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AIYA’s annual survey has grown and changed since its origins in 2013, but its fundamental purpose is the same: to identify what is important to our members, to understand their ideas and to learn how they would like the Australia-Indonesia relationship to develop. Over time, we can track changes in the mood of our members, and understand what new issues are important for them. From the New Colombo Plan to foreign workers and everything in between, AIYA wants to hear your thoughts! We’ve had a phenomenal response so far and can’t wait for more – so jump online and fill out the survey if you haven’t already. A full report will be published in May, but for the time being here are a couple of juicy stats from the submissions so far:

  • Almost half of our Australian respondents speak advanced or fluent Bahasa Indonesia, and half of Indonesian respondents speak advanced or fluent English. AIYA’s membership base obviously means our survey respondents are more likely to have studied Indonesian (for Australians) or English (for Indonesians) than the general population of both countries, but even we were blown away by the impressive and encouraging linguistic skills of AIYA’s members!
  • Survey respondents identified education, government relations and business/economic engagement as the top three issues affecting the bilateral relationship. With around one third of our respondents working in the education sector, this isn’t surprising. Do you think education is the most important factor affecting the relationship? Have your say!
  • Lack of cross-cultural understanding was by far the most commonly identified impediment to good relations between Australia and Indonesia. Is it because our cultures are so different, perhaps? What’s your opinion?
  • A staggering 95% of respondents agree that the New Colombo Plan has been effective in improving the bilateral relationship – but improvements need to be made. Comments on the matter include:

“As of 2016 the New Colombo Plan is not extended to post-graduate students which may not capture the potential of many advanced-level students with an interest in Indonesia.”

“[The NCP is] effective, but a costing exercise needs to be done: $67,000 could be split into three NCP scholarships … [and] opening the opportunity up to more students.”

The survey is open until midnight on 25 April, so get in quick and tell us what you think!