GoLive Indonesia enthusiast, Indra Kiling, was selected as one of CAUSINDY 2016 Indonesian Delegates. Here he shares his experience during the conference in Bali.
2016 is the second year of my Ph.D program, where I put most of my mind and time in gathering requisite data in West Timor to complete my postgraduate studies. Early this year, GoLive Indonesia coordinator, Gracia Girsang, advised me to consider applying for Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth (CAUSINDY) 2016. I spontaneously thought that applying was a terrible idea for a father with one child that hardly can be classified as a young person. But after I checked on the Conference’s background, past delegates, and activities, I decided that this one is worth a shot.
Realising that the odd is not favourable for a regular Ph.D student like me to compete against around 500 highly decorated academics and professionals (numbers shared by one of CAUSINDY’s committee member), I contemplated in finding my plus value for attending CAUSINDY. In the application form’s statement, I decided to focus only in articular sector of interests which is education and arts; these are the sectors in which most of my experiences were based. To further improve my chance, I highlighted my experiences related to Australia-Indonesia relationship, publications, social and organisations involvement and also in founding BUNGA research community.
Good news came in early July where I got contacted for a Skype interview appointment. After the interview, I was a bit pessimistic thanks to the unforeseen questions that made me doubt myself. I was asked “What will I do to improve the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia if I were given a chance to be an Indonesian ambassador to Australia?”. As a person who does not come from international relations background, I was stunned for a few seconds. The only answer that I could come up with was trying to have an informal meeting with the chief editor of a major newspaper in Australia to show that Indonesian people are not cold-blooded killers or worst, terrorists.
That top-down approach answer managed to secure my spot as one of 15 Indonesian delegates in CAUSINDY 2016. My preparations and effort, combined with insights given from Gracia Girsang as one of the 2013 CAUSINDY alumni and all other aspects paid off. When I got that notification e-mail, I felt so estatic that I posted it on Facebook even before CAUSINDY formally announced it! As a normal social person, I took a good look at other candidates’ profile and considered myself very lucky to be a part of this diverse and potential emerging leaders conference with seasoned speakers (see Indonesian delegates here and Australian delegates here).Before the conference took place, all 30 delegates were divided into four smaller groups with four mentors to help us formulate concrete output based on our experiences in the conference. My teammates and I are gathered under team Hamilton, the team had dynamic discussions through Whatsapp and Trello, mentored by Paul Mead – who was a delegate at CAUSINDY 2014 and also a sports consultant. The pre-conference activities really prepared us for the conference and was essential in conceiving initial output idea based on our passion and expertise.
CAUSINDY 2016 main venue is held at the Conrad hotel in Bali, one of the most luxurious accommodations I have ever stayed in. The first day started with an introductory panel, where delegates discussed their experiences and background while linking it back it to the Indonesian politics and Australia-Indonesia relationship. After the tea break, the day continued with business discussion panel by Lydia Santoso, Justin Fox and Helen Brown (further information on speakers can be seen here). We discussed opportunities and barriers related to business collaboration between two countries, Free Trade Agreement, and also some of best practices available. This panel highlighted Telkomtelstra as one of a good example of business partnership between Indonesia and Australia. The conference then continued with CAUSINDY review session, where the four teams discuss their output in person, brainstorm ideas and transform it to an achievable output. The day then closed with an informal dinner where it was my first opportunity to really get to know other delegates.
I started the second day with an early breakfast before the “At home and abroad: the years in politics” session panelled by Dewi Anwar and Greg Fealy and moderated by Helen Brown. Mrs. Dewi highlighted the differences between Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who were active in foreign policy activities and Joko Widodo who are more focused on immediate domestic economic growth. She also mentioned death penalty as one area in disagreement between Australia and Indonesia. Greg Fealy shared that even though some senators in Australia are anti-Islam; there are lots of parties and politicians who still considers Indonesia as an important country to ally with. The presence of Tim Watts as one of Australian delegate in CAUSINDY 2016 is one proof, Tim is the Federal Labor Member of Parliament for Gellibrand. The second day then proceeded with the second CAUSINDY review session where team Hamilton further polished our ideas into specific outputs.
After review session, all delegates traveled to Ubud by bus for a lovely cooking lesson at Casa Luna, I had the chance to chop vegetables and grind spices, activities that I rarely do. Because of the heavy traffic, we did not have the time to freely roam Ubud as initially scheduled, instead, we went straight to Villa Pandan Harum, a very nice place where we have our last session of the day, Bridging Cultures session with Wayan Juniartha, Okky Madasari, Elena Williams, and Marlowe Bandem. This session shed to us lots of information concerning both countries’ literature, arts, language, and other aspects of culture.
Breakfast with Alex Rusli opened CAUSINDY day three activities, where he shared his points of view concerning the development of telecommunication in Indonesia and future collaboration opportunities between Australian and Indonesian telecommunication companies. After breakfast, we carried on with “The search for growth: technology and innovation in the bilateral relationship” held in Rumah Sanur, an Indonesian-Australian tech coworking space. The panel of Yansen Kamto, Faye Alund, and Jamie Camidge discussed the importance of start-up initiatives to answer many problems in Indonesia and Australia and how both governments could support the growth of digital ecosystem in both countries. Fortunate for me, Gracia Girsang was able to join the Lunch at Rumah Sanur representing GoLive Indonesia – that is also one of the partners for CAUSINDY 2016.
After the networking lunch, we returned to Conrad to have a session on forests, climate change and sustainability in Indonesia. Dr. Justin Lee, Dewi Bramono and David Gaveau enlighten us about initiatives to improve sustainability in environmental management. After that, we had the last CAUSINDY review session to prepare a pitch to deliver on the last day of the conference. The highlight of the night was the CAUSINDY Gala Dinner, another lovely opportunity to listen to some keynote speeches, chats with other conference participants, and of course to take selfies while we were all dressed up nice in suits and ties, tenun ikats and batiks! During dinner, I raised a concern to one of CAUSINDY co-founder about how CAUSINDY 2016 was done mostly in English even though almost all of Australian delegates were able to speak fluent Bahasa. We agreed that bilingual concept is important and she persuaded me to present our team’s pitch in Bahasa Indonesia the following day.
Team Hamilton had breakfast together in the last breakfast at Conrad to finalise our pitch presentation. Out team agreed to present in Bahasa Indonesia. After the breakfast we had the opportunity to listen to Northern Territory (NT) Government engagement session – which was one of the major sponsors in CAUSINDY 2016. This session had successfully persuaded me to put Darwin as one of the places to go for my child’s education.
The last CAUSINDY review session was the time where all delegates present their pitches. The other team presented excellent ideas to improve bilateral relationship through websites, digital platforms, utilising the diversity of cultures, food, and even actresses! My team, Hamilton, presented our idea of having Indonesian and Australian public servants from key ministries/areas to do an internship in their counterparts of similar ministries/areas. We thought that this kind of approach is necessary since the relationship between government leaders are essential in creating a more conducive environment for sectors collaboration. We agreed that this initiative is doable and we were looking forward to continue this initiative even after the conference.
After the review session, we were given time to check out from the hotel before having a dance class with Bali traditional dancers. It was a good exercise and experience for me personally, the last time I tried traditional dance class was back in my elementary school time.
CAUSINDY 2016 is the first youth summit that I have ever attended, and it gave me a unique and extremely valuable experience to help me in the future both professionally and personally. I can definitely use these experiences and networks to empower other youth in BUNGA research community, GoLive Indonesia and other organisations and communities I take part in. Personally, I recommend young Indonesians and Australians who are passionate about the bilateral relationship between two countries to join CAUSINDY 2017, and experience one of the most exciting time of your life!
Photos courtesy of CAUSINDY 2016 and Gracia Girsang.
GoLive Indonesia is delighted to partner with CAUSINDY for this year’s conference and to be able to attend some of the Friday sessions. GoLive Indonesia would like also to use this opportunity to extend our gratitude for the support given by Institute for International Trade and the Faculty of the Professions, University of Adelaide.
GoLive Indonesia also would like to thank Indra Kiling for sharing his experience and look forward to more great endeavors. We also look forward to accepting other inspiring stories. Send your experience via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.