With the AIYA survey left to run until Friday, we thought we’d share some early trends in your responses. If you haven’t given your feedback just yet, don’t miss out! Your responses will inform our submission to the federal government’s Indonesian Country Strategy, as well as AIYA’s advocacy worth going forward.

The first thing we noticed was that, amongst Australian respondents, the vast majority have expressed an interest in a long-term career in Indonesia – more than 85% indicated that they’d be interested in working in-country for at least five years. Likewise, just as many Indonesian respondents (86%) indicated that they’d be interested in working in Australia, too. For us, this shows that most AIYA members are interested in building a career in – or about – the other’s country.

We also found it interesting that relatively few respondents indicated that Australian news and current affairs coverage had improved their understanding of the Australia-Indonesia relationship. By contrast, more than 50% indicated that they had found Indonesian news and current affairs useful in this respect. For most respondents, cultural exchange – through music, art, food, and sporting events – had deepened their knowledge. Membership organisations (including AIYA), social media, and in-country experiences were also popular responses – which is reassuring!

One of the most evident trends came in reply to our question about obstacles to the bilateral relationship: almost 65% of respondents indicated that cultural misunderstanding between Australia and Indonesia was the most significant issue. Mutual suspicion, a lack of work opportunities in each others’ countries, and language differences also featured prominently.

We’ll have more – including your ideal policy solutions, what can be done to improve the relationship, and how you think we should measure success – in a future blog post. In the meantime, make sure you’ve had your say – and let your friends know, too!

Do these observations square with your own opinions? Let us know what you think in the comments.