Australian attitudes towards Indonesia
A DFAT-commissioned Newspoll report

May 2013

Introduction

Indonesia is an important regional partner for Australia. It is a democracy and a rich, diverse and moderate Islamic country, with a rapidly developing economy. Our trade and cultural links with Indonesia need to be profound and strong as the Asian Century progresses.

In 2012, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) commissioned Newspoll to survey Australian attitudes to Indonesia. A sample of 1,200 adults across Australia was asked about their knowledge of Indonesia and for their thoughts on the importance of the bilateral relationship.

Some misunderstandings about Indonesia on the part of Australians have been thrown up by the research. A substantial number of Australians are unaware of Indonesia's robust legal system, its positive role in world affairs such as the G20, and the fact that Indonesia is a middle power and not a poor country.

In the leadup to our Year of Focus on Indonesia, DFAT is publishing the research report as part of its contribution to a public discussion.

Index of figures

Figure 1
Percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts
Figure 2
Thermometer rating of Indonesia
Figure 3
Trust in Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute)
Figure 4
Perceptions of Indonesia
Figure 5
Perceptions of Indonesia index
Figure 6
Segmentation
Figure 7
Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship
Figure 8
Concern about policy issues
Figure 9
Countries most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five)
Figure 10
Importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute)
Figure 11
Australia – Indonesia links index
Figure 12
Self-rating of knowledge on Indonesia by demographics
Figure 13
Awareness of Bali as part of Indonesia by demographics
Figure 14
Awareness of poverty levels in Indonesia by demographics
Figure 15
Knowledge of facts about Indonesia
Figure 16
Percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts
Figure 17
Knowledge of Indonesian facts index
Figure 18
Knowledge of Indonesian facts index by demographics
Figure 19
Reported incidence of travel to Indonesia by demographics
Figure 20
Likelihood of travelling to Indonesia in next 10 years by demographics
Figure 21
Incidence of Indonesian language study by demographics
Figure 22
Top of mind perceptions of Indonesia
Figure 23
Top of mind perceptions of Indonesian (negative or positive)
Figure 24
Thermometer rating of Indonesia
Figure 25
Thermometer rating of Indonesia by demographics
Figure 26
Reason for thermometer rating of Indonesia
Figure 27
Reason for thermometer rating of Indonesia
Figure 28
Trust in Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute)
Figure 29
Trust in Indonesia by demographics
Figure 30
Perceptions of Indonesia
Figure 31
Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Economy
Figure 32
Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Attractive values
Figure 33
Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Good political system
Figure 34
Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Respects its neighbours
Figure 35
Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Good place to visit
Figure 36
Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Important country in region
Figure 37
Religious tolerance in Indonesia
Figure 38
Religious tolerance in Indonesia (Lowy Institute)
Figure 39
Perceptions of Indonesia index
Figure 40
Perceptions of Indonesia index by demographics
Figure 41
Segmentation
Figure 42
Segmentation by demographics
Figure 43
Segment profile
Figure 44
Perceptions of Indonesian attitudes toward Australia by demographics
Figure 45
Perceptions of Indonesian / Australian commonalities
Figure 46
Perceptions of Indonesian / Australian commonalities by demographics
Figure 47
What Indonesians and Australians have in common
Figure 48
Perceptions of bilateral relationship by demographics
Figure 49
Perceptions of cooperation between Australia and Indonesia by demographics
Figure 50
Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship
Figure 51
Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship by demographics
Figure 52
Concern about policy issues
Figure 53
Direction of change in policy issues over two years
Figure 54
Indonesian action on policy issues
Figure 55
Terrorism concern and beliefs by demographics
Figure 56
Terrorism concern and beliefs by demographics
Figure 57
‘People smuggling’ concern and beliefs by demographics
Figure 58
‘People smuggling’ concern and beliefs by demographics
Figure 59
Treatment of livestock concern and beliefs by demographics
Figure 60
Indonesian justice concern and beliefs by demographics
Figure 61
Countries most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five)
Figure 62
Indonesia most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five) by demographics
Figure 63
Feasibility of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute)
Figure 64
Importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute)
Figure 65
Importance of building close relations with Indonesia by demographics
Figure 66
Attitudes towards Australian – Indonesian links
Figure 67
Australia – Indonesia links index
Figure 68
Australia – Indonesia links index by demographics

1. Overview

A lot of Australians have visited Indonesia – a third of all Australians claim to have visited at some stage, and more than half of all Western Australians. Despite this, our factual knowledge of Indonesia is poor, and we know it. Only 1-in-5 Australian adults describe their knowledge of Indonesia as “good”, and nearly a third say theirs is “poor”.

Only 70% of Australians understand that Bali is part of Indonesia. Less than half understand that Indonesia is a democracy, and a majority wrongly believe that law-making is based on Islamic codes. While most know (or guess) that Australia is Indonesia’s largest aid donor – less than half believe that Indonesia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world or that it is a member of the G20.

When asked to name the first things that come to mind when thinking about Indonesia, an almost equal mix of positive and negative concepts were mentioned. The dominant positive theme was about it being a desirable holiday destination. Negative themes spanned a wider range of topics – including a full vernacular of terms around asylum seekers; terrorism and religious extremism; and drugs.

This poor knowledge and ambiguous imagery translates into ambivalent feelings towards the country. Asked to provide a ‘thermometer’ rating from 0° (very cold, unfavourable) to 100° (very warm, favourable) – both the average (51°) and the most common (50°) rating fell dead in the middle. By comparison, the same question asked of Indonesians about Australia by the Lowy Institute gave exactly the same answer in 2006, before increasing to 62° in 2011.

This tendency for the Indonesian community collectively to be a little more positive about Australia than Australians are about Indonesia is a fairly consistent finding where comparative data exists. For example, a greater proportion of Indonesians trust both their own government and the Australian government to play a positive role in the world than the proportion of Australians who trust the Indonesian government to act responsibly in the world.

Not only is Australian’s knowledge of the Indonesian political system poor – but so too are perceptions of it. Less than 1-in-4 Australians think Indonesia is “a country with a good political system”, and nearly three times as many think it is “a corrupt country”.

Indeed, there is a sense of implied threat from Indonesia which permeates the views of some Australians. This is not specifically articulated, but alongside the range of negative topics that came readily to mind for some respondents, consider the following views:

With such mixed views at the holistic community level, it is of little surprise that there are several quite distinct segments which can be readily identified by mapping out knowledge and perceptions. By calculating a “facts score” and a “perceptions score” for each respondent based on their answers to the respective batteries of questions, a well populated 2-way matrix emerges. What we see is:

One important thing to observe about this matrix is that knowledge is positively correlated with perceptions. That is – the more people know, the more likely they are to be positive about Indonesia. As in any survey data, it is hard to determine in which direction this link operates, but the fact that knowledge and perceptions tend to move in the same direction makes it plausible that improving Australian’s factual knowledge of Indonesia could positively impact attitudes.

Aside from poor knowledge, another likely barrier to the relationship between Australians and Indonesians is a sense of both the people and the governments of the two countries having little in common. Few Australians think the inter-Governmental relationship is ‘bad’ – but many are unsure or ambivalent. Over the last 10 years more than twice as many Australians think the relationship with Indonesia has improved than think it has deteriorated. Over the last two years though, the proportions are equal.

When specifically prompted for their level of concern about a number of significant issues (people smuggling, terrorism, treatment of cattle, and treatment of Australians in the Indonesian justice system), levels of concern are high for all of them (70%-85%). There was a view that the Indonesian government has made at least moderate efforts to improve terrorism and the treatment of Australians in their justice system – but not in the other areas. Concern for Indonesians in the Australian justice system was a little lower, but still strong.

Given all this, it is little surprise that over 90% of Australians think it is at least somewhat important that Australia and Indonesia build close relations. A slightly lower proportion of Indonesians (80%) felt the same way in a 2011 Lowy Institute survey. In general, there was a positive view from Australians about increasing links with Indonesia.

Finally, there are several common demographic trends observed in the community. These are not universal, but sufficiently widespread to be worthy of note. Regional Australians have poorer knowledge of Indonesia, and are less likely to think the two countries have things in common or to support increased links. Men are somewhat more knowledgeable and positive than women. Older Australians have more firsthand experience, but lower knowledge and are less positive; and while they think Indonesia is more important, they are less supportive of increased links. Higher socio-economic households and those with higher levels of education are generally more knowledgeable and more positive, and see more things in common.

Overall, it is clear that Indonesia is perceived as important to Australia (more than a third of Australians spontaneously rate it as one of the top 5 most important countries to our national interest) – but knowledge about it is poor and perceptions are very mixed.

2. Executive summary

2.1 Introduction

This research was commissioned by the Public Diplomacy and Information Branch (PDB) within the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The purpose of the research was to obtain a better understanding of Australians’ beliefs about and perceptions of Indonesia and preferences for the Australia-Indonesia bilateral relationship.

