Monash Arts’ Indonesian endeavours strike a chord

Monash Arts’ Indonesian endeavours strike a chord Monash Arts representatives with Indonesian friends in Jakarta.

A Monash Arts delegation enjoyed a rewarding visit to Jakarta recently, celebrating the annual Monash Doctoral Day and engaging with alumni, stakeholders, academics and the Australian Embassy.

Dean of Arts Professor Sharon Pickering presented at the Monash Doctoral Day's Research in Action session, which featured alumni and current PhD candidates.

The academics included Dr Sri Eddyono (2016, PhD, Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Arts), Professor of Law, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Dr Dean Affandi (2017, PhD, Anthropology, Arts), Science and Research Coordinator, World Resources Institute Indonesia, Dr Elisabet Titik Murtisari (2011, PhD, Translation Studies, Arts), Lecturer, Satya Wacana Christian University.

Prof Pickering also co-hosted a panel on Industrial Revolution 4.0 on higher education in Indonesia: Opportunities and challenges.

The Monash Doctoral Day, at the Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta on September 9, offered prospective PhD students the opportunity to meet with Monash experts and discover the benefits of its doctoral program and how it supported students in advancing their careers or academic progression.

The event involved eight faculties: Arts (Humanities and Social Sciences); Monash Business School; Education; Engineering; IT; Law; Science; and Medicine.

Professor Sharon Pickering with Monash's Indonesian colleagues.

Monash Arts alumna and Indonesian policy advisor Ibu Dewi Fortuna Anwar shared her thoughts and wisdom with Arts academic leaders during the visit.

At the Dean's alumni dinner, Prof Pickering spoke of exciting initiatives in the Arts faculty, including the Global Immersion Guarantee (GIG) and the establishment of the Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre.

The Global Immersion Guarantee will provide more than 2000 first-year Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Global Studies students (and double degree students) an overseas study experience in India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia and in 2019, China.

“Our first Global Immersion Guarantee students will be arriving in Indonesia from November through to January,” Prof Pickering said.

“Over two weeks those students will visit Jakarta, Yogyajarta, Makassar and Bali, participating in field work and site visits, gaining first-hand experience from companies, government and community organisations. In 2019, China will also be included as a fifth destination.”

Prof Pickering told the audience that Monash had “reached a maturity where our alumni and our friends are in leadership positions in government, industry and community groups all around the world”.

“As such, you are the best demonstration of what Monash is able to contribute to the world. You are an important part of our story as we are of yours,” Prof Pickering said.

“I now wish to extend an invitation to each of you here this evening, to be a part of this exciting transformative opportunity and help shape our next generation of graduates.

“We want our students to see, taste, smell, experience and learn the way your local community, businesses or government organisation is dealing with the complexities and challenges involved in innovation and sustainability.

“We hope you will join us in strengthening our engagement and partnership with Indonesia, and the goal of becoming the Australian university that makes the biggest contribution to social mobility by 2020 with sending an estimated 2500 students through this program.”

The Monash Doctoral Day proved a popular event in Jakarta.

Prof Pickering introduced plans for the establishment of the Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre, which was named to honour the university's proud connection to Dr Herb Feith.

“Herb arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1939 and was at Monash from 1962 through to his retirement in 1990,” she said.

“Herb was known as both an outstanding scholar and an engaged activist. His early years volunteering as an Indonesian civil servant lead to the establishment of the Australian Volunteers International. He led international research on Indonesian politics for several decades, and during his time at Monash was one of the founders of the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies.”

Prof Pickering said the centre was an opportunity to continue Dr Feith’s legacy with a renewed focus on the themes of critical and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution and human rights.

“The Monash Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre provides an opportunity to showcase Monash capability from across the university,” she said.

“The centre allows us to expand and deepen our relationships with university, government and non-government organisations, cultural and media networks, industry and alumni partners to promote cultural understanding and solve pressing social and practical problems.”

The centre will be a dynamic and contemporary platform for Monash researchers engaging with Indonesia, Prof Pickering said.

“It will deliver a vibrant schools outreach program, support the learning of Bahasa Indonesia, foster university partnerships and engage with our growing cohort of Indonesian alumni.”

The Arts academic team also met with Gary Quinlan, Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia, during its visit to Jakarta.