About Us

The Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) in brief

“Balai Bahasa Indonesia” means “Indonesian Language Pavilion” or “Indonesian Language Centre”. The Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) was initiated at a public meeting held in Canberra on August 21st 2009, and the organisation was formally launched by Professor Mohammad Nuh, Indonesia’s Minister of National Education on Friday, March 11th 2011.

Membership encompasses school teachers, academics, government personnel, business people, students and members of the general public. The main ambition of the organisation is to help combat declining Indonesia-literacy in Australia.

Particular objectives include:

1) promoting the teaching and learning of Indonesian throughout the Australian Capital Territory, surrounding regions and across Australia generally

2) providing access to language classes in Indonesian as a second language at a range of levels

3) hosting and/or coordinate Indonesian cultural/language events in the ACT and in surrounding areas

4) supporting a range of activities which foster cross cultural links amongst individuals, groups and organisations in Indonesia and Australia

Current Office Holders

Chair: Heath McMichael

Vice-Chair: George Quinn

Treasurer: Ida Nurhayati

Secretary: Shinta Benilda

Board Members: Peter Dawson, Zara Maxwell-Smith, Soeprapti McLeod, Imran Hanafi, Betsy Phillips, Amrih Widodo


Our Constitution



1.         NAME

The name of the Organisation shall be Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT), hereafter referred to as “the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT)” or “the Organisation”. The Organisation is a cultural non profit organisation administered by a board comprised of representatives from educational bodies, community groups and other stakeholders.

2.         OBJECTIVES

The Objectives of the Organisation shall be to:

1) promote the teaching and learning of Indonesian throughout theAustralian Capital Territory, surrounding regions and acrossAustraliagenerally

2) provide access to language classes in Indonesian as a second language at a range of levels

3) host and/or coordinate Indonesian cultural/language events in the ACT and in surrounding areas,

4) support a range of activities which foster cross cultural links amongst individuals, groups and organisations in Indonesia and Australia

3.         POWERS

The Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) shall have power to do all such things as are necessary, incidental or conducive to the attainment of the Objectives. The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia will undertake an advisory role in linguistic matters pertaining to the teaching of the Indonesian language through the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT).

4.         ACTIVITIES

The Organisation may undertake any activity consistent with its mission and objectives and in particular may:

a) co-operate with other organisations with similar interests and objectives and develop affiliations in accordance with Section 15

b) conduct courses and seminars in Indonesian language and culture for community members, and professional and non-professional groups and businesses

c) teach, host, organise and coordinate territory, national and international tuition programs, meetings and conferences in order to fulfill the mission and objectives of the Organisation

d) organise exhibitions, publish and distribute information and materials concerned with Indonesian language and culture

e) maintain close liaison with all relevant representative specialist bodies providing relevant services to stakeholders

f) carry out study and research into various aspects of Indonesian language and culture

g) employ appropriate staff and commission relevant expertise to undertake work on the Organisation’s behalf

h) actively seek funding by way of grants, donations and other forms of finance, in support of the Organisation’s objectives;

i) open bank accounts, borrow and advance monies and conclude contracts for the execution of any work or projects in accordance with Section 11

j) create and maintain a website and publications to promote the ongoing mission, objectives and activities of the Organisation

k) acquire, administer, encumber or alienate real property and goods.

5.         BOARD

(a)     POWERS

The business of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) shall be conducted by a Board comprised of representatives from educational bodies, community groups and other stakeholders. The Board shall have power to supervise, and direct the work of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT)

in accordance with this Constitution. This may include the employment of appropriately qualified staff to carry out the day-to-day tasks of the organisation.


The Board will determine the roles of its members as follows:

(i) The Chairperson;

(ii) The Vice Chairperson;

(iii) The Secretary;

(iv) The Treasurer;

(v)  Not less than three and not more than six general board members


Board members will be elected at the annual general meeting. The term of office of each board member will be from his or her election at the annual general meeting until the next annual general meeting after his or her election, but he or she is eligible for re-election to membership of the Board.