The telephone survey was conducted over the period 8 to 17 June 2012, with a national sample of 1,202 Australian residents aged 18 years or older.

2.2 Knowledge and understanding of Indonesia

One-fifth of Australians believe their level of knowledge about Indonesia is ‘good’, but one-third (31%) believe it is ‘poor’.

About one-quarter of Australians (29%) claim to have travelled to Indonesia. The proportion who have done so is much higher than average in Western Australia (56%). Just over one in ten say they have studied the Indonesian language at some point in their lives.

Despite this exposure to the Indonesian language and culture, awareness of facts about Indonesia is generally poor:

In contrast, the majority of Australians know (or correctly guess) that Australia is Indonesia’s largest aid donor, and that there is not currently an Australian travel advisory against travelling to Indonesia.

Figure 1: Percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts

Bar chart showing the percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts. 'No country donates more aid money to Indonesia than Australia' had the most widespread awareness with 70%, while 'Law-making in Indonesia is not based on Islamic codes' had the lowest with 28%.
Q21. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe this is definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false. Firstly,…

2.3 Perceptions of Indonesia

Asked to name the first three things that come to mind when thinking about Indonesia, the most common response, mentioned by about one-third, was ‘holiday destination’ or similar. Other relatively common responses (mentioned by one in ten or more) included:

Responses to this question were categorised as ‘negative’, ‘positive’ or ‘neutral’. Almost two-thirds (63%) mentioned something negative, but a similar proportion (59%) mentioned something positive.

Using a ‘thermometer’ measure of feelings towards Indonesia, where possible scores range from zero (very cold, unfavourable feeling) to 100 (very warm, favourable feeling), the mean score among Australians is 51° (among those with an opinion). One-fifth (21%) were unable to answer this question. A Lowy Institute Indonesia Poll in 2011 found that Indonesians’ feelings towards Australia were 62°, increasing from a ‘lukewarm’ 51° in 2006.1 In Indonesia in 2011, Australia was the fourth most warmly regarded country, after Japan (66°), Singapore (64°), and the USA (64°).

Figure 2: Thermometer rating of Indonesia

Line chart showing the rating of feelings towards Indonesia by using a 'thermometer' measurement. Among those with an opinion the mean score among Australians is 51°.
Q8. For this next question, I am going to ask you to give a rating, with one hundred meaning a very warm, favourable feeling, zero meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You can use any number from zero to one hundred. Please rate your feelings towards Indonesia. If you have no opinion, please say so.

Those who gave a relatively positive thermometer rating (50+) gave reasons related to tourism, the Indonesian people, and the bilateral relationship. Those who gave a relatively negative thermometer rating (<50) gave reasons relating to the Indonesian government and its laws, issues related to safety and security, specific policy concerns (such as people smuggling), and tourism.

Australians were asked how much they trust Indonesia to play a positive role in the world. Just over half (53%) trust Indonesia at least ‘somewhat’. This contrasts to Indonesians’ trust in their own country to act responsibly in the world (86%). This also compares unfavourably to Indonesians’ faith in Australia to act responsibly (75%).

Figure 3: Trust in Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute) 2

This chart shows the percentage of trust in Indonesia and Australia in terms of Australian views of Indonesia, Indonesian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia. A "Somewhat" level of trust had the highest percentage in all three cases.
(Newspoll) Q17. How much do you trust Indonesia to play a positive role in the world? Do you trust Indonesia…
(Lowy) How much do you trust the following countries to act responsibly in the world?

The majority of Australians are agreed that Indonesia is an important country in the Asia Pacific region (83%) and are also agreed that Indonesia is an important economy (66%). However, Australians are more likely to agree that Indonesia is a poor country (81%). Most Australians also believe that Indonesia is a corrupt country (71%) and very few (24%) believe it has a good political system. Almost half (45%) believe Indonesia is a threat to Australian national security. Most Australians believe that Indonesia is ‘Australia’s friend’ (69%) and is a good place to visit (59%). In fact, Australians are more likely than Indonesians to view the other country as a ‘friend’. However, Australians are divided about whether Indonesia is a country with attractive values (52% agree, but 38% disagree), and about whether it is safe for Australian travellers (52% agree, but 44% disagree). Asked whether religious tolerance in Indonesia has increased or decreased in the last two years, the proportion who thinks religious tolerance in Indonesia has decreased (25%) outnumbers the proportion who believes it has increased (18%).

Figure 4: Perceptions of Indonesia

Bar chart showing Australian perceptions towards Indonesia. Indonesia being seen as 'An important country in our region' and 'A poor country' had the most strong agreement with 47 and 38% respectively. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Strongly disagree; Somewhat disagree; Somewhat agree or Strongly agree.
Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is…
Q19. And do you believe that travelling to Indonesia is safe or dangerous for Australians?
* Note: Responses to Q19 were converted to an agree / disagree scale for the purpose of this analysis.

Ten separate questions gauging perceptions of Indonesia were combined in an average ‘perceptions index’, ranging from a score of zero (very negative perceptions) to 40 (very positive perceptions). The average score among all Australians is 21.

Figure 5: Perceptions of Indonesia index

Column chart depicting the Perceptions of Indonesia index. Between 0 and 40 there is a peak between 22 and 29.
Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is…
Q19. And do you believe that travelling to Indonesia is safe or dangerous for Australians?

By combining score on the ‘perceptions index’ with score on the ‘facts index’, we are able to arrive at a 4-way segmentation of the Australian population.

That these two segments are the largest reflects the fact that knowledge is positively correlated with perceptions; that is, the more knowledgeable an individual is (as indicated by their score on the ‘facts index’), the more positive they tend to be about Indonesia (Pearson r=+.39).

Figure 6: Segmentation

Table comparing the perceptions index and the facts index. The resulting four-way segmentation of the Australian population is: Low/Low = 38%, Low/High = 21%, High/Low = 13% and High/High = 28% (perception/facts).

2.4 Perceptions of bilateral relationship

Between one-quarter and one-third of Australians believe that ordinary Australians and Indonesians, as well as the Australian and Indonesian governments, have ‘quite a bit’ or ‘a lot’ in common, but most Australians think the two countries have few things or nothing in common. Typically the things the two countries are perceived to have in common are people to people links (tourism, immigration), trade and shared business interests, geography, and shared public policy concerns such as people smuggling.

Very few Australians believe that the Australian government has a ‘bad’ relationship with the Indonesian government, but only a bare majority (57%) think it is at least ‘somewhat good’. Many are unsure or ambivalent. But two-thirds (65%) believe that the Australian and Indonesian governments cooperate at least ‘somewhat’.

In terms of Australia’s relationship with Indonesia over the last two to 10 years, net perceived improvement (improvement minus deterioration) is +3% in the last two years and +23% in the last 10 years. In short, while about one-fifth of Australians think the relationship between Australia and Indonesia is deteriorating over time, they are outnumbered by those who think it is improving.

Figure 7: Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship

Column chart showing Australian perceptions on the improvement or deterioration of the Australia – Indonesia relationship in the last 2 and 10 years.
Q16. In your view, over the last (PROG NOTE: RANDOM 50% ASSIGNMENT ‘two’ \ ‘ten’) years, has the overall relationship between Australia and Indonesia…?

2.5 Policy issues

Across a range of policy issues:

Figure 8: Concern about policy issues

Bar chart showing the level of Australian concern about policy issues. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Not at all concerned; Not too concerned; Somewhat concerned or Very concerned.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?

In general, perceptions of policy issues appear to be moving in a positive direction. For example, although Australians tend to be very concerned about people smuggling and terrorism in the region, the majority think that efforts to combat these two issues have increased (55%). Further, 62% of Australians believe that the Indonesian government has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to stop terrorist acts in the region.

On the issue of people smuggling, however, fewer than half (40%) believe the Indonesian government has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to stop smuggling, and more than half believe it has made a weak or no effort.

In terms of people to people links, most Australians also think that the number of Indonesians studying or working in Australia has increased (57%). About half believe that trade and business links have increased (46%), while 41% believe that Australian tourism to Indonesia has increased. The majority of Australians believe that the Indonesian government has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to promote trade and business links with Australia (74%) and encourage tourism to Indonesia (70%).

A majority (61%) of Australians believe that the Indonesian government has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to ensure that Australians accused of crimes in Indonesia are treated justly.

The issue upon which Australians are least convinced is the humane treatment of livestock. Only 37% believe that Indonesia has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to deal with this issue, and 18% think they have made no effort.

2.6 Prioritisation of bilateral relationship

In terms of the countries most important to the Australian national interest, over one-third (38%) of Australians placed Indonesia in their top five countries.

Australians were much more likely to place the United States (86%), China (81%) and the United Kingdom (66%) in their top five countries, and were about equally likely to place New Zealand (41%) and Japan (35%) in their top five.

