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Jakarta Post

Letter: Lift barriers of young RI-Aussie ties

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Wed, October 12 2011   /  08:00 am

Last week, the inaugural Indonesia-Australia Dialogue brought together 20 prominent Australians and Indonesians from a range of fields to discuss ways to improve the people-to-people relationship between the two countries. It is widely acknowledged that, while government ties are strong, people-to-people ties are lagging behind and are acting as a barrier to a more robust relationship.

One of the reasons that the relationship lacks depth is that while many Australians travel to Bali for holidays, few have spent time in other parts of Indonesia learning the language, studying or working. The Dialogue, ironically overshadowed by an Australian tourist drug scandal in Bali, was supposed to be an important step in increasing meaningful engagement between Australians and Indonesians. If both sides hope to improve people-to-people ties beyond this Dialogue, an issue that needs to be add...