The launch of Flinders’ Jembatan Indonesian initiative marks the culmination of 50 years of building links in education, language and culture with Australia’s closest South-East Asian neighbor.
The Flinders University Jembatan (‘bridge’ in Indonesian Bahasa language) promotes strengthened engagement between the Australian community and modern Indonesian society through increased understanding of Indonesian culture and language.
“Jembatan represents the inter-cultural bridge we aim to build between Australia and Indonesia to strengthen people-to-people links and nurture relationships of mutual understanding,” says Flinders University Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Parkin.
“The initiative reinforces Flinders University’s commitment to its close relationship with Indonesia forged through 50 years of strong research and teaching linkages,” he says.
Jembatan will be officially launched by the Minister for Higher Education, Gail Gago MLC, at the ninth International Convention for Asia Scholars in Adelaide today (7 July 2015) – the largest Asia-focused conference of its kind in Australia with more than 1,000 delegates from 40 countries.
Through Jembatan’s community outreach program, Flinders will showcase its capability to host an Indonesian Government-endorsed ‘Rumah Budaya’, or Indonesian Cultural House in South Australia.
The initiative also links to the SA Government’s South-East Asia Engagement Strategy, which supports social and cultural ventures such as Jembatan and the Rumah Budaya bid to promote broader and deeper engagement with South-East Asia.
The Jembatan initiative is committed to working in partnership with Indonesian and South Australian community and business groups.
Distinguished alumnus Dr Pratikno, the Minister of State Secretary, Government of Indonesia, pledged his support to the venture, congratulating Flinders for launching Jembatan as a 50th anniversary initiative.
“I have strong confidence that Jembatan will help to deepen people-to-people links between South Australia and Indonesia,” he said.
“I was involved in the early discussions to establish Jembatan and Rumah Budaya in Adelaide, therefore I would be very happy to do my best to support the works of Jembatan in years to come. Congratulations!’