His Excellency Primo Alui Joelianto, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Australia, said today he was “deeply honoured” to be awarded an Honorary Professorship by Murdoch University.

Professor Joelianto  said it was a “dream come true”, adding that it was an acknowledgment of the understanding between Indonesian and Australian governments.

Murdoch Vice Chancellor, Professor Gary Martin, said: “The appointment of Honorary Professor provides recognition of an individual’s outstanding contribution to and support of Murdoch University. Ambassador Joelianto has been a strong advocate for Indonesian language and cultural studies both at Murdoch University and across educational institutions in Australia.”

Professor Joelianto used his inaugural professorial address to speak on Indonesia’s foreign policy and Indonesia-Australia bilateral relations, referring to the importance of a close relationship between the two nations. “Being neighbours is not enough,” he said. “We need to be strong partners and good friends.”

Professor Joelianto is a distinguished diplomat, having served previously in the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Director-General for Asia Pacific and Africa Affairs, and as Director both for East Asia and Pacific Affairs and for Middle East Affairs.

Since his appointment as Ambassador in Canberra in March 2009, he has worked tirelessly to advance Australian-Indonesian relations.

Indonesia is a key area of interest for Murdoch. The University’s Asia Research Centre is an international leader in the study of East and South East Asia and is engaged in a number of research projects focused on Indonesia. In addition, the Chair of South East Asian Studies, Professor David T Hill, is also Consortium Director and Founder of ACICIS, the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies, which develops and coordinates study programs at Indonesian partner universities for Australian university students.