It was an exceptional experience for Indonesian language student Seisia Kane to be part of the country’s official celebrations of its 70 years of independence.
Flinders University nominated the third-year law-arts student to represent Australia at the Independence Day anniversary at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on 17 August.
She was one of only two Australian students, among 32 student representatives from 18 countries, invited to the official commemoration event by the Education and Cultural Attache at the Indonesian Embassy.
“It was fantastic to meet all the other delegates from other countries who all shared a love for Indonesia and its culture,” Seisia says.
“Indonesia is one of our closest neighbours and is developing at a rapid rate, so intercultural relations is an important way to develop Australian-Indonesian relations in the future.”
Seisia added: “I have been studying Indonesian since high school and I think learning the language is a key part of understanding the culture.”
She said studying Bahasa Indonesian at Flinders has been a great experience and a practical add-on to her career prospects.
“I would like to thank (Indonesian lecturers) Pak Budi and Bu Firdaus who made this experience possible. Also to Flinders University which continues to lead the way in Indonesian and Asian Studies.”
The Jembatan initiative at Flinders is a focus for developing ongoing education, language and cultural collaborations with Indonesia.
The Jembatan program will expand its education engagement with Indonesia in 2015-16 with a new student internship program and an Indonesian language professional development program.
Flinders has formal partnerships with eight Indonesian higher education institutions.
Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling, Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Nancy Cromar, Jembatan Academic Director Dr Priyambudi Sulistiyanto, and other International Centre representatives last month visited Indonesian partners in Yogyakarta, Bandung and Jakarta.
Flinders supports industry and government activities in Indonesia, with almost 1,000 Indonesian alumni – including Minister of State Secretary Dr Pratikno – and more than 200 Indonesian students a year at the University.