Vacancies on the Board shall be filled by co-option of a financial member of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT). Notice of the vacancy shall be notified to the members who will be invited to nominate for the vacancy. If more than one nomination is received, the Board shall conduct an election among those members present at the meeting where the matter is to be decided. Where the office of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer fall vacant, they shall be filled as far as possible from within the Board.


The Board may appoint sub-committees for any purpose. The Chairperson and Secretary shall be ex-officio members of all sub-committees, but may appoint another Board member to represent them should this be desirable.

6.         OFFICERS

The officers of the Organisation shall have the following duties:


(i)      Has ultimate authority for carrying out all decisions of the Board and for ensuring compliance with the Constitution;

(ii)     Signs or delegates the signature of all instruments, documents and correspondence on behalf of the Organisation;

(iii)    Presides over the Board, Annual and Special General meetings and other official meetings of the Organisation;

(iv) Represents or delegates representation of the Organisation before other bodies;

(v)     Acts as chief spokesperson for the Organisation

(vi) Carries out other duties as determined by the Board.


(i)      Assists the Chairperson in the above duties;

(ii)      Substitutes for the Chairperson as required;

(iii     Carries out other duties as determined by the Board.


(i)      Establishes and maintains the up-to-date register of members. The register of members and their postal and residential addresses must be so kept and maintained at the office of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) or in the event of there being no such office, at the Secretary’s place of residence or at such other place as the members at a general meeting decide.

(ii)     Manages correspondence and maintains general correspondence files, all books, documents, records and registers of the Organisation.

(iii)    Maintains in an up-to-date condition, the Constitution of the Organisation.

(iv) Maintains a record of the names and residential or postal addresses of the persons who hold the offices of the Organisation.

(v)     Arranges meetings of the Board, general and other meetings, and together with the Chairperson arranges the agenda for meetings;

(vi) Keeps and publishes minutes of meetings;

(vii) Carries out other duties as determined by the Board.


(i)      Establishes and maintains the financial records of the Organisation;

(ii)     Presents itemised income and expenditure statements to the Board;

(iii)    Establishes and maintains such accounts as are determined by the Board;

(iv)    Carries out other duties as determined by the Board.

(v)     Unless the members resolve otherwise at a general meeting, has custody of all securities, books and documents of a financial nature and accounting records of the Organisation

(e)     PATRON

The Board of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) has the power to nominate and elect up to two Patrons (one from Australia and one from Indonesia) for a period of two years at a time. The Patron elect will be a champion supporter of Indonesian language and culture who through their actions, supports, encourages, privileges and may financially aid the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) in its mission.


(a)     A Board member may resign by giving two weeks notice in writing.

(b)     A Board member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Board without apology or reasonable excuse shall be deemed to have resigned.

8.         MEMBERSHIP


Any individual with an interest in Indonesian Language and Culture is encouraged to apply for membership of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT). Upon obtaining full individual membership through application and payment of the membership fee as decided from time to time, the Full Member will have the right to vote and to hold office in the Organisation and privileges and discounts determined by a two thirds majority of the Board.


Any corporation or educational institution with an interest in Indonesian Language and Culture is encouraged to apply for membership of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT). Upon obtaining full corporate membership through application and payment of the membership fee as decided from time to time, the Full Corporate Member will have a vote but will be unable to hold office in the Organisation.


Persons other than the above whose participation in the work of the Organisation is considered by the Board to have advantages for the Organisation may be offered Associate Member status on such terms and conditions as the Board may determine, but such persons shall not have the right to vote or to hold office. Associate membership is automatic for twelve months if a course is undertaken through the Organisation.


