President Jokowi and Prime Minister Turnbull on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in September last year in Vientiane, Laos. (Courtesy of Presidential Office/Laily Rachev)

Can democracy deliver? Read Indonesia’s former foreign minister Marty Natalegawa on Australia-Indonesia diplomatic partnership for democracy.

In the news

  • On last week’s topic of Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper, read another response in the Diplomat that emphasises on a shared understanding of the Indo-Pacific could form the basis of a stronger Indonesia-Australia partnership.
  • There are doubts the free trade deal between Indonesia and Australia will meet the end of year deadline. It is predicted that the agreement may be signed at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March next year.
  • In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses Indonesia’s war on drugs with Ricky Gunawan, a human rights lawyer and director of the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH Masyarakat) in Jakarta.
  • New Indonesian authors are emerging in the non-historical subsection of Indonesian bookstores, where the stories of the diaspora have found a niche in the inspirational-reading market.
  • What can Indonesia learn in unifying NGOs from Australia? Read the analysis by Australia Awards Scholarship recipients from the Australian Conference on International Development conference.
  • Indonesian soap operas or sinetron are the highest rated and longest running shows in the country. Unlike Neighbours in Australia, Indonesian soap operas believe in the more unbelievable the plot is, the better.
  • Check out Sendok Garpu, an Indonesian restaurant in the Brisbane suburb that recently made its feature in New York Times’ Critics’ Pick.
  • Meet Nurul, Calvin, and Salvika, Indonesian figure skaters training hard in Jakarta hoping to compete in the Winter Olympics.


  • Banda Aceh, 17 December – Attend the premiere screening of Aceh: beyond the tsunami, a documentary exploring the extraordinary stories of 2004 survivors and Q&A with the producers.
  • Yogyakarta, 19 December – The Aceh: beyond the tsunami movie team is also holding a screening in Yogya! Check out the details here on how you can attend the event.


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