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Australian Indonesia Institute - Annual Report 1999-2000

Home . Mission statement . Chairman's statement . Board membership . Media program . Youth and education program Arts and sport program . Commercial and the professions program . Civil society program . Administrative overview . Appendix A: Financial statements . Appendix B: Order-in-Council


The Institute aims to encourage co-operation between Australian and Indonesian non-government organisations and to assist Indonesia to strengthen its civil society.

The Institute's civil society program was initiated in 1998 in response to the dramatic political and social changes occurring in Indonesia. The program's aim was to assist Indonesia in strengthening its civil society and, in so doing, to promote the development of relationships between Indonesian civil society leaders and organisations and their Australian counterparts. We have sponsored several valuable and well-received projects in this area.

Leadership and advocacy training

The Australian Council for Overseas Aid (ACFOA) coordinated a leadership and advocacy training course for Indonesian leaders from non-government organisations held in May 2000. The AII co-sponsored Indonesian participation with the Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI).

Sixteen participants from across Indonesia attended a course in Canberra covering the topics of media skills, globalisation, organisational capacity and leadership. The course was followed by a two-week work placement in selected Australian non-government organisations. Participants spoke highly of their experiences and their exposure to methods of policy and advocacy work in the Australian context. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Downer, presented the participants with certificates at the conclusion of the course.

Trauma counselling training

The Victorian Centre for the Survivors of Torture held a third intensive workshop on trauma counselling in Jakarta in June 2000. Thirty women from non-government organisations across Indonesia, including Aceh, Irian Jaya, North Sumatra, Maluku and West Timor, took part. An additional half-day workshop held at the participants' request, focused on the empowerment of civil society organisations. Ongoing contact between the participants and trainers has helped reinforce the benefits.

Enforcement of public interest laws

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) co-presented a training workshop for public interest lawyers in Central Java on enforcement of environmental and consumer protection laws through the use of class actions. Thirty Indonesian lawyers, from across Java, with backgrounds in environmental law, human rights and consumer protection, participated in the course.

Workshop on resolution of violent conflicts in Indonesia

The University of Melbourne hosted a conference and workshop coordinated by Associate Professor Charles A Coppel to investigate representation and resolution in violent conflicts in Indonesia. The Institute sponsored the participation of Mr Hilmar Farid, Secretary of the Volunteers for Humanity in Jakarta (Tim Relawan untuk Kemanusiaan).

Academics, activists and journalists from Indonesia, the United States, Singapore and Australia participated in workshops on topics ranging from the conflicts in Aceh and Ambon to the May 1998 anti-Chinese riots in Solo, Central Java. Representatives from Muslim-Aid Australia, the Committee against Racism in Indonesia and the Refugee Review Tribunal also attended. The papers presented at the conference and workshop have been collated for inclusion in a book for publication in both Indonesian and English in 2001.

Workshop on inter-group relations

Ms Lisa Ting from the Australia Indonesia Legal Development Foundation (AILDF) conceived and coordinated a workshop on inter-group relations, held in Indonesia in November 1999, in consultation with the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBH) and the National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas Ham).

The workshop, bringing together sixty participants from key religious, ethnic and other interest groups, was designed to address community concerns following the increasing level of social unrest in 1998 and 1999. A small team of Australians presented Australia's experience of anti-discrimination adjudication, legislation and dispute resolution.

Social development links

The Institute sponsored the participation of two eminent civil society representatives in the field of social development in Indonesia as principal speakers at the 28th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the International Council on Social Welfare held in September 1999.

Ms Sofiati Mukadi, Chairperson, Timber Trade Union of Indonesia and Mr Rustam Yusef, Chair of the coordinating body of social welfare activities for Jakarta and Secretary-General of the Foundation of the Elderly, also participated in field visits to Mission Australia, the Salvation Army, Anglicare, Centacare and the Uniting Church. This project promoted the development of links between social welfare and social development experts in each country as well as advancing an understanding in Indonesia of contemporary Australian social issues.

Islam and democratisation in Indonesia

A collaborative research project involving Professor Nurcholish Madjid from Paramadina University and Professor Virginia Hooker and Mr Yudi Latif from the Australian National University, will result in the publication of a book on Islam in contemporary Indonesia. Institute sponsorship was also aimed more generally at assisting post-graduate training and experience in both institutions.

Law, governance and public sector reform

The Institute sponsored the participation of the Editor-in-Chief of Tempo news magazine, Mr Bambang Harymurti, in a regional conference on law, governance and public sector reform, coordinated by Dr Helen James of the University of Canberra. Mr Harymurti delivered a well-received paper on freedom of the press, and held useful meetings with Australian journalism lecturers and students and with senior foreign policy makers.

Conservation of the Kraton in Yogyakarta

AusHeritage members, Mr Rodney Jensen and Professor Ken Taylor, worked closely with the staff from the Kraton of Yogyakarta in 2000 to establish the first phase of a conservation program for the Kraton. The project, funded by the Institute, focused on the development of a potential heritage trail and the implementation, in collaboration with the Australian Museum in Sydney and architecture students from the University of Gajah Mada, of market research into the cultural industries of the Kraton as a basis for enhancing conservation through cultural tourism.


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Home . Mission statement . Chairman's statement . Board membership . Media program . Youth and education program Arts and sport program . Commercial and the professions program . Civil society program . Administrative overview . Appendix A: Financial statements . Appendix B: Order-in-Council