Issue 50
Welcome to Issue 50 - second issue for 2007.


Phillip Mahnken, Sunshine Coast

WHAT does it say about our national interest in Indonesia that the students of its language and culture here are rapidly boiling down to a core of soldiers and police? [...]

Indonesia has steadily pervaded our life in cuisine, music, fashion and art. But the study of its language at Australian universities is in steep decline, and is stagnating in high schools. Like most languages, it is almost non-existent in primary schools - the years when the mind soaks up new words and sounds easily. Hamish Macdonald, SMH
April 28, 2007  

ACCI's chief executive officer Peter Hendy says the ACCI wants students under seven years of age or earlier to learn a foreign language.
"We think that's very important - it should be compulsory that by at least seven, each child who can is learning a foreign language," he said.
"Academic research shows that once you've learnt a second language, beyond your primary language, it is easier to learn other languages after that."
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

Life in an East Javanese Village
, by Louise Blair, teacher in pesantren 2005-6

  • Indonesian language learners and native speakers discussion group (all polite topics allowed, except commercial spam), sign up at indonesian_learners
    If you are looking for a real beginners e-group, better to join: australiaindonesia

    The Indonesian Studies Newsletter
    of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA)

    Issue 50 May - August 2007

  • Myth Magic & Master Puppetry - Shadow Puppeteer Sumardi is returning to Australia to share his craft and culture with students through a nation-wide tour
  • Australian Society of Indonesian Language Educators (ASILE) Conference hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast 5 - 8 July 2007. See theme, program, photos, etc. The Indonesian Ambassador and Culture and Education Attache gave presentations and were video-interviewed along with many Australian and Indonesian teachers and lecturers. Proceedings being collated. See USC press release.
  • Business group calls for education overhaul by Michael Vincent
  • A long-term relationship requires ability to speak Hamish McDonald, Asia-Pacific Editor, SMH April 28, 2007 Local copy
  • Tongue-tied in a bilingual business world Luke Slattery, AFR. April 2007 Local copy
  • Alan Stevens: Author of An Exotic Language story of the new Stevens & Schmidgall-Tellings Indonesian-English Dictionary
  • Gathering of the Gamelan in Melbourne Sunday 17 June
  • Return to Asian Studies, David T. Hill The Australian, May 23, 2007
  • Languages in Crisis: National Languages Summit called by Australian Academy of the Humanities and Group of Eight universities Canberra 7 June 2007
  • Top unis to tackle languages crisis Milanda Rout 2 June 07 The Australian
  • Uni plan to stem language "crisis" June 2, 2007
  • Robin Jeffrey: Ignorance as a second language The Australian 8 June 2007
    We need to beef up knowledge about the region and its people's tongues [Local copy]
  • Indonesia: Gambling That Tolerance Will Trump Fear April 15, 2007 by CALVIN SIMS (NYT) Many optimists argue that there may be no place on earth better suited to be a Muslim democracy.
  • Language, the missing word in our schools by Matthew Absalom, The Age Newspaper, July 6, 2007 [Local copy]
  • ASILE and RUILI reports from Phil Mahnken
  • Orisha International Arts from Indonesia and Brazil in Education Culture and Entertainment
  • FESTIVAL NUSANTARA 8 - 12 August Brisbane Powerhouse
  • ROBERT MCCLELLAND MP Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Speech to Australia Indonesia Business Council Sydney 15 March 2007 Enhancing the Australia-Indonesian relationship through Good Actions as well as Good Reactions (pdf)
  • US author Tim Weiner speaks with Fran Kelly, ABC RN 8 Aug 2007 ".. the only way to know another man's mind, is to talk to him. And we can't speak the language. We do not speak Arabic. We do not speak Chinese or Korean or Farsi the language of Iran or Pushtu. [...] We better begin there with the language and history and culture of the countries we want to understand. Phil Mahnken comment and excerpt
  • Languages Education Australia - a treasure chest of developments in languages education
  • Louise Blair Life in an East Javanese Village, by Louise Blair, teacher in pesantren 2005-6
  • Learning languages in primary school The Primary Principals Association Charter - languages are not a priority.Professor Anne Pauwels of UWA says we're being parochial and monocultural and what's more, we're flying in the face of what the rest of the world is doing.
  • UNESCO-APEID International Conference, Reinventing Higher Education: Toward Participatory and Sustainable Development, to be held from 12 to 14 December 2007, in Bangkok, Thailand Brochure and paper by
  • Gerry van Klinken Communal conflict and decentralisation in Indonesia at Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies


    From ISN49

  • DARMASISWA SCHOLARSHIPS via the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra. One year at an Indonesian institution studying the area of your choice (national and regional languages, music, dance, arts, etc) Dr. Agus Sartono, the new Education and Cultural Attaché has fifty scholarships to allocate and is keen to hear from applicants at any time. Further Darmasiswa Information is available at It's a once-in-a-lifetime and life-changing experience!
  • AsiaCALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)
  • Lowy Institute Sydney, Wednesday Lunch 1 August with Dr Peter McCawley Flyer
  • Indonesia: Punching Below its Weight? Many Lowy Institute talks available as mp3.
  • Your views and news, please. Please send any news of developments in Indonesian studies
    or a link to descriptions of your current or past research. Write us an opinion piece!


    National Online Undergraduate Seminar for Indonesian Studies 6 October 2006. Archives with sound and visuals are available via these links: Aspinall, Hatley, Elson and Ford. Try out the audio-conference room at

  • Steve Miller's Honours Thesis on Pramoedya Ananta Toer
  • Completely new worlds An inspiring testimonial from a languages student

  • Websites of ongoing value

  • INDONEWS from the Asia Institute of Melbourne University
  • Languages Education Australia
  • Berita Bahasa Indonesia NSW Bulletin for Teachers of Indonesian
  • Speaking with Cloth: Cerita Dalam Kain Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) stunning online exhibition to accompany the real thing.
  • Indonesian and Japanese Online Readers highly interactive and intercultural
  • Remembering vocabulary in your foreign language
  • Recent Asialink iLectures. (audio files). See also Recent Lecture, Seminar and Forum transcripts

  • Recommended reading:

  • Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology


    Return to the RAMBU WACANA - signpost to Indonesia-related links


    UNESCO-APEID International Conference, Reinventing Higher Education: Toward Participatory and Sustainable Development, to be held from 12 to 14 December 2007, in Bangkok, Thailand Brochure

    NOUS-Lang 2007
    National Online Seminar
    on Language Teacher Education

    Relevant reading for students and teachers alike in past issues.
    Issue 49 Issue 48 Issue 47 Issue 46 Issue 45 Issue 44,43,42, 41, 40,39, 38, 37, 36, 35, 34, 33, 32, 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26


    ASILE 2007 Conference
    5-8 July 2007
    on the Sunshine Coast

    Proceedings *

    ‘It is our shared vision that by 2020 we will live in an Australia in which our children can speak with respect and knowledge about Islam; an Australia that can communicate with its largest and nearest neighbour – Indonesia; an Australia that can take up the opportunities offered by the intellectual and economic powerhouses of China and India ... An Australia in which a unique, vibrant, creative culture has blossomed, a culture that understands its Indigenous connectedness to land and is fed as much by the influences of the great civilisations of Asia as by those of Europe.’ Carrillo Gantner AO, National Summit on Studies of Asia National Statement for Engaging Young Australians with Asia in Australian Schools (Commonwealth of Australia 2006. Available online)