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Australia-Indonesia Institute Annual Report 2000-2001

Annual Report 2000–2001 home | Mission statement | Chairman’s statement | Board membership | Media | Youth and education | Arts and sport | Civil society | Commercial and the professions | Administrative overview | Appendix A: Financial statements | Appendix B: Order-in-Council

CIVIL SOCIETY PROGRAM

The Institute aims to assist Indonesia to strengthen its civil society by providing non-government groups with training and specialist advice and through support for institution building.

The Institute’s Civil Society program was initiated in 1998 in response to the political and social changes occurring in Indonesia at that time. As the situation in Indonesia evolves, the Institute has continued to promote the development of relationships between Indonesian civil society leaders and organisations and their Australian counterparts. A growing interest for the Institute is inter-faith issues, aimed at promoting mutual religious understanding in Indonesia and Australia, and the Board was pleased to be able to support projects in this area. The Institute also provided support during 2000–2001 in another key social sector — gender issues.

Griffith University–State Islamic Institute (IAIN) research workshop

The Institute sponsored a seminal two-day research workshop in Jakarta organised collaboratively by Griffith University’s School of Asian and International Studies and the State Islamic Institute (IAIN), Jakarta. Entitled ‘Urban Sufism, Alternative Paths to Liberalism and Modernity in Contemporary Indonesian Islam’, the workshop sought to improve understanding in Australia of liberal currents in Indonesian Islam and develop the research capacities of both countries around this topic. It drew together a highly qualified and enthusiastic group of researchers and public commentators.

During the workshop, key conceptual issues were discussed in depth leading to discussions on a range of possible projects on liberal expressions of Islamic spirituality (primarily Sufism) in modern Indonesian society. The workshop also represented a valuable springboard for the development of institutional linkages between IAIN and Griffith University.

Enhancing women’s participation in politics

The AII provided sponsorship to the Indonesian Centre for Women in Politics (ICWIP) to facilitate the review, development and refinement of training aids relating to women’s participation in public policy decision-making. Workshops were held in May and June 2001.

The workshops represented the first phase in an ICWIP strategy to create a critical mass of women involved in policy-making in support of the democratisation process in Indonesia.

CIVICUS Asia Pacific: Third Regional Assembly

Institute support assisted CIVICUS Asia Pacific to conduct its Third Asia Pacific Regional Assembly in Jakarta. CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. The aims of the Assembly were to: draw media attention to the development of democracy in the region, especially Indonesia; build a dialogue on the process of democratisation; and help realise the leadership potential of individual delegates. The Assembly was conducted in collaboration with Voice Centre Indonesia (VCI), a non-government organisation (NGO) established to foster democratic values and institutions in Indonesia.

In addition to 103 participants from the wider Asia Pacific region, 52 civil society leaders from Indonesia attended the Assembly. Keynote speakers included the CIVICUS Secretary General and Indonesia’s Minister for Settlement and Regional Development. Prominent academics and business figures, senior NGO representatives and a representative from the UNDP office in Indonesia also gave presentations.

Key Indonesia-related outcomes of the Assembly were participants’ recommendations that Indonesian civil society be supported by its organisational membership of CIVICUS and that representatives from Indonesian civil society, government and business be encouraged to attend CIVICUS World Assemblies.

AusHeritage: Conservation Program in the Kraton of Yogyakarta

The Institute also continued during 2000–2001 to promote links between Australian conservationists and their Indonesian counterparts. Institute support for AusHeritage’s Conservation Program in the Kraton (palace) of Yogyakarta enabled it to advance a number of aspects of the Yogyakarta project, including the establishment within the Kraton of a heritage trail, brochures and guidebooks, and signage.

Indonesian Regional Science Association: Third Annual Conference

Institute sponsorship was provided for the Third Annual Conference of the Indonesian Regional Science Association (IRSA), held in Jakarta in March 2001. The theme of the conference focused on decentralisation in Indonesia. It was organised by Dr Budy Resosudarmo, one of Indonesia’s most prominent regional planners, with assistance from an advisory committee headed by Professor Emil Salim from the University of Indonesia and Professor Bambang Bintoro, the IRSA President.

Issues considered during the conference’s general sessions and opening roundtable included sustainable development in Indonesia; economic challenges in the decentralisation era; economic planning; resource and environmental management; planning, governance and institutional development; population and urbanisation; investment, industry and trade; and developments in regional science. The discussions provided important analysis of major public policy challenges presently faced by the Indonesian Government.

Participants in the IRSA conference included Indonesian government ministers, parliamentarians, officials and academics and invited overseas academics, including Dr Chris Manning from the Australian National University’s Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies.

Annual Report 2000–2001 home | Mission statement | Chairman’s statement | Board membership | Media | Youth and education | Arts and sport | Civil society | Commercial and the professions | Administrative overview | Appendix A: Financial statements | Appendix B: Order-in-Council