About the Centre

Portrait of Sharyn Davies
Associate Professor Sharyn Davies, Director of the Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre

The Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre is a dynamic platform for developing strong collaborations and exchange between academic researchers, creative industry, and government, industry and alumni leaders from across Monash and Indonesia. The Centre acts as a hub for engaging Indonesia, providing a platform for media outreach from Monash and Indonesian partners though research briefs, commentary on public issues, short videos and social media posts.

The Centre welcomes Associate Professor Sharyn Davies as its new director. Joining Monash from New Zealand, Associate Professor Davies is recognised internationally as an expert in the field of Indonesian Studies and for her contributions on policing in Indonesia, police corruption, social media, surveillance, gender and sexuality. Associate Professor Davies will be invaluable in advancing the University’s strong engagement with Indonesia.

The centre gives a warm thank you to Emeritus Professor Ariel Heryanto, as outgoing Director of the Herb Feith Centre (2018-20) who’s outstanding achievements in the establishment of the Centre and its impactful engagement has continued the legacy of Professor Herb Feith and contributed to deepening our contemporary and historical understanding of Indonesia. Also a warm thank you to Professor Julian Millie for his work with the centre as Acting Director over the past few months.

In 2019, the Centre strengthened and deepened engagement with Indonesia through a plethora of initiatives under the direction of Emeritus Professor Ariel Heryanto, including:

  • The Herb Feith Dialogues featuring H.E. Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance (held in Jakarta), Professor Arskal Salim, Head of the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs’ Directorate for Higher Islamic Education (DIKTIS) and Dewi Lestari, award winning author-singer-songwriter.
  • The Monash Indonesian Seminar Series (MISS) in collaboration with the Louis Matheson Library hosting monthly seminars on issues and research topics including Islam, media and the environment, film, women in leadership.
  • The Herb Feith Centre International ConferenceChinese Indonesians: Identities and Histories’ attended by over 100 delegates including the public, PhD students and academic leaders from across a wide variety of disciplines.
  • The Australian Embassy’s 70th anniversary celebration of diplomatic relations between Australia-Indonesia in Jakarta and Makassar, where Emeritus Professor Ariel Heryanto was keynote speaker.

The Centre is pivotal in supporting contemporary dialogue on subjects such as women’s empowerment, media, environment and religion.

Named for Herb Feith, a Monash scholar and engaged activist who led international research on Indonesian politics, the Centre continues our proud connection to his legacy of positive collaboration, and critical and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution and human rights. Herb Feith was a formidable leader in the development of Indonesian Studies in Australia and bringing the two countries together, inspiring generations to follow in his footsteps of activism and fighting for what is right. Read more about Herb Feith.

The Herb Feith Center is important because it is going to make a difference, and that’s what makes it so significant to have launched in Australia and Jakarta. Herb Feith was the founder in Indonesian studies and the Centre named after him will continue very much in that tradition.

- Ambassador Gary Quinlan