Figure 9: Countries most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five)

Bar chart showing the percentage of Australians who see specific countries as most important to Australia's national interest, from the USA (86%) to Thailand, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Asia (unspecified) and Greece (all 2%).
Q4. I’d now like to ask you about the relationship between Australia and other countries of the world. You do not need any special knowledge to answer these questions. Which five countries in the world do you think are most important to the Australian national interest?

The majority (56%) of Australians feel that it is ‘very’ important that Australia and Indonesia build close relations, and there is virtually universal agreement that this is at least ‘somewhat’ important (94%). Indonesians were less likely to believe this when surveyed in 2011 by the Lowy Institute.

Figure 10: Importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute) 3

Column chart showing Australian and Indonesian views on the importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia.
(Newspoll) Q27. Thinking about what Australian foreign policy should be trying to achieve, how important is building close relations with Indonesia? Is it…
(Lowy) Thinking about what Indonesian foreign policy should be trying to achieve, I am going to read a list of goals, and ask you to tell me how important each one is for Indonesia. Please say whether you think each issue is very important, fairly important, not very important or not at all important.

In 2012, the vast majority of Australians (75%) believe that cooperation between the Indonesian and Australian governments should be increased; very few (4%) believe it should be decreased. A small majority of Australians believe that trade (57%) and teaching about Indonesia (52%) should be increased.

Australians are more divided about whether the teaching of the Indonesian language to Australian schoolchildren should be increased. While one-third (36%) believe this, one-third (37%) feel current practice is acceptable and 22% believe this should actually be decreased.

On the issue of development assistance to Indonesia, only 18% of Australians believe this should be increased. The largest proportion (45%) believes that aid to Indonesia is probably at the right level, while 29% believe it should be decreased.

Five separate questions gauging support for increased links with Indonesia were combined in an average ‘links index’. Possible scores on the index range from zero to 10, with zero indicating a strong desire for decreased links and 10 indicating a strong desire for increased links. The mean links index score among all Australians is 6.7.

Figure 11: Australia – Indonesia links index

Column chart depicting the Australia – Indonesia links index.
Q26. For each of the following, please tell me whether you think it should probably be increased, is probably at the right level or should probably be decreased.

2.7 Demographic analyses

Geography

Residents of metropolitan areas tend to have better knowledge and understanding of Indonesia than residents of regional areas, are more likely to have travelled to Indonesia and are more likely to think Australia and Indonesia have something in common. They are also more supportive of increased links between Australia and Indonesia.

There are relatively few statistically significant state by state differences in awareness and attitudes. In part this is a function of the survey sample size at the state level:

Gender

In general, men have a greater level of understanding and awareness of Indonesia than women and are more likely to have travelled to Indonesia.

Men are generally more trustful of Indonesia than women and hold more positive perceptions of it. They are also more likely to consider Indonesia important to the Australian national interest, and to support increased links between the two countries.

Women are more likely to be concerned about terrorism and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little to combat it. Women are also much more likely to be concerned and pessimistic about the humane treatment of livestock and the just treatment of Australians accused or convicted of crimes in Indonesia.

Age

Older Australians have a lower level of understanding and awareness of Indonesian facts than younger Australians, despite the fact that they are almost twice as likely to have travelled to Indonesia in their lifetime. This may be because younger Australians are much more likely to have studied the Indonesian language or learned about Indonesia in school.

Older Australians tend to hold more negative perceptions of Indonesia and are less trustful of Indonesia. They are also less likely to think that the Australian and Indonesian governments have a good relationship. They are more likely than younger Australians to consider Indonesia important to the Australian national interest, but they are less supportive of increased links between the two countries.

The relationship between age and attitudes is generally quite linear; the younger the respondent, the more positive their perceptions of and attitudes toward Indonesia tend to be.

Older people tend to be more concerned and pessimistic about terrorism and people smuggling. In contrast, younger people tend to be more concerned than older people about the treatment of Australians in the Indonesian justice system, but they are also more likely to believe that the Indonesian government is working to ensure Australians are treated fairly.

Socio-economic status

University-educated people, those living in higher income households and those working in white collar professions have a higher level of understanding and awareness of Indonesia. Travel to Indonesia is unrelated to educational achievement, but higher income and white collar occupation households are more likely to have travelled to Indonesia.

Higher socio-economic households and more highly educated people tend to hold more positive perceptions of Indonesia and are more trustful. These groups are most likely to see that Australia and Indonesia have something in common, that the relationship between the two countries is improving, that Indonesia is important to the Australian national interest, and that increased links between the two countries are desirable.

Blue collar workers and people with a college education tend to hold relatively negative views of Indonesia, and are the least likely to think Australia and Indonesia share things in common. Blue collar workers are more likely than white collar workers to think the relationship between Australia and Indonesia is deteriorating.

People from lower socio-economic households tend to be more concerned and pessimistic about terrorism and people s

Prior exposure to Indonesia

Those who have studied the Indonesian language:

Prior travel to Indonesia is associated with higher awareness and understanding of the country and more positive perceptions. Those who have travelled to Indonesia are also more likely to consider Indonesia important to the national interest of Australia.

3. Background to the research

3.1 Introduction

This research was conducted for the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and, in particular, the Public Diplomacy and Information Branch (PDB) within DFAT.

The purpose of the research was to obtain a better understanding of Australians’ beliefs about and perceptions of Indonesia and preferences for the Australia-Indonesia bilateral relationship. The research is likely to be used to guide a general communications strategy.

3.2 Methodology

This survey was conducted nationally among 1,202 residents of Australia aged 18 years or older using Newspoll’s weekly Omnibus survey.

The sample frame was SamplePages. More information about SamplePages can be found at www.samplepages.com.au. The sample design was a random survey stratified by state and territory. A quota was set for each capital city and non-capital city area, and within each of these areas, a quota was set for groups of statistical divisions or subdivisions. A minimum quota was set in each capital and non-capital city area for sex and age group. One person per dwelling was randomly selected to complete the interview, based on the last-birthday method. To help ensure the sample included those people who tend to spend a lot of time away from home, a system of call backs and appointments was also in place.

The questionnaire was developed in consultation with the PDB. The questionnaire was composed mainly of rating scales, but included several open-ended questions. The final questionnaire is provided as a separate attachment to this document.

A pilot test of 10 interviews was conducted on 4 June 2012. Pilot interviews averaged 21 minutes. The pilot test resulted in the removal of several lower priority questions to decrease the interview length, and several minor wording and coding adjustments. One question that was poorly understood by the majority of pilot respondents was removed.

The survey then took place by telephone over the period 8 to 17 June 2012. All interviews were conducted using Newspoll’s Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. Interviews took, on average, 17 minutes to complete.

At the beginning of the interview, respondents were told that their responses were strictly confidential and answers would be used for research purposes only. At the conclusion of the interview respondents were provided with information regarding how their phone number was selected, federal privacy legislation, and a DFAT ‘fact sheet’ to access if they wished to have more information about Indonesia. Respondents were also told that the information they provided would be de-identified (survey responses separated from any identifying information) by Newspoll within four weeks of the survey close.

The final data was weighted (by age, sex and geographic area) to the resident population of Australia using Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates as at 30 June 2010. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is approximately +/-3%, at the 95% confidence level (19 times out of 20). However, the margin of error associated with sub-group findings will be greater.

Percentages are normally rounded to whole numbers. Some percentages may not add to 100 percent due to rounding.

This research was conducted in compliance with ISO20252, the international quality standard for market, social and opinion research.

4. Detailed findings

4.1 Knowledge and understanding

4.1.1 Indonesia knowledge self-rating

Asked to rate their own level of knowledge about Indonesia, one-fifth described this as at least ‘good’. However, the vast majority described their level of knowledge as only ‘fair’ or ‘poor’, with 31% describing it as ‘poor’.

Self-rating of knowledge is significantly higher for:

Figure 12: Self-rating of knowledge on Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing the self-rating of Australian knowledge towards Indonesia by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Poor; Fair; Good or Excellent.
Q20. How would you rate your own knowledge about Indonesia? Is it…

4.1.2 Awareness of Indonesian facts

As a first indicator of knowledge about Indonesia, Australians were asked if Bali was a country in its own right or part of another country; if respondents knew that Bali is part of another country, they were asked which country.

Overall, 70% of Australians are aware that Bali is a part of Indonesia. Almost one fifth (17%) think that Bali is a country in its own right, and 4% think it is part of a different country. Eight percent admitted they do not know.

Awareness is significantly greater for:

Figure 13: Awareness of Bali as part of Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing Australian awareness of Bali as part of Indonesia by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Bali part of other country; Bali country in own right or Bali part of Indonesia.
Q5. Thinking of Bali, the tourist destination, as far as you are aware, is it a country in its own right, or is it part of another country?
Q6. Which country do you think Bali is a part of?

