CELEBRATION OF INDONESIAN TEACHING IN CANBERRA SCHOOLS

Indonesian teachers and school/college principals representing 12 government and non-government schools in Canberra enjoyed an informative and entertaining dinner organised by BBI (ACT) at the Indonesian Embassy on Friday, 22 November 2019. The purpose of the dinner was to celebrate the achievements of Indonesian teachers in ACT schools who tirelessly foster Indonesian language and culture learning in their classrooms. Amongst the more than 50 guests who attended the dinner were the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, HE Bpk Kristiarto Legowo, the founder of the ACICIS program, Professor David Hill from Perth, and Dr Paul Thomas from Monash University who has edited a new book on the history of learning Indonesian in Australia entitled, Talking North. The dinner also provided an opportunity to mark the efforts of Indonesian Language Teaching Assistants (ILTAs) who give up time during their study at Canberra’s tertiary institutions to help Indonesian teachers in the classroom.

An acknowledged expert on Indonesian grammar and communication, Associate Professor Novi Djenar from Sydney University, delivered a thought-provoking talk on the impact of recent government regulations elevating the status of Bahasa Indonesia as a language in formal usage in Indonesia and in international settings.

The dinner featured a delicious Indonesian meal accompanied by the traditional Sumatran dances, Tari Piring and Tari Rantak performed by the Borobudur Dance Group based in Canberra. The dinner, the fifth such event organised by BBI (ACT), successfully advanced BBI’s mandate to promote Indonesian teaching and learning in Australia.

Guests at BBI (ACT) Dinner

Tari Piring performed at the Dinner

Dr Novi Djenar, Chair of the Department of Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney

BBI (ACT) CELEBRATES THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF INDONESIAN LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN CANBERRA

Guests at the dinner to honour Indonesian teachers in the ACT, Canberra, Friday 23 November 2018

BBI (ACT) hosted a dinner on Friday, 23 November 2018 for teachers of Indonesian to honour their achievements in fostering the learning of the Indonesian language and culture at schools in Canberra and surrounding districts.  Around 50 guests, comprising school principals, Indonesian teachers and Indonesian Language Teaching Assistants (ILTAs) from 12 government and non-government schools in the ACT and surrounding region, attended the dinner at the Indonesian Embassy.  The Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, HE Mr Kristiarto Legowo, was the guest of honour.

In welcoming guests, the Chair of BBI (ACT), Mr Heath McMichael, said that it was a sad fact that no matter how long Indonesian programs have been in place, schools would continue to face competing demands for teachers and resources.

“BBI (ACT) is of the view that the task of upholding Indonesian language programs in ACT schools needs to be shouldered by many: by national governments in both countries through funding initiatives to overcome language learning deficits; by education authorities and school administrators who aim to strengthen Asia-literacy in the class room, and by the parents of students who recognise the benefits that come from an understanding of the language of our nearest northern neighbour”, Heath said.

At a time when resources for teaching Indonesian at Australian schools and universities are coming under increasing pressure, it is important to demonstrate practical support for Indonesian language programs in schools.  Heath said BBI (ACT) was doing its bit by organising intensive Indonesian language and culture workshops for teachers and seeking joint accreditation with the Australian National University (ANU) as a qualified provider of professional learning and development for teachers.

Dr Elly Kent from the ANU’s Indonesia Institute delivered an interesting presentation on how various art and youth exchange programs between Australia and Indonesia offered opportunities for motivating Indonesian learning at all levels.  Canberra-based practitioners of traditional Indonesian dance and Javanese gamelan performed during the dinner which featured a sumptuous three course meal of Indonesian dishes.

Heath said that BBI (ACT) was keen to see more school students learning Indonesian in the ACT.  BBI (ACT) would continue to work with teachers, schools, the ACT education authorities and the Indonesian Embassy to stimulate interest in taking up the Indonesian language.

BBI (ACT) HOSTS INDONESIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS

On Saturday, 22 September 2018, BBI (ACT) hosted an Intensive Language and Culture Workshop at the Australian National University for Indonesian teachers in the ACT and surrounding districts.  The purpose of the workshop, the first of its kind to be held in Canberra, was to provide an opportunity for teachers – particularly those with basic to intermediate level language competence – to deepen their language skills and knowledge of contemporary Indonesia.  A small but enthusiastic group of teachers from primary and secondary government and non-government schools took part in a variety of role play and other capacity-building activities.  The workshop featured an interactive one-day program which was delivered by BBI (ACT) experts on Indonesian language, religion and society.  Topics covered included: body language and etiquette; literature and folktales; Balinese dance; grammar; popular culture, and; performance art.  An excellent luncheon of Indonesian dishes was provided.

Feedback on the workshop from teachers was very positive.  Some participants expressed satisfaction that the presentations were classroom-ready while others felt the materials presented would help develop their professional skills.  BBI (ACT) is proud to have been able to contribute its in-house expertise to assist Indonesian teachers in a practical and entertaining way to create relevant and contemporary classroom materials for use at their schools.  Some photos of the workshop appear below.