BBI(ACT) will be holding its next malam sastra from 18:30 AEST (15:30 WIB) on 11 June 2021 to discuss the recently launched novel Yogya Yogya by Herry Gendut Janarto. Herry will be joining us via Zoom from 18:30 (AEST) to share his thoughts on the novel.

An invitation is also extended to non-BBI members to participate via Zoom (see details below). The novel Yogya Yogya can be ordered through Mas Amrih or purchased on line at Jual Buku – Buku Best Seller Karya Herry Gendut Janarto –

Malam Bedah Buku – Membongkar Yang Terkubur (Unearthing Family Roots) – Dewi Anggraeni


Due to COVID-19 restrictions the planned discussion (December 2020) had to be postponed till 2021.

NEW Date & Time: February 19th 2021, start at 17.45 (dinner) or 18.45 (discussion)

Dewi Anggraeni will be our special book club guest on 19 February to discuss her most recent book Membongkar yang Terkubur (Unearthing Family Roots). Dewi’s book takes you on a journey of discovery about a Chinese Indonesian family’s lost history. 

Please book via Trybooking :

Booking will be open in early January and if you would like to join us for a catered Indonesian dinner ($15/person) before the discussion please book the dinner (same link) as well as the discussion.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is membongkar-terkubur-768x525-1.jpg

For a copy of the book, you can buy it online from Indonesia or you can contact Ibu Prapti McLeod via email:

Limited copies, $23/copy



NAILA Webinar – Basics of Speechcrafting

The following message has been received from the National Australia Indonesia Language Awards:

“Dear Academics, Lecturers, Teachers of Indonesian

I am writing to ask if you can share our upcoming NAILA (National Australia Indonesia Language Awards) webinar to your students and network. This webinar contains tips and tricks on how to craft the perfect speech. We will have a very special guest speaker – Natali Tjahjadi: 

Natali completed a Master of Business (Advanced) in International Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Queensland, as a recipient of Australia Awards Scholarship. She is currently the Operational Manager of CV Widya Triguna.

Natali is the 2021 Toastmaster International Evaluation Contest & International Speech Contest Champion (District 87 Area G3 Bali), Wander Voice International English Speech Competition and a Judge for Online Toastmasters Debate Competition Indonesia 2021.

Natali has extensive experience in public speaking and has participated in a number of international public speaking competitions. She holds a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Certification and is the current Club President for Bhinneka Online Toastmasters Club.

This Webinar will be held: 

WEDNESDAY, 21ST APRIL 2021 AT 6PM – 8PM AEST via Zoom. 

Here is the link provided for the event – 

AIYA National is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: NAILA – Basics of Speechcrafting with Natali Tjahjadi
Time: Apr 21, 2021 06:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 896 9777 7308
Passcode: 935040

We hope to see some of you or your students there.


Jade Lee

Engagement Coordinator

Malam Sastra dengan Ibu Dewi Anggraeni

On 19 February 2021, Balai Bahasa Indonesia (BBI) members, as part of its series of ‘malam sastra’ (literary evenings) on Indonesian literature, discussed Dewi Anggraeni’s novel Membongkar Yang Terkubur. BBI was very privileged to have Ibu Dewi Anggraeni speak at this ‘malam sastra’ to discuss her book with its members. Ibu Dewi shared with members her motivation for writing for this novel. She wanted to write a story about ‘Tionghoa peranakan’ (Chinese Indonesians) spanning a longer period of history over several generations of one, ordinary family. She explained the novel’s story is also an exploration of her own identity as a ‘Tionghoa peranakan’, an identity which lies deep within the sub-conscious. Ibu Dewi generously answered a range of questions from members about the novel ranging from the language chosen (bahasa Indonesia) to characterisation to choice of publisher. This literary evening marks a successful start to the series and BBI is very grateful to Ibu Dewi for travelling to Canberra to share her thoughts about this important novel.

BBI members Pak Dave (kiri), Pak Robin (front) and Pak Amrih (back) at the malam sastra
BBI members Mbak Daisy and Mbak Prapti with Bu Dewi
The author, Ibu Dewi enjoying dinner out in Canberra following the malam sastra.

The next malam sastra will be held in May 2021 to discuss Herry Gendut Janarto’s book Yogya Yogya.

BBI (ACT) Chair’s Annual Report 2020

presented at the

BBI (ACT) Annual General Meeting held on 4 December 2020

at 28 Mirning Cres, Aranda, ACT, 2614

Dear members

Because of COVID-19, incorporated organisations in the ACT faced some enormous hurdles in 2020 and BBI (ACT) was no exception.  With physical distance restrictions in place, the Board managed to hold two meetings during the year – the first in person at the Tram Room in February and a second virtually in May.  We had to put on hold the plans we discussed at last year’s AGM, including a second teacher language and culture awareness trip to Indonesia, an Indonesian Film Night, a further intensive language and culture workshop for teachers, and a ‘View from the Pavilion’ public address.

However, we were not completely moribund as we held two successful in-person events: a Book Club meeting in August to discuss Eka Kurniawan’s novel, ‘Man Tiger’, Lelaki Harimau, at Pak Imran’s home in O’Malley and; a malam ngobrol evening in late October at Ida’s home in North Lyneham.

Amongst our plans for the coming year are assisting the Indonesian Embassy to conduct a further pilot of the Indonesian Department of Education (Badan Bahasa)’s language proficiency test, the Ujian Kemahiran Bahasa Indonesia (UKBI).  We hope to work with the Canberra Institute of Technology or another suitable language training institution to deliver the UKBI test on a fee-paying basis.  We are also planning to invite Melbourne-based author, Ibu Dewi Anggraeni, to launch her latest novel at a Book Club meeting early in 2021.

I draw your attention to the attached audit report kindly prepared for us again this year by John Phillips.  As at 31 October 2020, BBI (ACT) had a bank cash balance of $2,434. 

Pending a relaxation of physical distance restrictions, BBI (ACT) will continue a program of activities in 2021 to deliver on its mandate to promote the teaching and learning of Indonesian in the ACT and across Australia.  To be successful, our program will need to draw on all the expertise and commitment BBI (ACT) members are able to offer.  I thank members in advance for your continuing efforts.

I want to thank fellow Board members for their support, in particular Ida Nurhayati for organizing the Book Club and malam ngobrol functions this year.  We continue to be grateful for the support of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, especially Education and Culture Attaché Bpk Imran Hanafi.  Finally, let me take this opportunity to thank Soeprapti and Ross McLeod for graciously welcoming us to their ‘istana’ here in Aranda for dinner.

To BBI (ACT) members celebrating Christmas, I extend season’s greetings and to all I convey my best wishes for a safe and healthy year in 2021.

Heath McMichael
Chair, Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT)
30 November 2020.

Malam Ngobrol santai (dan Malam Bedah Buku – watch this space)

Tanggal 30 Oktober kemarin beberapa anggota BBI ACT kumpul-kumpul di rumah Ida Nurhayati untuk ngobrol santai dan makan malam. Sayangnya, karena begitu asyik ngobrol dan makan kami lupa mendokumentasikan acara silatulrahmi ini. BBI ACT akan mengadakan acara semacam ini lagi kalau situasi memungkinkan.

Kalau semua berjalan lancar, BBI ACT akan mengadakan acara Bedah Buku, Membongkar yang Terkubur (oleh Dewi Anggraeni) bulan Desember yang akan datang. Tunggu beritanya di sini …