and numerous articles about the Indonesian economy and other aspects of Asian economic development.

Mr Debnath Guharoy

DGR1[3]Debnath Guharoy has spent his entire career in marketing services, across the Asia Pacific region. As an adman, he worked in both local CEO and regional roles at JWT, where he was the youngest international vice-president in the world’s oldest ad agency. After 5 years as a successful ad agency partner, he failed as an internet entrepreneur in a start-up with Roy Morgan Research. He turned to market research and consulting with the company, in Australia. It runs the biggest on-going consumer survey in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. He is also a part-time columnist, writer and speaker. Having lived in 7 countries and worked in 17, he is instinctively at home anywhere in the Asia Pacific region. Indonesia has been a second home since 1988.

Philippa Dawson

Philippa is currently the Head of International Issues Branch in Austrade having joined Austrade in 2012.

Since joining the Australian Public Service in 1999, Philippa has also worked in both the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, serving overseas as the Second Secretary and Consul in Washington DC from 2001 – 2004.

From July – September 2010 Philippa worked a communications consultant to the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).

Philippa has a Bachelor of Economics majoring in Japanese, Graduate Diplomas in International Relations and Public Policy and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Communication.

Expert Panel

Mr Leith Doody

photoLeith has four decades of experience in general management of international organisations, including sitting on a number of Boards, in both the public and private sector. Leith served for 10 years with Austrade including position as Regional Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to Indonesia and during this time acted as an advisor on several important issues including ASEAN FTA and live cattle trade. He’s also served as a board member on several government and private companies including Indonesia Australian Business Council (IABC)

Mr Danny De Schutter

Danny De Schutter is a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in Canberra. Prior to this he held senior management positions with Accenture and boutique consulting firms. He focuses on large organisational transformation work across a wide range of industries and the public sector. His many projects have led him to live and work in many countries in Europe and the world, including in Bangladesh and Thailand.

Danny holds a Masters degree in Commercial Engineering from the University of Antwerp and the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe Institute, Frankfurt-am-Main. He speaks Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish and Indonesian. He is married to Ayu and together have two children Tristan and Kirana, whom they raise trilingually (English, Indonesian, Dutch).

Panel Moderators

Ms Bonny Symons Brown

bsbBonny Symons-Brown is a producer for the ABC. She previously spent two years in Indonesia, producing and presenting BeritaSatu TV’s morning news and freelancing for CBS, Deutsche Welle and Channel Nine. She has written for The West Australian and Australian Financial Review newspapers. Bonny has reported from the Canberra press gallery for AAP and now produces ABC News 24′s The World program in Sydney.

Mr Auskar Surbakti

Auskar profile photo4Auskar Surbakti is an award-winning multi-platform journalist with the ABC. He is a reporter and anchor for the nightly ABC News bulletins on the broadcaster’s international channel, Australia Network, which broadcasts to over 40 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. He is also a reporter and presenter for the nightly current affairs program Newsline and a presenter on Radio Australia, NewsRadio and Radio National. Before joining the ABC, Auskar was a journalist for SBS, working across the network’s TV and radio news and current affairs programs. Auskar’s stories have also featured on CNN. He has met and interviewed Pope Benedict XVI, raising the issue of sex abuse with him; he’s twice had a private audience with the Dalai Lama and he’s met royalty from India, Britain and Spain, as well as leading news-makers in Asia. He covers a diverse range of stories from around the region, from natural disasters to politics and religion. He has worked extensively in Indonesia and is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia. His ‘Rebuilding Aceh’ series won a United Nations media award and he is also the recipient of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Elizabeth O’Neill Journalism Award. Auskar also moderates discussions on development issues for the World Bank.