Photo: BBC

Photo: BBC

Bahasa Indonesia was adopted to make communication easier across the vast Indonesian archipelago, but as David Fettling from the BBC writes, its simplicity has only created new barriers.

In the news

  • A recent visit to Israel by a senior Islamic figure has led to members of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, NU, accusing the nation’s second largest Islamic party, PKS, of behaving like communists out to destroy Indonesia. According to Greg Fealy, such behaviour is emblematic of the fevered state of Islamic discourse in Indonesia.
  • Australia and Indonesia share a vital interest to create a resilient neighbourhood by overcoming inequality. Yet, Indonesia, which is estimated to be the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2050, still faces regional disparity that remains a major obstacle to broad-based growth.
  • The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) recent ruling in favour of Australia’s plain cigarette packaging law has brought to the global spotlight Indonesia’s notorious policy that puts citizens’ health after business gains.
  • Whilst at first glance, Nahdlatul Ulama, has never been in a stronger position, a closer look suggests the organisation’s position is more vulnerable and its future more uncertain. They face an ever more acute dilemma between representing a religious community and securing resources and influence within government.
  • Indonesia is predicted become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2050. Political strategist Hugh White says a powerful Indonesia could help limit China’s influence.
  • The Indonesian government launched a new online system for business registration to cut the lengthy bureaucratic procedures in a bid to drive more investment from domestic and foreign sources. Individuals or companies can now obtain necessary permits to start a business within an hour of submitting required data.

On the blog


  • Melbourne, 16 July – Join the Hon Kevin Rudd and Terry Moran AC for ‘Challenges Facing Australian Governance’, hosted by the La Trobe Ideas & Society Program. Don’t miss out on what is certain to be a fascinating and illuminating conversation about governance in Australia. Book early as interest is likely to be high!
  • Melbourne, 16 July – Join AIYA Victoria and Asialink Business for the upcoming event ‘Sports, Film & Fashion – The rise of soft power in Australia’s links with Asia’ at Monash University. Don’t forget to register yourself or contact Leanne for more information.
  • Adelaide, 21 July – Gather your friends and come along to the Australia-Indonesia Association (AIA) of South Australia’s Gala Dinner and Wayang at the Art Gallery to experience the tastes and sounds of the Spice Islands. Get your tickets here!
  • Melbourne, 23 July – ‘Australia & Indonesia: Can we be friends?’, hosted by the Australia Indonesia Council and Australian Foreign Affairs will examine the turbulent relationship between Australia and Indonesia, and the missteps that have prevented the forging of a friendship. Please register as places are limited!
  • Brisbane, 17 August – Join IndoOz Business Networking Dinner with His Excellency Yohanes Kristiarto Legowo in Brisbane City Hall! This is the sixth year of the event that brings together high-level government representatives and business people from both Indonesia and Australia. AIYA QLD is offering 6 discounted tickets of $100 each. Contact [email protected] or 0434886623 to take advantage of this opportunity!


  • Join AIYA National! Enjoy our In The Blog section so far? We are now looking for Blog Editors to join the team! Read more about the role here and apply before 15 July.
  • Join AIYA Jawa Barat! The Chapter in Bandung is recruiting for Semester 2. All Indonesians and Australian ACICIS students are welcome to apply. Fill out an expression of interest form here!
  • Join AIYA ACT! The Chapter is looking for an events officer and general committee members. Please contact [email protected] to express your interest.
  • Join AIYA East Indonesia! The Chapter in Makassar is looking for new committee members for the AGM which will be announced shortly. Fill in this form to apply!
  • Calling all Indonesian speakers to join National Australia Indonesia Language Awards (NAILA) 2018 competition. Submit a video of yourself speaking in Indonesian on this year’s theme “Diversity”. Total prizes for 10 categories is 11,500 AUD. Head to the NAILA website for more information. Applications are open until 31 August!
  • Volunteer registration for the 15th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (24-28 October) is now open! New volunteer roles are available, including Indonesian Content Creator, English Content Creator, and Partnership Liaison. Register here.
  • The Australian phase of Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) will be hosted in Melbourne and Bendigo in October and November this year which means the program is looking for host families and host organisations in both locations! If you would like to be a host family or a host organisation for one of the lovely 18 Indonesian participants please apply here.
  • If you would like to become an Australian AIYEP participant applications are now open until 18 July! To apply you must be between 21-25 years of age, be a team player and want to learn more about Indonesia. Ayo daftar!
  • Join talented students around the globe in the 2018 Universitas Hasanuddin International Cultural Program 2018 to be held on the 13-19 August 2018 in Makassar, Indonesia! Further information is available here. Registration closes 15 July 2018, so don’t hesitate to apply!
  • Applications for the AIC’s ReelOzInd! Short Film Festival are open! This year’s theme is ‘Youth’. Ayo, bikin film, yuk! Submissions close 31 July.
  • Learning a language? Get Indonesian & English language help with UniBRIDGE Project.

Like what we do and want to join or support your local chapter to contribute to our exciting activities? Sign up as an AIYA member today!