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xv FOREWORD: INDONESIA, AUSTRALIA AND THE WORLD Gareth Evans I have always had a strong personal sense of engagement with and commitment to Indonesia. It started with visits long before I entered politics, but was much reinforced by the very warm professional and personal relationship I developed with Ali Alatas after we became the foreign ministers of our respective countries around the same time in 1988, and pledged ourselves to restore ballast to a relationship that seemed to have conspicuously lost it. My affection did not do me much good with the Australian public, with East Timor the running sore it remained for so long, but it was something of which I have remained proud. Indonesia is a country that has an enormous amount to contribute to wider global and regional governance , and our relationship with it, though still so undervalued, remains incredibly important to us. So it gives me particular pleasure, wearing my new hat as chancellor of this great university, to introduce this important volume, the outcome of the 29th Indonesia Update conference in the series the Australian National University has been running continuously since 1983. The annual Update conference, convened with great flair by Professor Tony Reid, is a unique event, the only one of its kind for Indonesia (though it has become an exemplar for similar series that the ANU now runs with several other countries). Its longevity and quality, and the strong public interest it generates as an open and inclusive event, are testimony to the continuing strength of Indonesian studies at the ANU – and the continuing strong support given to this event by AusAID, which it is always a pleasure to acknowledge. xvi  Indonesia Rising: The Repositioning of Asia’s Third Giant The 2011 Update was marked by two milestones, one sad and the other happy. The sad one is that this is the first since 1983 that Jamie Mackie, who passed away peacefully in April aged 86, has not been with us. Together with Herb Feith and Heinz Arndt, he was one of the founders of Indonesian studies in Australia and his legacy will be long remembered . The happy milestone is that this is the first Update since Budy Resosudarmo assumed the directorship of the Indonesia Project at the ANU’s Crawford School. The Project plays an important role in monitoring and analysing economic developments, in particular, and informing government , business and the wider community about them. It is crucial that it continue to play that role and, through this volume, the role of informing the Australian community about a wider range of developments as well. In this respect it is important to do something to counter the old stereo­ typical habits of thinking about Indonesia that still remain depressingly familiar: that it is military dominated, authoritarian and undemocratic, and a hotbed of Islamic extremism which makes it a dangerous country for Australians to be in. This last perception has been prolonged rather than alleviated by overcautious Australian government travel advisories. There is now, once again, an unhappy shortage of that ballast which Ali Alatas and I worked so hard to create. One manifestation of that is the falling away in Australia of commitment to language teaching. Another is the drop in the level of overseas student enrolments at all levels. One would have thought that, as our next-door neighbour, with an increasingly outward-looking population of more than 240 million, Indonesia would rank very high, and be the subject of a huge amount of recruitment activity. But on the last full comparative figures I have seen, for 2009, Indonesian student commencements were just 2.5 per cent of the national total, ranking not only after China and India, but below South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal and Brazil as well. So this book, like the conference that gave birth to it, is a crucial tool in the process of getting to know each other better as mature and important democratic neighbours, both now G20 members as well as key players in Southeast Asia and the Asia–Pacific. Outstanding chapters by Indo­ nesian, Australian and other experts well communicate that understanding and sense of relevance about the relationship. The book’s theme is Indonesia’s rising place in the world, and the chapters cover, as usual, a very wide terrain, including both good and less good news stories. On the less good side: • Indonesia’s anti-corruption drive has been looking decidedly shaky since the departure of Sri Mulyani Indrawati. Foreword  xvii...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9789814380416
Related ISBN
9789814380409
MARC Record
OCLC
835776800
Pages
200
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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