Donor membership is open to any individual or business interested in the promotion of the mission and objectives of the Balai Bahasa Indonesia (ACT) through financial or equivalent support of the Organisation. Donor members are not recognized as Full Members and therefore are restricted from the privileges of full membership. However Donor Members will benefit from a range of privileges determined by a two thirds majority of the Board. Categories for contributors shall be:

Platinum Donor Member          $50 000

Gold Donor Member                $25 000

Silver Donor Member               $10 000

Bronze Donor Member             $5 000


Persons voted by the membership as Life Members, due to their longstanding contribution to the Organisation at both the membership and Board levels. The Nominator must be a full member of the Organisation and the nomination must be submitted in writing and approved by a two thirds majority of the Board, before being submitted to a general meeting for ratification. If approved by a three quarters majority of members present, the nomination will take immediate effect. A Life Member need not pay the annual membership fees.


The Secretary shall establish and maintain a register containing the names, addresses and other relevant details of all members.


The annual membership fees shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting and shall apply until changed by any subsequent Annual General Meeting. Notice of intention to propose any change in the annual membership fee and details of the proposed change shall be placed on the agenda of the Meeting at which it is proposed to determine the matter.


Concessional membership shall be available to any individual holding an official student concession card, receiving a government pension or unemployment benefits.

9.         MEETINGS


The Annual General Meeting shall be held each year at any time between 1 November and 28 February. A minimum of seven (7) days notice shall be given to members of the date, place, time and agenda. Only financial members shall vote and arrangements shall be made for members to pay subscriptions at the entrance to the meeting where membership status shall be checked.

The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

(i)      Consideration of reports by the Chairperson, the Secretary and Treasurer and adoption, modification or rejection of such reports and recommendations arising from them;

(ii)     Amendments to the Constitution;

(iii)    Other business submitted by the Board or by members of which notice has been given in

writing and which has been placed on the agenda;

(iv)    Election of Board;

(v)     Appointment of an Auditor who shall not be a member of the Board;

(vi)    Any other business arising at the meeting, but any resolution arising from such business shall be considered, if passed, as a recommendation to the Board only.

The quorum for the Annual General Meeting shall consist of twenty 20 percent of the financial members as of that date.

Decisions shall be made by a simple majority vote, except for amendments to the Constitution, which shall require a three-fourths majority of those present in favour.


Special general meetings may be held from time to time as determined by the Board, and shall be held within two weeks of the receipt by the Secretary of a petition signed by ten (10) financial members calling for such a meeting and stating the purpose of sucha meeting and any motions which it is proposed to place before the meeting. Written notification of the date, place, time and business of a special general meeting shall be in the hands of the members not less than five (5) days before the meeting. The quorum and voting procedures shall be as for the annual general meeting, and no other business shall be transacted.


Board meetings shall be held not less than once per quarter and at other times as required. The meetings shall be closed sessions, for members of the board and persons invited by the Chairperson. The quorum for Board shall be half the number of members plus one. If after thirty minutes from the time set for the commencement of the meeting no quorum is present, the meeting shall be adjourned to the same place and time one week later. If a quorum is not then present, those members in attendance shall transact the business of the Board, provided that all Board members have been notified of the adjourned meeting.


If at any meeting of the Organisation there shall be an equality of votes for and against any resolution, the matter shall be determined in the negative, and no chairperson shall exercise a casting vote.


(a)     Nominations for any office or Board position shall be in writing.

(b)     Any financial member may nominate any other financial member for any office. A nomination shall be seconded by another financial member and signed by the nominee.

(c)     Whenever an election is required, a returning officer who is not a candidate in the election shall be appointed to conduct the election.

(d)    All elections will be by secret ballot, and where an election is required, the method of voting and of counting the ballot shall first be determined by the meeting at which the election takes place.

(e)     Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all decisions shall be taken by simple majority vote.


(a)     ACCOUNTS

(i)      The Organisation will derive its income from charitable donations and sponsorship, subscriptions by its members, fees earned from its activities and grants from governmental and non-governmental organisations at local, regional, national and international levels.

(ii)     All monies, howsoever obtained, will be devoted to the objectives of the Institute.

