How quickly 2011 has gone! Our project will be 5 months old on Dec 25. Taking lessons from five-month old baby milestones, in this stage “Your baby now realizes where sounds come from”. It seems to be relevant to our project too. Looking back over our short journey, we are delighted that we now seem to comprehend gradually and have a better vision of the direction of our project.
The use of English on our blog and most of our tweets may limit us to communicate with all people on the streets. Yet, we are excited with the opportunity to spread our ideas to non-Indonesians especially those who aim to build partnerships with Indonesia. We think this is one aspect that we tend to overlook. Given Indonesia’s increasing roles at various world forums, a greater understanding of our country would help our overseas friends to understand what we need and want to do. Then, their understanding would help us optimise our roles so that we can contribute to the global challenges. We do not doubt that there are more Indonesians who are fluent in English either especially the young generation, the group of people who our project is mostly relevant to.
We are very thankful for all the support that Ministry of Trade of Republic of Indonesia, Ministry of Tourism and A Creative Economy of Republic of Indonesia, School of Economics at University of Adelaide, PPIA (Indonesian student association) at University of Adelaide and APINDO (the Indonesian Employers Association) especially Mr David Parsons have provided in 2011.
Our project is confident that we can do more in 2012 to contribute to the policy debate in Indonesia. In addition to continual support from various parties that we just mentioned, the GoLive Indonesia welcomes additional financial support from the Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII) in 2012.
The AII was established by the Australian Government in 1989 ‘to contribute to a more broadly based and enduring relationship between Australia and Indonesia and to project positive images of Australia and Indonesia in each other’s country‘.
The GoLive Indonesia project agrees to further the AII goals. In the view of stronger links between Australia and Indonesia, our project is expected to be a strategic platform to accommodate discussions on the two countries’ bilateral relationships from economic and trade, political, social, education and many other sectors.
Our project, that is particularly focused on young Indonesian people in both Australia and Indonesia, aims at assisting Indonesia’s emerging research scholars to develop their analytical skills and stimulate critical reviews of current government or other political and economic entities’ policies. The life and academic experience that Indonesian scholars who live in Australia have gained may benefit the progress of this objective to facilitate cross-cultural engagement. This objective is in line with the AII’s Second Goal.
Nevertheless, to continue to run and expand our activities, the project requires greater support from larger communities.
In 2012, our project plans to continue our existing programs including blogging, organising academic workshops and social media networking.
We aim to expand our activities by collaborating with PPIA to organise face-to-face and people-to-people events not only in Adelaide but also in two capital cities in Australia and potentially two events in Indonesia. Our academic workshops aim to provide an enabling environment for a healthy discussion on current issues with the final objective to provide some policy recommendations for the government and direction of future studies and to provide opportunities to emerging scholars to present their ideas and get feedback from their peers. The events in Indonesia will be held collaborating with Bogor Agricultural University and a university in Sumatera that is yet to be confirmed. Our project will visit Melbourne and Sydney where Indonesian students are concentrated to socialise and involve participation from interstate.
Our project will also run two writing workshops in two universities in South Australia. The targeted audience is students from Indonesia. The academic writing workshops have the objective to improve analytical skills and writing skills of Indonesian scholars which will positively impact on their academic life as well as professional life.
The use of social media networking in our project also allows the project to contribute to institution building by shedding light on issues in both Indonesia and Australia which cannot or will not always be covered by traditional media. Thus, the project may provide alternative and more balanced views to these issues. Our coverage on export ban on Australian live cattle export to Indonesia provides a real example of an effective way to shape opinion not only of the audience in Australia but also in Indonesia. Our twitter activities aim to increase the participation of the people; to shed light on the workings of the government or other political entities meaning reduces a possibility of corruption, increases the effectiveness and provides some sorts of social control; and to make discussions go beyond the country’s borders
Our project also aims at facilitating cross-cultural engagement. The blog recently added ‘Opportunities’ section to its content aiming at providing relevant information about scholarships and fellowships to Indonesians. The blog also allows cross-borders knowledge exchange through social media networking and participation at cultural events for example the upcoming INDOFEST (to be confirmed).These activities aim to assist Indonesians getting access to information about available opportunities and to provide overseas audience a good understanding of the nature of Indonesia, vice versa.
At the end of 2012, we will review our project’s performance by looking at the following key performance indicators. We will review satisfaction of our project’s event attendees (through a short survey), average number of participants per event, average number of participants per dollar spent in an event, average number of article submissions to the project’s blog, the distribution of authors’ institutional background (as we aim to reach a diverse audience), the number of the blog’s twitter account followers, average number of blog visitors per month, the number of articles written by our project members being published by mainstream English newspapers (such as the Jakarta Post) and other reputable media (eg East Asia Forum).
This is a social contract that we commit to bind.
Once again, we need your support. The simplest ways to do are to ‘like’ our Facebook page, follow our twitter account, attend our events if possible and submit your article. Also important is to ask your communities to join us. We do believe that big things start from little things. If we can keep this small project going, who knows what the future holds for us.
Thanks for reading this lengthy reflection and we wish you a great and productive end-of-year break.
This article is prepared by Risti Permani.