Another indicator of knowledge is awareness of poverty levels in Indonesia. Approximately 50% of Indonesians live below the poverty line, which is defined as living on less than two US dollars per day. One-third (36%) correctly answered (or guessed) that ‘about half’ of Indonesians live below the poverty line. Twenty-nine percent thought it was less than this and 31% thought it was more.

Figure 14: Awareness of poverty levels in Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing Australian awareness of poverty levels in Indonesia by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Or, more than three-quarters; About half; About a quarter or Less than one in ten.
Q22. One of the definitions of poverty is to have to live on less than two US dollars per day. What proportion of Indonesians would you guess live on less than $2 a day. Would it be…

Asked about a number of facts about Indonesia, respondents were most likely to know or guess that Australia is Indonesia’s largest aid donor (70% said this was ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’ true).

A Lowy Institute poll of Indonesians conducted in 2011 found that only 14% of Indonesians were aware that Australia is Indonesia’s largest aid donor, and only one-third recognised Australia as one of the top two aid donors to their country. 4 In the same survey, only 21% of Indonesians agreed strongly (score of 8, 9 or 10 on 1 to 10 disagree / agree scale) that ‘Australia has been an important aid partner for Indonesia’.

Many Australians (59%) believe that law-making in Indonesia is based on Islamic codes, although this is untrue. Much fewer (47%) believe that Indonesia is a democracy, although this is true. The Lowy Institute survey showed that 41% of Indonesians agreed (a score of 8, 9 or 10 on a 1 to 10 disagree / agree scale) that ‘Indonesia is recognised by the international community for its democratic achievements’, and virtually none disagreed with this.

Fewer than half believe that Indonesia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and that it is a member of the G20 group of nations.

About one-third believe that there is an Australian travel advisory against travelling to Indonesia, although the majority know or guess that there was not such an advisory in place at the time of the survey.

Figure 15: Knowledge of facts about Indonesia

Bar chart depicting Australian knowledge of facts about Indonesia. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Definitely false; Probably false; Probably true or Definitely true.
Q21. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe this is definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false. Firstly,…

In summary, Australians are most likely to know (or correctly guess) about Australia’s contribution to Indonesia in terms of development assistance, and about the current travel advisories to Indonesia.

Fewer than half are aware that Indonesia is a democracy, one of the fastest growing economies or a member of the G20.

About one-third are aware of actual poverty levels in Indonesia.

Finally, Australians are most poorly informed about the basis upon which Indonesian laws are made, with only 28% knowing or correctly guessing that law-making in Indonesia is not based on Islamic codes.

Figure 16: Percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts

Bar chart showing the percentage of Australians with correct knowledge of Indonesian facts. 'No country donates more aid money to Indonesia than Australia' had the most widespread awareness with 70%, while 'Law-making in Indonesia is not based on Islamic codes' had the lowest with 28%.
Q21. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe this is definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false. Firstly,…

Using these seven factual questions, a ‘facts index’ was created. Possible scores on the index range from zero to seven, with zero indicating perfectly incorrect knowledge and seven indicating perfectly correct knowledge of these seven facts about Indonesia. The mean facts index score among all Australians is 3.2.

Figure 17: Knowledge of Indonesian facts index

Column chart depicting the knowledge of Indonesian facts index.
Q21. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe this is definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false. Firstly,…
Q22. One of the definitions of poverty is to have to live on less than two US dollars per day. What proportion of Indonesians would you guess live on less than $2 a day. Would it be…

Score on the ‘facts index’ is significantly greater for:

Score on the ‘facts index’ is significantly lower for:

Figure 18: Knowledge of Indonesian facts index by demographics

Bar chart showing Australian knowledge of Indonesian facts index by demographics.
Q21. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe this is definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false. Firstly,…

4.1.3 Exposure to Indonesia

Travel to Indonesia is significantly related to some (but not all) aspects of knowledge and awareness.

The following groups are significantly more likely to have travelled to Indonesia:

Figure 19: Reported incidence of travel to Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing reported incidence of travel to Indonesia by demographics.
Q28. Have you ever travelled to Bali?
Q29. Have you ever travelled to other parts of Indonesia excluding Bali?

Respondents were also asked how likely it is they will travel to Indonesia at some time in the next 10 years. Overall, 35% said this is at least ‘somewhat likely’, but half (48%) said this is ‘very unlikely’.

Likelihood of travelling to Indonesia is greater among:

Likelihood of travelling to Indonesia is particularly low among:

Figure 20: Likelihood of travelling to Indonesia in next 10 years by demographics

Bar chart showing the likelihood of travelling to Indonesia in next 10 years by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses:  Don't know; Very unlikely; Somewhat unlikely; Somewhat likely or Very likely.
Q30. How likely are you to travel to Bali or other parts of Indonesia in the next ten years? Is it…

Fourteen percent of Australians say they have studied the Indonesian language at some point in their lives.

Figure 21: Incidence of Indonesian language study by demographics

Bar chart showing incidence of Indonesian language study by demographics.
Q31. Have you ever studied the Indonesian language?

4.2 Perceptions of Indonesia

4.2.1 Top of mind perceptions

Asked to name the first three things that come to mind when thinking about Indonesia, one-third (34%) mentioned ‘holiday destination’ or similar. About one-fifth mentioned ‘Islamic country’, ‘boat people’ or ‘poverty’. About one in ten mentioned ‘terrorism’, ‘large population’, ‘Bali’, ‘drugs’, or ‘part of Asia Pacific region’.

Figure 22: Top of mind perceptions of Indonesia

Bar chart showing the most common perceptions of Indonesia.
Q7. The rest of this interview is about the country of Indonesia. What are the first three things that come to mind when you think about Indonesia? What else?
Note: Multiple responses were allowed and percentages therefore do not add to 100%.

Answer categories shown above are colour-coded in terms of whether they were most likely intended as a negative (red) or positive (green) comment. Some comments were simply descriptive, neutral or ambiguous and these are colour-coded blue. This classification is summarised in Figure 23.

Almost two-thirds (63%) made a negative comment when asked to name the top three things that come to mind when thinking of Indonesia. A similar proportion (59%) made a positive comment. About half (49%) made a comment that was unclassifiable as negative or positive.

Figure 23: Top of mind perceptions of Indonesian (negative or positive)

Bar chart showing the quality of Australian perceptions of Indonesia (positive comments, negative comments and neutral / unassignable comments).
Q7. The rest of this interview is about the country of Indonesia. What are the first three things that come to mind when you think about Indonesia? What else?
Note: Multiple responses were allowed and percentages therefore do not add to 100%.

Negative comments were more common among:

Positive comments were more common among:

4.2.2 Favourability

Using a ‘thermometer’ measure of feelings towards Indonesia, where possible scores range from zero (very cold, unfavourable feeling) to 100 (very warm, favourable feeling), the mean score among Australians is 51° (among those with an opinion). One-fifth (21%) were unable to answer this question.

The Lowy Institute Indonesia Poll 2011 found that Indonesians’ feelings towards Australia were 62°, increasing from a ‘lukewarm’ 51° in 2006.5 In Indonesia in 2011, Australia was the fourth most warmly regarded country, after Japan (66°), Singapore (64°), and the USA (64°).

Figure 24: Thermometer rating of Indonesia

Line chart showing the rating of feelings towards Indonesia by using a 'thermometer' measurement. Among those with an opinion the mean score among Australians is 51°.
Q8. For this next question, I am going to ask you to give a rating, with one hundred meaning a very warm, favourable feeling, zero meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You can use any number from zero to one hundred. Please rate your feelings towards Indonesia. If you have no opinion, please say so.

Thermometer scores are significantly greater than the national average for:

Figure 25: Thermometer rating of Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing the thermometer rating of Indonesia by demographics.
Q8. For this next question, I am going to ask you to give a rating, with one hundred meaning a very warm, favourable feeling, zero meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You can use any number from zero to one hundred. Please rate your feelings towards Indonesia. If you have no opinion, please say so.

Respondents were asked to give a reason for their thermometer rating. All reasons are shown in Figure 26. The most common type of reason relates to Indonesia as a tourist destination (27%), including both positive and negative references. The second most common category of response is in relation to the Indonesian people (19%), including both positive and negative references, followed by responses which refer to the government or laws within Indonesia (17%). Safety and security are mentioned by 15%, and references to the bilateral relationship are mentioned by 14% as a reason for their thermometer rating. About one in ten refer to policy issues (12%) or culture and religion (9%) as the reason behind their thermometer rating.

Figure 26: Reason for thermometer rating of Indonesia

Bar chart showing percentage responses relating to the reasons for the thermometer rating of Indonesia.
Q9. What are the main reasons you gave a rating of [PROG NOTE: INSERT RATING SCORE FROM Q8] for Indonesia?

The same data are shown in the following figure, but separated by whether the thermometer rating was below 50 (‘negative’) or between 50 and 100 (‘positive’). This shows that among those who gave a relatively positive rating, the most common reasons relate to tourism (30%), the Indonesian people (23%) and the bilateral relationship (17%). Among those who gave a relatively negative rating, the most common reasons relate to the Indonesian government and its laws (30%), issues related to safety and security (25%), specific policy issues (23%), and tourism (19%).

Figure 27: Reason for thermometer rating of Indonesia

Bar chart showing percentage responses relating to the reasons for the thermometer rating of Indonesia, but separated by whether the thermometer rating was below 50 (‘negative’) or between 50 and 100 (‘positive').
Q8. For this next question, I am going to ask you to give a rating, with one hundred meaning a very warm, favourable feeling, zero meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You can use any number from zero to one hundred. Please rate your feelings towards Indonesia. If you have no opinion, please say so.
Q9. What are the main reasons you gave a rating of [PROG NOTE: INSERT RATING SCORE FROM Q8] for Indonesia?

4.2.3 Trust

Australians were asked how much they trust Indonesia to play a positive role in the world. Just over half (53%) trust Indonesia at least ‘somewhat’. This contrasts to Indonesians’ much higher trust in their own country to act responsibly in the world (86% at least ‘somewhat’, including 45% ‘a great deal’ of trust). This also compares unfavourably to Indonesians’ belief in Australia to act responsibly (75% trust Australia at least ‘somewhat’).

Figure 28: Trust in Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute) 6

Column chart showing how much Australians think Indonesia plays a positive role in the world.
(Newspoll) Q17. How much do you trust Indonesia to play a positive role in the world? Do you trust Indonesia…
(Lowy) How much do you trust the following countries to act responsibly in the world?

Trust is significantly greater among:

Figure 29: Trust in Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing how much Australians think Indonesia plays a positive role in the world by demographic. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Not at all; Not very much; Somewhat or A great deal.
Q17. How much do you trust Indonesia to play a positive role in the world? Do you trust Indonesia…

4.2.4 Perceptions

Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with a series of statements potentially describing Indonesia.

The majority are agreed that Indonesia is an important country in the Asia Pacific region (83% agree). A smaller majority (66%) are also agreed that Indonesia is an important economy. However, Australians are more likely to agree that Indonesia is a poor country (81%).

Most Australians also believe that Indonesia is a corrupt country (71%), and very few believe it has a good political system (24%).

There are some concerns about a potential threat to Australia from Indonesia. For example, only half (51%) agree that Indonesia respects its neighbours, and almost one fifth (17%) ‘strongly’ disagree with this. Moreover, almost half (45%) believe that Indonesia is a threat to Australian national security. When asked in 2011, almost one-third (31%) of Indonesians believed that Australia ‘poses a threat’ to the security of Indonesia in the next ten years. 7

Most Australians believe that Indonesia is ‘Australia’s friend’ (69%) and is a good place to visit (59%). However, Australians are divided about whether Indonesia is a country with attractive values (52% agree and 38% disagree), and whether it is safe for Australian travellers (52% agree and 44% disagree).

Australians are more likely than Indonesians to view the other country as a ‘friend’. Whereas over two-thirds (69%) of Australians agree that Indonesia is ‘Australia’s friend’ (although only 12% agree ‘strongly’), this can be compared to the Lowy Institute poll of Indonesians, where 27% of Indonesians agreed (score of 8 to 10 on one to 10 disagree / agree scale) that ‘Australia has shown itself to be a reliable and long-term friend of Indonesia’.8 (Forty-four percent of Australians agreed with the same statement when surveyed by the Lowy Institute in 2011).

Figure 30: Perceptions of Indonesia

Bar chart depicting Australian perceptions of Indonesia. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Strongly disagree; Somewhat disagree; Somewhat agree or Strongly agree.
Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is…
Q19. And do you believe that travelling to Indonesia is safe or dangerous for Australians?
* Note: Responses to Q19 were converted to an agree / disagree scale for the purpose of this analysis.

Although question wording was different, in 2011 Indonesians were more likely to see Australia as an ‘advanced’ economy (91%) than Australians are to see Indonesia as an ‘important’ economy (66%).

Figure 31: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Economy9

Column chart showing Australian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia in terms of whether they're seen to have an 'An important / advanced economy'.
(Newspoll) Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is…An important economy?
(Lowy) For each of the following do you agree or disagree that it applies to Australia? And would that be strongly or somewhat? Firstly, is Australia…An advanced economy?

The proportion of Indonesians who perceived Australia to have ‘attractive values’ (69%), when asked in 2011 by the Lowy Institute, outnumbered the proportion of Australians with the same view of Indonesia (52%).

Figure 32: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Attractive values10

Column chart showing Australian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia in terms of whether they're seen to be a country with attractive values.
(Newspoll) Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is…A country with attractive values?
(Lowy) For each of the following do you agree or disagree that it applies to Australia? And would that be strongly or somewhat? Firstly, is Australia… A country with attractive values?

Indonesians are much more likely than Australians to believe their counterpart has a ‘good political system’ (67% versus 24%).

Figure 33: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Good political system11

Column chart showing Australian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia in terms of whether they're seen to be "A country with a good political system".
(Newspoll) Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is… A country with a good political system?
(Lowy) For each of the following do you agree or disagree that it applies to Australia? And would that be strongly or somewhat? Firstly, is Australia… A country with a good political system?

Indonesians and Australians are similar in their view that the other country ‘respects its neighbours’. While 62% of Indonesians agreed with this in 2011, 28% disagreed. Australians are slightly less likely to agree and more likely to disagree (especially ‘strongly’).

Figure 34: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Respects its neighbours12

Column chart showing Australian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia in terms of whether they're seen to be "A country that repects its neighbours".
(Newspoll) Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is… … A country that respects its neighbours?
(Lowy) For each of the following do you agree or disagree that it applies to Australia? And would that be strongly or somewhat? Firstly, is Australia… A country that respects its neighbours?

The vast majority of Indonesians (83%) believed that Australia would be a good place to visit, and very few disagreed with this, in 2011. Indonesians are more likely to believe this about Australia than Australians are to believe this about Indonesia.

Figure 35: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Good place to visit13

Column chart showing Australian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia in terms of whether they're seen to be "A good place to visit".
(Newspoll) Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is… … A good place to visit?
(Lowy) For each of the following do you agree or disagree that it applies to Australia? And would that be strongly or somewhat? Firstly, is Australia… A good place to visit?

In 2011, Indonesians were also asked by the Lowy Institute about how much influence they believed Indonesia has in the world compared to other countries. Over half (57%) described Indonesia as being in the top 20 most influential countries in the world, including 20% who believed that Indonesia is in the top 10 most influential countries in the world. 14 One-quarter (26%) of Indonesians also perceived their own country to be ‘the current leader of Southeast Asia’ (following China at 29%). Australians generally concur with this; 83% agree that Indonesia is an important country in the region, including 47% who agree ‘strongly’.

Contrary to other trends, Indonesians were less likely to see Australia as an important country in the region (63%).

Figure 36: Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia (Lowy Institute): Important country in region15

Column chart showing Australian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia in terms of whether they're seen to be "An important country in our region".
(Newspoll) Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is… … An important country in our region?
(Lowy) For each of the following do you agree or disagree that it applies to Australia? And would that be strongly or somewhat? Firstly, is Australia… An important country in our region?

Australians were asked whether they believe religious tolerance in Australia and in Indonesia has increased or decreased in the last two years. More Australians believe religious tolerance has increased in Australia than believe it has decreased: 35% believe it has increased and 28% feel it has decreased and 33% feel it has remained at the same level as two years ago.

Compared to their views about Australia, fewer Australians feel religious tolerance in Indonesia has increased or decreased; 42% feel it has stayed the same in the last two years. However, the proportion who thinks religious tolerance in Indonesia has decreased (25%) outnumbers the proportion who believes it has increased (18%).

Figure 37: Religious tolerance in Indonesia

Bar chart showing the change in perception of religious tolerance in Australia and Indonesia in the past two years.
Q23C,D. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe it has increased, stayed the same, or decreased, in the last two years? Firstly,…

Indonesians are more likely than Australians to feel that religious tolerance in their own country has increased (27% versus 18%), but they are also more likely to feel it has decreased (30% versus 25%).

Figure 38: Religious tolerance in Indonesia (Lowy Institute) 16

Column chart showing Australian views of Indonesia and Indonesian views of Australia in terms of religious tolerance in Indonesia.
(Newspoll) Q23C,D. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe it has increased, stayed the same, or decreased, in the last two years? Firstly,… Religious tolerance in Indonesia.
(Lowy Institute) Do you personally think religious intolerance in Indonesia is increasing, decreasing or is it staying about the same?

These ten separate questions gauging perceptions of Indonesia were combined in an average ‘perceptions index’.17 Possible scores on the index range from zero to 40, with zero indicating a very negative perception of Indonesia and 40 indicating a very positive perception of Indonesia.

The mean perceptions index score among all Australians is 21.

Figure 39: Perceptions of Indonesia index

Column chart depicting the Perceptions of Indonesia index. Between 0 and 40 there is a peak between 22 and 29.
Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is…
Q19. And do you believe that travelling to Indonesia is safe or dangerous for Australians?

Perceptions of Indonesia are significantly more positive for:

Figure 40: Perceptions of Indonesia index by demographics

Bar chart showing Australian perceptions of Indonesia index by demographics.
Q18. For each of the following, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree that it applies to Indonesia? Firstly, Indonesia is…
Q19. And do you believe that travelling to Indonesia is safe or dangerous for Australians?

4.2.5 Segmentation

By combining score on the ‘perceptions index’ with score on the ‘facts index’, we are able to arrive at a 4-way segmentation of the Australian population.

That these two segments are the largest reflects the fact that knowledge is positively correlated with perceptions; that is, the more knowledgeable an individual is (as indicated by their score on the ‘facts index’), the more positive they tend to be about Indonesia (Pearson r=+.39).

Figure 41: Segmentation

Table comparing the perceptions index and the facts index. The resulting four-way segmentation of the Australian population is: Low/Low = 38%, Low/High = 21%, High/Low = 13% and High/High = 28% (perception/facts).

Figure 42 shows the distribution of segments for each demographic sub-group.

The statistically significant predictors of sector membership are:

Figure 42: Segmentation by demographics

Bar chart showing segment distribution for each demographic sub-group.

Figure 43 shows the demographic profile of each segment.

Low Knowledge / Low Perceptions (38%) are disproportionately likely to be lower socio-economic status, older and with a college education. They are disproportionately female.

High Knowledge / High Perceptions (28%) are disproportionately likely to be higher socio-economic status, university educated, and younger. They are disproportionately male.

Low Knowledge / High Perceptions (21%) tend to be younger women with relatively low levels of tertiary education and low incomes.

The smallest segment, High Knowledge / Low Perceptions (13%), is similar in profile to the High Knowledge / High perceptions segment, but tend to be somewhat older than the latter segment. They are disproportionately from Queensland and NSW.

Figure 43: Segment profile

Table comparing the perceptions index and the facts index. The resulting four-way segmentation of the Australian population is: Low/Low = 38%, Low/High = 21%, High/Low = 13% and High/High = 28% (perception/facts). A demographic breakdown is given for each.

4.2.6 Beliefs about Indonesian perceptions of Australia

Australians were asked whether they believe Indonesians hold positive or negative feelings about Australia. One-quarter (24%) believe that Indonesians hold negative perceptions of Australia, but close to half (46%) believe they hold positive perceptions. A large proportion (31%) was not sure or thought that Indonesians’ attitudes would be ambivalent.

Figure 44: Perceptions of Indonesian attitudes toward Australia by demographics

Bar chart showing whether Australians believe Indonesians hold positive or negative feelings about Australia by demographic. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Neither / DK; Very negative; Somewhat negative; Somewhat positive or Very positive.
Q10. Generally speaking, do you think Indonesian people hold positive or negative feelings about Australia?

Excluding those who say ‘don’t know’ or ‘neither’, the proportion who believes that Indonesians feel positive towards Australia is significantly larger for:

4.3 Perceptions of Indonesia / Australia bilateral relationship

One-third of Australians (35%) feel that the Australian and Indonesian governments have ‘quite a bit’ or ‘a lot’ in common, 51% feel they have ‘a few things’ in common, and only 11% believe they have ‘nothing’ in common.

Australians are less likely to believe ‘ordinary’ Indonesians and Australians have something in common: 26% believe they have ‘quite a bit’ or ‘a lot’ in common, 60% that they only have ‘a few things’ in common, and 13% that they have ‘nothing’ in common.

Figure 45: Perceptions of Indonesian / Australian commonalities

Column chart showing Australian perception of Australian/Indonesian Governments, and perception of Ordinary Indonesians and Australians.
Q11. Do you believe that the Australian government and the Indonesian government have…?
Q12. Do you believe that ordinary Indonesians and ordinary Australians have…?

The following groups are significantly more likely to believe that ordinary Indonesians and Australians have something in common:

Conversely, the following groups are significantly more likely to believe that ordinary Indonesians and Australians have nothing in common:

Figure 46: Perceptions of Indonesian / Australian commonalities by demographics

Bar chart depicting Australian perception of Indonesian / Australian commonalities by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Don't know; Nothing in common; A few things in common; Quite a bit in common or A lot in common.
Q12. Do you believe that ordinary Indonesians and ordinary Australians have…?

Those who felt that Indonesian people and government had at least something in common with Australian people and government were asked what they have in common. The most frequent response was people to people links, such as Indonesians studying or working in Australia and Australian tourism to Indonesia (mentioned by 20%).

A similar proportion mentioned shared business interests and trade (17%) and geographic location (16%). One in ten mentioned shared public policy concerns such as terrorism and people smuggling (12%).

Figure 47: What Indonesians and Australians have in common

Bar chart showing percentage responses regarding what Indonesians and Australians have in common.
Q13. What type of things do you think (‘the Australian and Indonesian governments’ \ ‘Australia and Indonesia’) have in common? What else?

Australians were also asked whether they think the Australian government has a good or bad relationship with the Indonesian government. The majority (57%) think the relationship is at least ‘somewhat’ good, and few (15%) think that it is bad. Many (28%) are unsure or ambivalent.

There is a moderately strong relationship between age and perceptions of the bilateral relationship. Among those aged between 18 and 24 years, 69% describe the relationship as at least ‘somewhat’ good. The proportion saying this declines with age; among those aged 50 years or older, only 51% believe the relationship is at least ‘somewhat’ good.

Other groups more likely than average to have positive perceptions of the bilateral relationship include:

There are pronounced differences between segments. Those in the High knowledge / High perceptions segment (78%) are almost twice as likely as those in the Low knowledge / Low perceptions segment (42%) to see the bilateral relationship as at least ‘somewhat’ good.

Figure 48: Perceptions of bilateral relationship by demographics

Bar chart showing perceived relationship between Australia and Indonesia by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Very good; Somewhat good; Somewhat bad; Very bad or Neither / don't know.
Q14. Do you believe that the Australian government has a good or bad relationship with the Indonesian government?

Most Australians (65%) believe that the Australian and Indonesian governments cooperate at least ‘somewhat’. Very few (3%) believe there is no cooperation between the two governments.

The more knowledgeable about Indonesia, the more likely the respondent is to believe that the two governments cooperate. Similarly, the more positive the respondent is about Indonesia, the more likely they are to believe that the governments cooperate. People in the High knowledge / High perceptions segment are therefore much more likely than people in the Low knowledge / Low perceptions segment to believe the Australian and Indonesian governments cooperate at least ‘somewhat’ (83% versus 50%). One quarter (23%) of people in the High knowledge / High perceptions segment believe that the two governments cooperate ‘a lot’.

Other groups who are particularly likely to believe the governments cooperate include:

Figure 49: Perceptions of cooperation between Australia and Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing perceived cooperation between Australia and Indonesia by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: A lot; Some; A little; Not at all or Don't know.
Q15. How much do you believe the Australian and Indonesian governments cooperate? Is it…

Australians were asked whether they felt that the relationship between the two countries had improved, stayed the same or declined. Half were asked this question with a 10 year timeframe, and half with a two year timeframe.

Thinking over the last ten years, the largest proportion of Australians believes the relationship between Indonesia and Australia has improved (42%). One in five (19%) think it has deteriorated.

When the question wording was randomly varied to refer to the last two years, a similar proportion felt things had deteriorated (21%). Almost half (49%) felt things had ‘stayed the same’, while only 23% felt things had improved.

Net perceived improvement (improvement minus deterioration) is +3% in the last two years and +23% in the last 10 years.

Figure 50: Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship

Bar chart showing perceived improvement or deterioration in Australia-Indonesia relationship over the last two and the last ten years by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Improved; Stayed the same; Deteriorated or Don't know.
Q16. In your view, over the last (PROG NOTE: RANDOM 50% ASSIGNMENT ‘two’ \ ‘ten’) years, has the overall relationship between Australia and Indonesia…?

Groups most likely to think things have improved are:

Groups most likely to think things have deteriorated are:

Figure 51: Improvement / deterioration in Australia – Indonesia relationship by demographics

Bar chart showing perceived improvement or deterioration in Australia-Indonesia relationship by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Improved; Stayed the same; Deteriorated or Don't know.
Q16. In your view, over the last (PROG NOTE: RANDOM 50% ASSIGNMENT ‘two’ \ ‘ten’) years, has the overall relationship between Australia and Indonesia…?

4.4 Policy issues and preferences

4.4.1 Policy concerns

Across a range of policy issues, Australians are most concerned about people smuggling to Australia through Indonesia. Eighty-five percent express concern about this issue, including 56% who are ‘very’ concerned.

Terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region is also of concern to the vast majority of Australians (83%), including 42% who are ‘very’ concerned.

Australians are more concerned about the treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia (77% at least ‘somewhat’ concerned) than about the treatment of Australians in the Indonesian justice system (70%).

A majority of Australians are also concerned about the treatment of Indonesians in Australian detention centres and jails; 63% are at least ‘somewhat’ concerned about this, including 26% who are ‘very’ concerned. However, one-third (34%) of Australians are largely unconcerned about this issue.

Figure 52: Concern about policy issues

Bar chart showing level of concern about the following policy issues: People smuggling through Indonesia to Australia; Terrorism in the Asia Pacific region; The treatment of Australian cattle in Indonesia; The treatment of Australians in Indonesian courts and jails and The treatment of Indonesians in Australian detention centres and jails. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Very concerned; Somewhat concerned; Not too concerned; Not at all concerned or Don't know.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?

4.4.2 Perceived change

The perception among the majority of Australians (57%) is that the number of Indonesians studying or working in Australia has increased in the last two years. Very few (8%) believe this has decreased.

A larger number of Australians believe that trade and business links between the two countries have increased than believe they have decreased. Similarly, more believe tourism has increased than decreased.

Regarding two of the top policy concerns of Australians in relation to Indonesia, the majority of Australians (55%) believe that efforts to stop people smuggling and terrorism have been increased in the last two years.

Figure 53: Direction of change in policy issues over two years

Bar chart showing level of perceived direction in change on the following policy issues: The number of Indonesians studying or working in Australia; Efforts to stop people smuggling through Indonesia to Australia; Efforts to stop terrorism in the Asia Pacific region; Trade and business links with Indonesia and Australian tourism to Indonesia. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Increased; Stayed the same; Decreased or Don't know.
Q23A,B,E,F,G. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe it has increased, stayed the same, or decreased, in the last two years? Firstly,…

4.4.3 Perceived action on policy issues

The majority of Australians believe that the Indonesian government has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to promote trade and business links with Australia (74%), encourage Australian tourism to Indonesia (70%), stop terrorist acts in the region (62%), and make sure Australians accused of crimes in Indonesia are treated fairly (61%).

Australians are less sure that the Indonesian government has made at least a ‘moderate’ effort to stop people smuggling (40%) and make sure livestock are treated humanely (37%). On both of these issues, almost one-fifth believe the Indonesian government has made no effort.

Figure 54: Indonesian action on policy issues

Bar chart showing perception of level of effort from the Indonesian government on the following policy issues: Promote trade and business links with Australia; Encourage Australian tourism to Indonesia; Stop terrorist acts in the region; Make sure Australians accused of crimes in Indonesia are treated fairly; Stop people smuggling and Make sure livestock are treated humanely. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Strong effort; Moderate effort; Weak effort; No effort or Don't know.
Q25. For each of the following, please tell me how much effort you believe the Indonesian government makes. Does the Indonesian government make a strong effort, a moderate effort, a weak effort or no effort to…?
Terrorism

On the issue of terrorism, 17% of Australians can be described as unconcerned, 47% can be described as being concerned but seeing the situation improving, 28% can be described as concerned but seeing the issue as neither growing nor worsening, and 8% can be described as concerned and seeing the issue as worsening.

The segmentation is strongly related to terrorism concern and beliefs. Those in the High knowledge / High perceptions segment are the most likely to be unconcerned (25%) and, if concerned, the least likely to see the situation as deteriorating (4%) or not changing (19%). At the opposite extreme, people in the Low knowledge / Low perceptions segment are the least likely to be unconcerned (10%) and the most likely to be concerned and see the situation as worsening (13%) or not changing (37%).

Terrorism concern and beliefs is also significantly related to:

Figure 55: Terrorism concern and beliefs by demographics

Bar chart showing concern and beliefs about terrorism by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Not concerned; Concerned but situation improving; Concerned and situation not changing / DK or Concerned and situation deteriorating.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?
Q23. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe it has increased, stayed the same, or decreased, in the last two years? Firstly,…

On the issue of terrorism, 17% of Australians can be described as unconcerned, 17% can be described as being concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying hard to combat it, 34% can be described as concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying somewhat to combat it, and 28% can be described as concerned and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little or nothing to combat it.

Once again, this measure is strongly related to the segmentation of Australians, with the High knowledge / High perceptions segment disproportionately likely to be in the first and second categories, and the Low knowledge / Low perceptions segment disproportionately likely to be in the fourth category; almost half (47%) are concerned and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little or nothing to combat terrorism.

As before, age and socio-economic status are significantly related to this measure. In addition, women are more likely than men to be concerned about terrorism and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little to combat terrorism (33%).

Figure 56: Terrorism concern and beliefs by demographics

Bar chart showing concern and beliefs about terrorism by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Not concerned; Concerned but Indonesia trying hard; Concerned but Indonesia trying somewhat; Concerned but Indonesia not trying or Concerned but DK what is happening.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?
Q25. For each of the following, please tell me how much effort you believe the Indonesian government makes. Does the Indonesian government make a strong effort, a moderate effort, a weak effort or no effort to…?
People smuggling

On the issue of people smuggling, 15% of Australians can be described as unconcerned, 46% can be described as being concerned but seeing the situation improving, 19% can be described as concerned but seeing the issue as neither growing nor worsening, and 21% can be described as concerned and seeing the issue as worsening.

People smuggling concern and beliefs is significantly related to:

Figure 57: ‘People smuggling’ concern and beliefs by demographics

Bar chart showing concern and beliefs about ‘People smuggling’ by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Not concerned; Concerned but situation improving; Concerned and situation not changing or Concerned and situation deteriorating.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?
Q23. For each of the following, please tell me whether you believe it has increased, stayed the same, or decreased, in the last two years? Firstly,…

On the issue of people smuggling, 15% of Australians can be described as unconcerned, 7% can be described as being concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying hard to combat it, 25% can be described as concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying somewhat to combat it, and 50% can be described as concerned and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little or nothing to combat it.

Once again, this measure is strongly related to the segmentation of Australians.

Age, socio-economic status and education are also significantly related to this measure. College-educated respondents are particularly likely to be concerned and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little (57%), while younger Australians are particularly unlikely to hold this view (33%).

Figure 58: ‘People smuggling’ concern and beliefs by demographics

Bar chart showing concern and beliefs about ‘People smuggling’ by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Not concerned; Concerned but Indonesia trying hard; Concerned but Indonesia trying somewhat; Concerned but Indonesia not trying or Concerned but DK what is happening.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?
Q25. For each of the following, please tell me how much effort you believe the Indonesian government makes. Does the Indonesian government make a strong effort, a moderate effort, a weak effort or no effort to…?
Treatment of livestock

On the issue of the treatment of cattle and other livestock in Indonesia, 23% of Australians can be described as unconcerned, 3% can be described as being concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying hard to combat it, 23% can be described as concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying somewhat to combat it, and 48% can be described as concerned and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little or nothing to combat it.

Concern and beliefs about this issue is significantly related to the segmentation. Those with low perceptions, whether high or low in knowledge, are disproportionately likely to be concerned and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little to address this issue. Those with generally high perceptions, again regardless of knowledge, are equally likely to be concerned about the issue, but are more likely to think the Indonesian government is making an effort to deal with it.

Men are much more likely than women (31% versus 16%) to be unconcerned about this issue. Among those who are concerned, women are much more likely (55% versus 40%) to feel the Indonesian government is doing little.

Figure 59: Treatment of livestock concern and beliefs by demographics

Bar chart showing concern and beliefs about treatment of livestock by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Not concerned; Concerned but Indonesia trying hard; Concerned but Indonesia trying somewhat; Concerned but Indonesia not trying or Concerned but DK what is happening.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?
Q25. For each of the following, please tell me how much effort you believe the Indonesian government makes. Does the Indonesian government make a strong effort, a moderate effort, a weak effort or no effort to…?
Indonesian justice

On the issue of the treatment of Australians accused or convicted of crimes in Indonesia, 30% of Australians can be described as unconcerned, 7% can be described as being concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying hard to ensure Australians are treated justly, 31% can be described as concerned but of the view that the Indonesian government is trying somewhat to ensure this, and 29% can be described as concerned and of the view that the Indonesian government is doing little or nothing to protect Australians.

Once again, the segmentation of Australians is the strongest predictor of attitudes on this issue.

Gender is also strongly related, with men more likely to be unconcerned (37%) than women (23%).

Younger Australians aged younger than 25 years are more likely than older Australians to be concerned about this issue, but also more likely to believe the Indonesian government is working to ensure Australians are treated fairly.