(iii)    Income and expenditure shall be fully tabulated according to accepted bookkeeping standards;

(iv) The Organisation’s fiscal year shall be from November 1 in any year to October 30 in the following year;

(v)     All cheques and withdrawal vouchers shall be signed by two (2) Board members from among those appointed for this purpose by the Board at its first meeting after the Annual General Meeting;

(vi) Maximum provisions may be made by the Board for petty cash and automatically replenished;

(vii) All other payments shall be authorised by the Board, either under general terms of written instructions to the Treasurer specifying the types of routine payments which shall be made, or by a specific resolution of the Board.


The Organisation shall undertake no major financial obligations for which it does not provide or has not obtained adequate financial cover beforehand.


The income and property of the Organisation shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the Objectives. No portion of the income of the Organisation shall be paid or transferred or distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the Organisation, provided that nothing shall prevent the payment in good faith of remuneration to any officer or employee of the Organisation or to any other person other than a member in return for services rendered to the Organisation.



Disciplinary measures may only be taken by the Board in the following circumstances:

(i)      If a member’s annual membership fee has remained outstanding for more than three months;

(ii)     If a member’s action or behaviour is deemed by a two-thirds majority of the Board to be detrimental to the interests of the Organisation;

(iii)    If a Board member has abused his/her position for personal gain.


(i)      In the event of a member becoming unfinancial, i.e., annual membership fees being more than three months in arrears, the name of the member shall be removed from the membership register;

(ii)     In other cases as laid down in clauses 12 (a) (ii) and (iii) above, the Board may take such action as it deems suitable. Any penalty up to and including expulsion from the Organisation shall be decided by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Board present and voting at the meeting considering the matter, and the member informed of the decision in writing within seven (7) days.

(c)     APPEALS

A member against whom action has been taken under clauses 12 (a), (b) or (c) above shall have the right to appeal to a general meeting of the Organisation. This may be either the annual general meeting or a special general meeting called to consider the appeal.

A member wishing to appeal against a disciplinary measure of the Board against him or her must give written notice of intention to appeal within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice of the action being taken by the Board.

At the general meeting considering the appeal, the Chairperson or a Board member appointed for the purpose by the Board shall make a statement setting out the reasons for the disciplinary measure. The person against whom the action has been taken shall make a statement setting out an explanation and reasons why the decision of the Board should be set aside or varied. The Chairperson shall then invite questions from the members present to either speaker. A motion to reverse or vary the Board’s decision may then be put to the meeting without further debate, and if carried by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting, the member’s appeal shall be considered to have succeeded.


Any dispute or differences arising out of the interpretation, application or implementation of this constitution shall be settled amicably through consultation and negotiation by The Board.


Any member may propose to the Board in writing an amendment to the Constitution. If approved by a three-fourths majority of the Board, the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the general meeting for ratification by not less than three-fourths of the members of the Organisation present who are entitled under the rules to vote. Amendments to the Constitution submitted for ratification shall not be amended in substance by the general meeting.

14.       COMMON SEAL

The Common Seal of the Organisation engraved with the name of the Organisation shall be kept in the care of the Chairperson. The Seal shall not be used or affixed to any deed or document except pursuant to a resolution of the Board and in the presence of the Chairperson and two other members of the Board, both of whom shall subscribe their names as witnesses.


The Organisation may affiliate with any other organisation on such terms and conditions as may be mutually arrived at, and approved by a two-thirds majority of the Board.


The Organisation may be dissolved or wound up by a resolution passed by a 75% majority at a special general meeting called for the purpose. Any funds or other property remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities of the Organisation and the costs, charges and expenses of that winding up shall be distributed –

(a)     to another Organisation incorporated under the Act and having similar mission and objectives


(b)     for charitable purposes

which incorporated Organisation or purposes, as the case requires shall be determined by resolution of the members when authorizing and directing the Board under section 33(3) of the Act to prepare a distribution plan for the distribution of the surplus property of the Organisation.


A member may at any reasonable time inspect without charge the books, documents, records and securities of the Organisation given prior written notification is provided to the Chairperson .


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