Thursday 17th October

Panel: Starting with cross-cultural engagement

“In almost every dimension of national life – geography, history, economics, religion, language and culture – Australia is as different from Indonesia as two countries can be.” – Hugh White
Although we aren’t the most similar neighbours, we can still lend a cup of sugar. To get past the sugar stage of our friendship, a mutual understanding of the culture is required. Both nations have rich histories and values and through stronger engagement these can be shared.

Panellists will expand upon the building blocks of cross-cultural engagement and what this means for future relations. We look forward to a specific focus on our national languages, current and historical political practises as well as measures to conquer societal misconceptions. Beyond that, discussion will extend to why understanding of culture is so important. Delegates can expect advice from the expert panel on how their actions within this realm can form the basis of an effective bilateral relationship.

  • Dwi Novi Djenar - Chair of the Department of Indonesian Studies, USYD
  • Fiona Hoggart – Director Indonesia Desk DFAT
  • Dr Ariel Heryanto - Deputy Directo, School of Culture, ANU

Panel: The relationship – why we should care?

What makes the Australia-Indonesia relationship unique? Why will the relationship grow in importance as the two countries become pivotal powers in a dynamic region of growing global influence?  We all know the relationship between the nations is more important than just asylum seekers policy, livestock trade and military issues. Topics discussed in this panel will delve into how we can be better neighbours and harness collaborative potential. Panellists will draw on their personal experiences and professional expertise to encourage next generation of leaders to continue building careers which will further strengthen the relationship.

Friday 18th October

Panel: Economic and Political Update

As the two largest economies in the Asia-Pacific, Indonesia and Australia play an increasingly vital role in the region. Currently there is a $14.6 billion (2012) trade partnership between the nations focused on wheat, oil, education services and tourism. On current trends, Indonesia is on course to become the seventh-largest economy by 2030 from 16th today. Indonesia is Australia’s biggest recipient of foreign aid valued at $646.8 million for 2013-2014.

Given this, can Australia and Indonesia be collaborating more to ensure greater prosperity and social welfare? The governments of both nations are currently seeking to actively strengthen economic and political ties for continued growth in the relationship. This session aims to expand upon these current efforts as well as today’s and tomorrow’s opportunities in a political and economic context.

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

Inspiring the next era of leaders to think about how they can contribute to the future of the relationship is critical. It’s only with a generational change in mindset and transferable skill sets surrounding the partnership that collaborative true potential can be reached. The power of youth is undeniable. Half of Indonesia’s population is under the age of 30. In Australia, opportunities to study Indonesian language are more prominent than ever. Now it’s our turn to take the lead, both in acting as agents of change as well as unlocking the potential of others in respect to Australian-Indonesian partnership. Panellists in this session will discuss what they think the key issues will be going forward and give delegates advice on how they can harness the present in order to shape the future.

  • John Denton, Corrs Lawyers Partner and CEO
  • Kirsten Sayers, CEO RedR Australia, Former Senior Trade Investment Commissioner
  • Mark Pruden, Social Infrastructure Cardno
  • Session moderator: Bonny Symons-Brown, Producer, Australian Broadcasting Corporatation

Saturday 19th October

Delegates will be put split up into 3 groups 10 based on their areas of expertise (Politics, Government and policy and Commerce) they will be required to work together to develop action plans on how the two countries can best work together to “tackle” the current and future challenges.

On the final day of the conference, each group will present their findings to an expert panel for feedback. These plans will implemented by the delegates using their new networks and contacts and by applying the knowledge they’ve developed during the conference.

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

University of Melbourne, School of Government

Australia and Indonesia are both increasingly important states in the Asia-Pacific region.  They are both growing economies, with strategic significance for major powers such as China and the United States.  They each have influence in multilateral bodies such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), and their respective foreign policies are oriented toward greater activism in the region. In particular, Indonesia’s increasingly confident foreign policy outlook facilitates its role as the ‘natural leader’ of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as its largest and most popular state. However, Australia-Indonesia relations face some diplomatic challenges (at present, for example, the issue of asylum seekers).

In this seminar we will explore various facets of Australian and Indonesian foreign policies, and in particular, Australia-Indonesia relations in the context of multilateral institutions.  We will consider how the two states interact in multilateral forums such as the EAS and ASEAN.  These forums are currently grappling with the so-called ‘pivot’ of the United States towards the region, and the complex presence of China (in terms of investment and trade but also territorial disputes with some Southeast Asian states).  In this context, both Indonesia and Australia seek to shape regional affairs. It is in both Australia’s and Indonesia’s interests to prioritise their relationship, and to resolve any diplomatic tensions.  Workshop participants are invited to contribute their own experiences of Australia-Indonesia relations in the Asia-Pacific region, and to debate contemporary questions and issues.

Facilitator: Dr Avery Poole, Lecturer International Relations, UMelb

Panel: Learning from unique experiences in the relationship

With such diversity between the two nations there are many potential ties between the Australian and Indonesian businesses and communities. Yet the smooth sailing of bilateral engagement won’t come without challenges. Australia and Indonesia are very different nations and these differences need to be understood and overcome. Panellists look forward to sharing some first-hand stories relating to this. In doing so the opportunity for measured international expansion and the role youth can play within will be discussed.

  • Dr Jacqui Baker, Visiting Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Change, ANU
  • Fitrian Ardiansyah, Environment Advisor, PHD candidate Crawford School of Public Policy ANU
  • Kirrilee Hughes, Associate Director, International Sponsors, UNSW

Sunday 20th October

Presentation of findings to an expert panel

Delegate groups will present their action plans and receive feedback from an expert panel on how they can improve their plan and practically put it into action. The plans will be consolidated after the conference by a commissioned expert and distributed as an plan to action involving all the delegates.

Expert Panel

  • Leith Doody, Former Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, AUSTRADE
  • Public Policy Expert, TBC