Asian Correspondent » Asia Research Centre Asian Correspondent Wed, 20 May 2015 11:20:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Indonesian ambassador deeply honoured by award Thu, 11 Aug 2011 02:20:36 +0000 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.

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Indonesian launch for books Thu, 11 Aug 2011 02:00:57 +0000 Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, David Hill, is heading to Jakarta to see two of his books launched in Indonesian translation.

Professor Hill’s biographical study of controversial Indonesian journalist and author Mochtar Lubis was published by Routledge last year, as Journalism and Politics in Indonesia. Lubis was imprisoned by Indonesia’s first two presidents, Sukarno and Suharto, who also banned his crusading newspaper, Indonesia Raya [Glorious Indonesia].

The Jakarta book launch is to coincide with Indonesia’s annual Mochtar Lubis Award for journalism – Indonesia’s equivalent of Australia’s Walkley Awards. Professor Hill has been asked to speak at the awards ceremony.

Professor Hill said: “Mochtar Lubis, who died in 2004, was one of Indonesia’s best-known newspaper editors, authors and cultural figures. My book weaves a history of the Indonesian press, and specifically that secular liberal stream which has been most influential, through the life story of this pioneering figure.

“It tells the story of Indonesia in the second half of the twentieth century, when the people of the archipelago became an independent nation and when print media and the influential figures who controlled and produced newspapers played a pivotal role in national political, educational and cultural life, defining Indonesia.

“Through their access to both policy-makers and to the public during this particularly malleable phase in the formation of Indonesian identity, they were able to influence national agendas in a way no longer open to their contemporary counterparts. It was an era when print media editors with strong personalities dominated the industry and sparred with the nation’s leadership.”

The Indonesian translation of Professor Hill’s 1994 study The Press in New Order Indonesia, which documents the history of the Indonesian press prior to, and after, the rise of President Suharto, will be launched at the same time.

Both books are being published by Yayasan Obor Indonesia, one of Indonesia’s most highly regarded quality publishers.

Professor Hill said: “For someone who studies contemporary Indonesia, it is really important to have your research accessible to Indonesian readers, to facilitate discussion and debate. So it’s a real delight when a publisher is prepared to translate and publish your work.”

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Climate, natural hazards and change in Southeast Asia Thu, 11 Aug 2011 01:55:17 +0000 Climate change is projected to bring more extreme weather events to this part of the world: but that is not a new occurrence, as researchers at the Asia Research Centre can show. But their ground-breaking project, which investigates the impacts of climate-related and other natural hazards on the economy, society and history of Southeast Asia since the 10th century, demonstrates how disastrous such events can be for human societies, with important consequences for the debate on climate change policy.

Professor James Warren, of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University, is leading a team of scholars under the auspices of an Australia Research Council Linkage Grant, aligned with the Indian Ocean World Centre’s Making of the First Global Economy in the Context of Human- Environment Interaction project.

Professor Warren’s project undertakes the first broad investigation of the impacts of climate-related and other natural hazards on the economy, society and history of Southeast Asia from the 10th century to the present. The research will focus on economic, demographic and social trends across Southeast Asia in association with climatic and natural hazard events, and will examine closely the sometimes catastrophic effects on human institutions and cultural values.

The IOW is a geo-political arena of primary importance. It includes an emerging superpower, China; a broad arc of Muslim countries where numerous hotspots—from Somalia (warlords and pirates), the Persian Gulf and Pakistan (conflict zones and nuclear proliferation) to Bali and the Philippines (fundamentalist and separatist militants)—pose threats to democracy and international stability; and eastern Africa, where poverty and corruption constitute challenges to global peace and security. The geo-political significance of the region has deep historical roots which continue to inform its major actors today.

Whereas the Atlantic and Pacific Worlds are defined by oceans and land masses, the IOW is defined by the monsoons, a complex system of winds and currents that governs the waters of the northern Indian Ocean, the Indonesian Sea and the South and East China Seas, facilitating the early development of a sophisticated and durable system of long-distance maritime exchange, linking Africa to the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Far East.

The umbrella IOWC project will use history, archaeology and geography to explore the growth and importance of the IOW trade from its origins to the present day, as well as the interaction between environment, commerce and people. Historian team members will trace the emergence of the IOW global economy from historical records; archaeologists will trace the physical evidence of that economy; and geographers will examine and measure fluctuations in human-environmental interaction over time.

The project aims: to build a new history of the first global economy in the context of human–environment interaction; to evaluate the changing roles of China, Muslim countries and Africa in that economy; and to assess their current relationships in the IOW macro-region in the light of that history, all of which will help to better inform the public about the history and current roles in the IOW of China, Muslim societies, and Africa.

This Australian component of the global collaboration will initiate key research on the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam and establish systems for converging research on critical trade contacts in the Indian Ocean world, such as Madagascar.

Significantly, it will create synergies and mutual benefits by bringing to the project as an industry partner a world-renowned source of maritime archaeological expertise and public outreach that is actually located on the edge of the Indian Ocean, the Western Australian Maritime Museum.

A rare interdisciplinary collaboration between historians, archaeologists and geographers, this project will fundamentally alter how the IOW is viewed.

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