Rama Brierty (born Ni Nyoman Ramawati) is founding President of the Srikandi Sunshine Coast Indonesian Women's Community Group. It was formed to support female newcomers from Indonesia who often arrive with little English language, no driver's licence or local friends. The group helps women - especially those housebound with new babies - to get to social events and government service offices. Often just being able to talk to friends who have beenthrough all these new experiences is a great relief. Their second goal is to bring Australians and Indonesians together to learn about each other and to dispel mutual suspicion. Rama herself met her Australian husband through silat competition in Indonesia and has now been in South Australia for three years and eight years on the Sunshine Coast. She is a tutor of Indonesian language and a student at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Title of presentation
Indonesians helping Australians understand Indonesia (through community organisations and events, community language teaching, clubs, interfaith, silat, etc)
Strengthening the Australia Indonesian relationship through community activity. The voluntary community group, Srikandi, works to make Indonesian women feel more at ease in Australian society, introducing them to all sorts of people through the Community Centre, church groups and other interest groups. We held a halal bi halal last Idulfitri (with more non-Muslims than Muslims in attendance) and this March an International Women's Day focussing on domestic violence. Last August we worked with the Ngobrol group to celebrate Indonesian Independence Day and this year we were delighted to be invited to take part in the ASILE Conference. We also work to influence positive images about Indonesians to combat the largely negative impressions and fear fostered by the mainstream Australian media. We find that person-to-person, firsthand interaction, eating together, entertaining each other, sharing interesting aspects of culture, differences of attitude and behaviour, all make us appreciate each other just as fellow human beings.
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