‘Challenging times’ – Indonesian Ambassador to Australia highlights urgent need to support Indonesian language education

Tony and Yohanni lecture
Tony and Yohanni lecture

 

In a thought-provoking address at the ANU 2024 Tony and Yohanni Johns Lecture, the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia and Vanuatu, His Excellency Dr Siswo Pramono, shared his deep insights on the challenges facing Indonesian language learning in Australia.  

Addressing the audience with a short speech at the beginning of the lecture, Ambassador Pramono underlined the detrimental impact of the closure of “innovation and extensions classes” across Australia and resource constraints. He attributed these challenges to a fundamental lack of teachers and funding.  

Despite these challenges, Ambassador Pramono, an alumnus from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP), remained optimistic. He highlighted the potential for overcoming obstacles through collaborative efforts. He commended the invaluable support from key stakeholders like the College and the ANU Indonesia Institute, underscoring their crucial roles in advancing Indonesian language and culture.  

“We are fortunate to have a multitude of partners across federal and state governments, universities, schools and communities who are not only willing but eager to collaborate and support our efforts,” he declared.  

At the forefront of championing Indonesian studies, CAP offers a range of programs that support awareness of Indonesia in Australia. From Indonesian language courses to a dedicated major in Indonesian studies and a comprehensive Master of Asian and Pacific Studiesthe College provides numerous avenues for students to cultivate an understanding of Indonesia's rich and dynamic society and culture.

Moreover, housed within the College, the ANU Indonesia Institute serves as a hub for nurturing connections between Australia and Indonesia while elevating awareness of Indonesian studies on campus. The Institute offers several opportunities for scholars and students to engage with Indonesia through fellowships, grants, collaborative programs, and academic exchange.

Ambassador Pramono announced significant initiatives, including the funding of teaching assistants and the upgrading of language teachers, highlighting Indonesia's commitment to fostering language education abroad.  

“Indonesia has committed to funding 40 teaching assistants to help promote and nurture Indonesian learning in Australia. Indonesia has also committed to upgrade 100 language teachers all over the world, and we have our 20 positions for Australian teachers,” he said.  

The annual ANU Tony and Yohanni Johns lecture pays tribute to the lasting impact of Tony and Yohanni Johns on Indonesian education. This year's event featured acclaimed author and journalist Leila Salikha Chudori, one of Indonesia's most prominent and celebrated contemporary novelists. Ms. Chudori captivated the audience with insights into her acclaimed works, weaving historical and political narratives into compelling fiction, prompting profound reflections on Indonesia's past and present.  

Dr Eve Warburton, Director of the ANU Indonesia Institute, celebrated the event's significance in promoting Indonesian studies, underscoring the interdisciplinary importance of engaging with Indonesia's rich cultural heritage.  

Dean of the College, Professor Helen Sullivan, extended a warm welcome to Ambassador Pramono and attendees, reaffirming the College's commitment to fostering intellectual dialogue and cultural exchange.  

Ambassador Pramono praised the work of the regional institute and CAP and expressed his confidence that events such as the Tony and Yohanni Johns Lecture play an integral role in advancing Indonesian culture and language in Australia.  

“This event [Tony and Yohanni Johns lecture] is timely and important as we need to continue the legacy of Tony and Yohanni, who pioneered Indonesian culture and language learning and teaching at the ANU, and I believe also in Australia.”  

“Events like these will reignite our determination to promote Indonesian language and culture across Australia,” he concluded.  

To learn more about the Indonesian studies offered at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, click here. 

2024 Tony and Yohanni lecture

2024 Tony and Yohanni lecture

2024 Tony and Yohanni lecture
Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture
Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture
Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture
Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture
Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture
Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture

Tony and Yohanni lecture