Figure 60: Indonesian justice concern and beliefs by demographics

Bar chart showing Indonesian justice concern and beliefs by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following responses: Not concerned; Concerned but Indonesia trying hard; Concerned but Indonesia trying somewhat; Concerned but Indonesia not trying or Concerned but DK what is happening.
Q24. For each of the following, please tell me how concerned you are about the issue. Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about…?
Q25. For each of the following, please tell me how much effort you believe the Indonesian government makes. Does the Indonesian government make a strong effort, a moderate effort, a weak effort or no effort to…?

4.4.4 Policy views summary

Table 1 shows a summary of Australian perceptions of current policy issues. Column A shows the percentage of Australians ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ concerned about each issue (ranging from 63% concerned about the treatment of Indonesians in Australian detention centres and jails to 85% concerned about people smuggling through Indonesia to Australia). Columns B and C show the percentage of Australians who view the issue (where asked) optimistically and pessimistically. Finally Column D shows the percentage of Australians who believe that the Indonesian government is making a ‘moderate’ or ‘strong’ effort to combat the issue (or, in the case of people to people links, encourage it).

Table 1: Policy views summary
Issue (A)
% concerned
(B)
% improving
(C)
% deteriorating
(D)
% Indonesia making effort
People smuggling in region 85% 55%¤ 23%¤ 40%β
Terrorism in region 83% 55%¤ 10%¤ 62% β
Poor treatment of livestock in Indonesia 77% - - 37% β
Poor treatment of Australians in Indonesian jails 70% - - 61% β
Poor treatment of Indonesians in Australian detention centres 63% - - -
Study and immigration to Australia - 57%α 8% α -
Trade - 46%α 12% α 74%¥
Tourism to Indonesia - 41%α 23% α 70%¥

¤ Have efforts to combat increased, stayed the same, or decreased?

α Have links increased, stayed the same, or decreased?

β Moderate to strong effort to stop

¥ Moderate to strong effort to encourage

4.5 Prioritisation of bilateral relationship

In terms of the countries most important to the Australian national interest, over one-third (38%) of Australians placed Indonesia in their top five countries. Australians were much more likely to place the United States (86%), China (81%) and the United Kingdom (66%) in their top five countries, and were about equally likely to place New Zealand (41%) and Japan (35%) in their top five.

Figure 61: Countries most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five)

Bar chart showing countries considered most important to the Australian national interest, as a percentatge of responses that included the country in their list of five. 38% of Australians placed Indonesia in their top five countries.
Q4. I’d now like to ask you about the relationship between Australia and other countries of the world. You do not need any special knowledge to answer these questions. Which five countries in the world do you think are most important to the Australian national interest?

Mention of Indonesia in the top five countries important to the Australian national interest is significantly more likely among:

Respondents speaking a language other than English at home were disproportionately unlikely to mention Indonesia.

Figure 62: Indonesia most important to Australian national interest (mentioned in top five) by demographics

Bar chart showing the percentage of repondents by demographics who included Indonesia in a list of the five most important countries to the Australian national interest.
Q4. I’d now like to ask you about the relationship between Australia and other countries of the world. You do not need any special knowledge to answer these questions. Which five countries in the world do you think are most important to the Australian national interest?

In 2006 and 2011, the Lowy Institute also asked Indonesians and Australians the following question:

I am going to read out two statements about Indonesia’s relations with Australia. Please tell me which one you agree with more: It is very important that Australia and Indonesia work to develop a close relationship / Australia and Indonesia are too different to develop a close relationship.

The Lowy Institute found that, in 2006, although the majority of both Indonesians and Australians thought it was important that the two countries work to develop a close relationship, Indonesians were more likely than Australians to believe they were too different for this to occur (36% versus 22%). By 2011, Australian views were largely unchanged but the gap between Indonesians and Australians had narrowed.

Figure 63: Feasibility of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute) 18

Column chart showing the feasibility of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia. Percentages are shown for the following responses from both Australian and Indonesian respondents in 2006 and 2011: It is very important that Australia and Indonesia work to develop a close relationship; Australia and Indonesia are too different to develop a close relationship or Don't know.
(Lowy Institute) I am going to read out two statements about Indonesia’s relations with Australia. Please tell me which one you agree with more: It is very important that Australia and Indonesia work to develop a close relationship / Australia and Indonesia are too different to develop a close relationship.

In 2012, the majority of Australians (56%) feel that it is ‘very’ important that Australia and Indonesia build close relations, and there is virtually universal agreement that it is at least ‘somewhat’ important (94%). Indonesians were somewhat less likely to believe this when surveyed in 2011; although the majority also felt this was at least ‘somewhat’ important (80%), only 31% described this as ‘very’ important.

Figure 64: Importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia (Lowy Institute) 19

Column chart showing the importance of building close relations between Indonesia and Australia. Percentages are shown for the following responses from both Australian and Indonesian respondents: Very important; Somewhat important; Not too important; Not at all important or Don't know.
(Newspoll) Q27. Thinking about what Australian foreign policy should be trying to achieve, how important is building close relations with Indonesia? Is it…
(Lowy) Thinking about what Indonesian foreign policy should be trying to achieve, I am going to read a list of goals, and ask you to tell me how important each one is for Indonesia. Please say whether you think each issue is very important, fairly important, not very important or not at all important.

The majority in most demographic groups believe building close relations with Indonesia is ‘very’ important. However, those most likely to believe this include:

Figure 65: Importance of building close relations with Indonesia by demographics

Bar chart showing importance of building close relations with Indonesia by demographics. Percentages are shown for the following categories: Very important; Somewhat important; Not too important; Not at all important or Don't know.  The majority in most demographic groups believe building close relations with Indonesia is ‘very’ important.
Q27. Thinking about what Australian foreign policy should be trying to achieve, how important is building close relations with Indonesia? Is it…

Eight in ten Indonesians were in favour of ‘building greater understanding between Australia and Indonesia’, ‘building closer relations with Australia’ and ‘promoting more trade and investment between Australia and Indonesia’ when surveyed by the Lowy Institute in 2011.20 (Between five and eight percent were against this.)

In 2012, the vast majority of Australians (75%) also believe that cooperation between the Indonesian and Australian governments should be increased. Very few (4%) believe it should be decreased.

A small majority of Australians believe that trade (57%) and teaching about Indonesia (52%) should be increased.

Australians are more divided about whether the teaching of the Indonesian language to Australian schoolchildren should be increased. While one-third (36%) believe this, one-third (37%) feel current practice is acceptable and 22% believe this should actually be decreased.

On the issue of development assistance to Indonesia, only 18% of Australians believe this should be increased. The largest proportion (45%) believes that aid to Indonesia is probably at the right level, while 29% believe it should be decreased.

Figure 66: Attitudes towards Australian – Indonesian links

Bar chart showing attitudes towards Australian-Indonesian links. Percentages are shown for the following categories: Probably should be increased; Is probably at the right level; Probably should be decreased or Don't know.
Q26. For each of the following, please tell me whether you think it should probably be increased, is probably at the right level or should probably be decreased.

These five separate questions gauging support for increased links with Indonesia were combined in an average ‘links index’. Possible scores on the index range from zero to 10, with zero indicating a strong desire for decreased links and 10 indicating a strong desire for increased links.

The mean links index score among all Australians is 6.7.

Figure 67: Australia – Indonesia links index

Column chart showing support for increased links with Indonesia. The mean links index score among all Australians is 6.7.
Q26. For each of the following, please tell me whether you think it should probably be increased, is probably at the right level or should probably be decreased.

Support for increased links is significantly higher for:

Figure 68: Australia – Indonesia links index by demographics

Bar chart showing support for increased links between Australia and Indonesia by demographics. Support for increased links is significantly higher for: Residents of metropolitan areas; Men; Younger Australians; White collar workers; Middle to higher income households; University-educated people; Those who have studied the Indonesian language and The High knowledge / High perceptions and Low knowledge / High perceptions segments.
Q26. For each of the following, please tell me whether you think it should probably be increased, is probably at the right level or should probably be decreased.

Footnotes

1 Fergus Hanson, Shattering Stereotypes: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy – Lowy Institute Indonesia Poll 2012, Lowy Institute.

2 Hanson, 2012. Note difference in question wording.

3 Hanson, 2012.

4 Fergus Hanson, Shattering Stereotypes: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy – Lowy Institute Indonesia Poll 2012, Lowy Institute.

5 Hanson, 2012.

6 Hanson, 2012. Note difference in question wording.

7 Hanson, 2012.

8 Hanson, 2012. Note difference in question wording and scales.

9 Hanson, 2012. Note difference in question wording.

10 Hanson, 2012.

11 Hanson, 2012.

12 Hanson, 2012.

13 Hanson, 2012.

14 Hanson, 2012.

15 Hanson, 2012.

16 Hanson, 2012.

17 Perceptions of Indonesia being ‘a poor country’ were excluded from the index because they correlated poorly with other items included in the index.

18 Hanson, 2012.

19 Hanson, 2012.

20 Hanson, 2012.