(Chris Phutully/Flickr)

Prof Merle Ricklefs AM, Professor Emeritus of the Australian National University, talks about the history of Australia Day and the continuing arguments about its aim and timing. Listen to his interview with SBS for today’s Australia Day edition.

In the news

  • A moderately strong earthquake shook Java and was felt in the country’s capital Jakarta on Tuesday and Wednesday. One person has died, several were injured and more than 1,000 houses have been destroyed.
  • Indonesia’s growing middle class are travelling overseas in record numbers but the numbers holidaying in Australia are not as strong. Ross B. Taylor writes that unless something is done about the expensive and onerous visa process faced by Indonesians, Australia will continue to miss out.
  • How does Indonesia regulate pornography and how have its anti-pornography laws been applied? Dr Dave McRae chats to Dr Helen Pausacker in the first Talking Indonesia podcast for 2018.
  • As more Indonesians turn to social media for their daily news intake, the crackdowns on fake news are not enough. Indonesian voters need better journalism and greater digital literacy, argues Ross Tapsell.
  • More in New Mandala, a statement by the head of the hard line Forum Umat Islam  reveals religious leaders behind the “212” movement are bitter that they’re not being rewarded with influence within political parties in Indonesia’s 2018 regional elections.
  • Will Jakarta no longer be Indonesia’s capital? Over the years, Indonesian politics demonstrates that talk of moving the capital is really more of a distraction than a genuine plan. Read more at the Interpreter on how political will is needed to make the move happen.

On the blog

  • Get to know more AIYA’s new operations officer (Indonesia), Sophie Hewitt, in this year’s first AIYA Member Spotlight. Find out why she loves martabak manis and the word banget!


  • Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Makassar, 25 – 28 January – Don’t miss out this year’s Festival Sinema Australia Indonesia. Enjoy the free screenings and Q&A with the movie directors in select cities.
  • Sydney, 27 January – Come to Sydney CBD to see a very talented group of musicians from Indonesia play angklung! It’s a free entry and come between 12 – 2 pm to find out!
  • Sydney and Melbourne, 6 – 12 February – Check out series of Making Connections: the Bundengan of Wonosobo events filled with music exploration, instrument-building, and cross-cultural communities.


  • The Australia-Indonesia Centre Health Cluster is seeking applications for the role of Liaison Officer at the Surabaya campus of Universitas Airlangga. Applications should be sent before 28 January midnight.
  • Join AIYA Victoria! The chapter is looking for members to fill in 7 executive positions. Read more about the job descriptions here and apply here.
  • Check out experiential learning trip in Bali and Lombok this April organised by CERES Global. The trip will focus on building friendships with organisations and groups involved in marine protection with a particular emphasis on plastic waste in our oceans.
  • Check out the applications for Hamer Scholarships this year! The scholarships offer the opportunity for language study and cultural engagement with dynamic markets such as Indonesia.
  • Learning a language? Get Indonesian & English language help with UniBRIDGE Project.

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