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Jakarta Post

The Australian dream: Indonesians hopeful of gaining easier access to southern neighbor

  • Apriza Pinandita and Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 13, 2020   /  07:36 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Know thy neighbor: Students from Western Australia color traditional Kamasan paintings in a studio in Denpasar, Bali. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visited Australia from Saturday to Monday to further cement the good relations between the two neighbors.(JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

Indonesians and Australians, despite their geographical proximity, still do not understand each other very well, says I Made Andi Arsana, an Indonesian scholar from Gadjah Mada University (UGM), who spent nine years living in the land down under. As neighbors, an acknowledgement of their importance to each other has come fairly recently, in the form of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was fast-tracked by both sides amid warming ties. One side of the relationship both countries are looking to improve is people-to-people connectivity, which officials – at least on the Indonesian side – insist could be immediately addressed by easing visa restrictions for Indonesians looking to travel to Australia. During President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to Australia earlier this week, visa reforms were one of the...