Do you teach Indonesian or intend to become a teacher of Indonesian? Apply now for an Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowship

The Australian government is calling for applications for Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowships for 2013. The Fellowship provides in-country training for language teachers over three weeks in one of ten countries. It covers the cost of return airfares, accommodation, tuition, some meals, field trips and cultural activities in the coutnry of the language you teach.

The Indonesian option will be conducted by the Indonesia Australia Language Foundation in Denpasar, Bali, in January 2013. The program has an intensive language study component backed up with cultural studies and field trips around the island of Bali.

For more information go to:


In Australia, talking about foreign language study is much more popular than talking the languages themselves: Bernard Lane

The current state of Chinese language studies in Australian schools illustrates the challenge the country faces in promoting Asian language study among English speakers. Currently just 3 per cent of Year 12 students take Mandarin and 94 per cent of these are of Chinese background.

This sobering statistic is cited by Bernard Lane in an opinion piece on Asian language study in Australia in The Australian (June 6, 2012, Higher Education p.28). He points to the “dismal failure” of the four-year National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP) that has disbursed $62 million and winds up this year.

In a new effort to address the lack of demand for foreign language studies, Schools Education Minister Peter Garrett has ”asked a gourp of business leaders and Asia literacy experts to find new ways to stimulate the interest of pupils and parents.” But, argues Lane, it is difficult for proponents of foreign language studies to identify immediate tangible benefits that flow from command of a foreign language. He advocates “a good mix of languages patiently and cleverly built up from the earliest years of school.”

Read the full text of Bernard Lane’s opinion piece at: (login required to a personal account with The Australian)

“Send 10,000 young Australians a year to Indonesia to learn Indonesian,” says security analyst Professor Hugh White

One of Australia’s leading security analysts, the ANU’s Professor Hugh White, has taken the Australian government and people to task for their neglect of Indonesia (The Age, May 29, 2012). Australia is too preoccupied with “a kaleidoscope of negative images” he says, and is “missing the big story.” The big story is that Indonesia’s economy is growing so strongly it will likely be the fourth largest in the world by 2040. “Our big neighbour,” says White, “will then be three or four times richer than us. Already its GDP has overtaken ours by about 15 per cent.”

Professor White warns that Australians are kidding themselves if they think Indonesia needs Australian help to succeed. “No one likes receiving charity, especially from neighbours,” he writes. “Those who offer it are more often resented than thanked. In fact, the more Indonesia grows, the more our aid program damages rather than fosters the kinds of links we want with them.” White urges Australia to give Indonesia much higher priority in foreign policy.

Read the full text of Professor White’s views at:

In a related interview on ABC Radio (The World Today, May 22, 2012) Professor White calls for the establishment of a program to send 10,000 young Australians a year to Indonesia to learn Indonesian. “When young British people want to learn French, they go to France. When young Australians want to learn Bahasa, they should go to Indonesia.” he says. Australia should have “an imperative to build a relationship which maximises the chances that we can work together – that’s going to be in our interest as Indonesia becomes stronger.”

Read the text of Professor White’s remarks and listen to audio of his interview with the ABC’s Eleanor Hall at: .

Discrimination against Indonesian prisoners in Australian jails?

A news report in The Sun-Herald (May 27, 2012) claims that Australian prison services are withholding the wages earned by Indonesians currently in Australian jails. A spokesman for the Minister for Corrective Services in Western Australia, Terry Redman, said wages earned in jail were given to the Indonesians on their release and prior to deportation. But Australian human rights lawyers say this kind of action is hurting poor families in Indonesia. The Australian Lawyers Alliance said there had been deaths in Indonesian families as a direct consequence of the detention of Indonesians in Australia and their consequent loss of income.

Read the full report at:

Arrangements for the extradition of prisoners between Australia and Indonesia need to be improved say Indonesian law specialists Tim Lindsey and Simon Butt

Both Australia and Indonesia have citizens in each other’s jails. Given the ever increasing numbers of Australian tourists visiting Indonesia (already above pre-Bali bombing levels), and given that Indonesians flock to Australia in preference to any other country for overseas study, it is likely that the numbers of Australians in Indonesian jails and Indonesians in Australian jails will only increase.

This is the judgement of Tim Lindsey and Simon Butt in an opinion piece that appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on May 25. They observe that senior Indonesian government figures have drawn explicit links between the recently announced clemency for convicted Australian marijuana smuggler Schapelle Corby and Australia’s decision to send home to Indonesia underage Indonesian fishers arrested crewing on people-smuggler vessels. This is a reminder that the extradition process between the two countries is currently politicised, and “the fates of Australians in Indonesian jails are mortgaged to the health of the bilateral relationship.”

The authors call for “greater predictability and formal procedures that lawyers can use on a routine basis, without having to reinvent the wheel each time someone is charged”.

Tim Lindsey is Malcolm Smith Professor of Asian Law in the Asian Law Centre at the University of Melbourne. Simon Butt is Senior Lecturer at Sydney Law School.

Read the full text of their views at: or

Many Australian employers do not value Indonesia literacy skills, Arjuna Dibley and Rebecca Cole report

“Where individuals are equipped with in-depth knowledge about Indonesia, they are able to work in the Indonesian economy in new and creative ways,” write Arjuna Dibley and Rebecca Cole in the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter web site (8 March, 2012). Both are members of the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (

But a survey by the the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association has found that Australian employers often do not value or do not make use of employees with Indonesian-literacy skills. “For instance, 40% of AIYA’s respondents found that their Indonesian literacy was not valued by employers when they applied for jobs, with several employers considering this a strange area of study.”

Arjuna Dibley and Rebecca Cole are graduates of the Indonesian studies program at the Australian National University. Both have studied and worked in Indonesia. Read their opinion piece in full at:

“Moving forward” in relations with Indonesia? The reality is otherwise says Nicholas Stuart

Writing in The Canberra Times (26 May 2012, page 7) columnist Nicholas Stuart says that Australia’s obsession with China’s rise has seemingly blinded us to the inexorable ascendency of Indonesia. Australia has benefited enormously from the stability of the archipelago to our north, he writes. “If Jakarta had really backed the militia violence in East Timor, thousands more would have died and we’d still be consumed in the conflict. By simply waving the armada of asylum seekers through, Indonesia could, within days, destroy the fiction that we possessed control of our borders.”

Stuart argues that, “if it wasn’t for the mining boom, Indonesia’s economic trajectory could have overtaken our own by now.” Indonesia, he says, is the fourth-largest country in the world by population and is a diverse, fascinating region that we should be interested in for its own sake. “A greater understanding of the vibrancy of the islands would enrich our lives, yet instead we go to Kuta to drink and party. The waste of opportunity is tragic.”

Read the opinion piece in full at: