CAUSINDY Live Blog: Day 4 – Defence and Security

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12:00 – Thanks for following our final panel session! Coming up this afternoon: delegates will break out into their smaller working groups to finalise their recommendations. Alex Murphy of UTS:INSEARCH is helping in facilitate these sessions. 

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10:10 – Background on this panel:

The notion of the “Asian Century” is not all positive, as rapid economic growth and growing influence leads to growing strategic uncertainty. As Washington and Beijing seem set for a new era of rivalry across the Pacific, Jakarta will be a valuable partner. What impact will China’s growing prosperity have on the Asia-Pacific region? How should ASEAN approach this issue, and what role does Australia play? Is Australia’s alliance with the US to its benefit or detriment? Will Australia need to choose between the US and China or can it be friends with both? Indonesia still lags behind its neighbours in defence spending and military capabilities — will this leave it in a vulnerable position? Which power will Indonesia side with: the US or China?

10:00 (Jakarta time) – Welcome to the final day of CAUSINDY! The defence and security panel is just beginning at the Mandarin Oriental.

The speakers are: Lieutenant General ( Ret ) Agus Widjojo, Gary Hogan, Jim Della-Giacoma. The panel is being moderated by Natalie Sambhi.

Also on the schedule today is the gala dinner, which will wrap up CAUSINDY for 2014.

CAUSINDY Live Blog: Day 3 – Looking Behind Closed Doors

12:55 –  That’s it for the day’s first panel!

Late to CAUSINDY? Here’s a short recap on the conference so far.

12:50 – Tommy Tjokro moves to wrap up the panel.

So, what’s the most important aspect we can work on?

Chris Barnes: education. It’s vital, and CAUSINDY is helping.

Sinthya Roesly: Participation in private sectors and helping the government work on ‘the greater good’

Fauzi Ichsan: Indonesia is entering a new era – an exciting era where a commoner became president and the Jakarta elite is loosing their grip on running the country. Fauzi hopes Indonesia and Australia can share in this new era’s progress

12:40 –  The elephant in the room is brought up: fuel subsidies.

12:30 –  So, what about free trade?

12:20 – CAUSINDY delegates sharing their thoughts on the discussion

12:05 – After months of scaremongering on ‘foreign interference and money’ by some in Indonesia, the panel says it is a positive and needed thing in the current climate.

12:00 – We just had CAUSINDY’s first mention of ‘Indonesia at a crossroads’ (this makes the communications team very happy)

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11:50 – Interesting thought, especially when you consider the brand ‘power’ of some English Premier League teams in Indonesia.

11:45 – Fauzi says people to people links are much stronger than government to government.

With the incoming Jokowi administration that’s set to me more domestic focussed, this will most likely continue.

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But Chris Barnes also suggests…sport! Cites Indonesian ownership of the Brisbane Roar A-League team.

Barnes details he’d like to see an Indonesian bank to open in Australia. Not to serve the Indonesian diaspora or retail banking, but for syndicated loans with the expertise exported back to Indonesia.

Fauzi Ichsan is sceptical however, says it would be very hard for an Indonesian bank to compete with an Australian bank in Australia (access to market, credit ratings, et al).

Ichsan proposes Australian and Indonesian banks should be working together instead.

11:20 –  We’re off!

Chris Barnes: Business can do a lot more to improve the relationship. The relationship is currently ‘underweight’ and many opportunities are being overlooked.

Fauzi Ichsan: Australian banks operating in Indonesia are in a special (even privileged) position. They’re trusted here, got great ratings and can access local funds easily – they can still be doing a lot more, however.

11:00 – Delegates and guests are arriving for our trade and economic panel – it is set to be a lively discussion! Remember to follow the #causindy hashtag for a blow-by-blow account.

10:05 –  Colin McDonald reflects on the beginnings of ‘real’ engagement with Indonesia, first under PM Bob Hawke and then much strongly under PM Paul Keating. McDonald was an advisor to both Prime Ministers on Indonesian affairs.

9.45am (Jakarta time): We’re beginning a little early this morning, as we prepare for a discussion with Colin McDonald, QC, a leading barrister and founding member of the Australia-Indonesia Institute.

Also on the program today:

  • Trade and economics panel, with Fauzi Ichsan, Sinthya Roesly, Chris Barnes and Tommy Tjokro. They’ll be discussing the future of Indonesia’s economic development, and the next steps for Australia in the wake of the mining boom.
  • Behind closed doors, a candid look at what really happens in the political relationship.
  • John vs. John, a debate between business leaders John Riady and John Denton.

Want to catch up on yesterday’s sessions? Check out the not so live blog.

CAUSINDY Live Blog: Day 2 – Transforming the Relationship

6:00 It has been a great day two! Check out our Twitter (@CAUSINDY) for a blow-by-blow account of the day, and CAUSINDY’s Facebook for photo highlights.

A huge thanks to all of the day’s speakers! We will be back tomorrow with another busy and exciting day.

Some interesting comments and tweets you might have missed:


5:40 – Some themes from this afternoon’s session:

  • Many Indonesians are not aware of Australia’s multiculturalism – and its success.
  • Many still view the nation as white, tanned and blonde.
  • There is a deep respect and acknowledgement of AusAid’s work in the nation. AusAid (under a new name) continues to build a positive relationship between the two nations.
  • Time to look at how Indonesian students in Australia tend to only socialise with other Indonesians in Australia – engagement is a two way street
  • Developing Australia’s north is fertile ground for building the relationship – it’s closer to Jakarta than Canberra.

5:13 – Terry Mills thinks we need to go back to bare metal before we can go forward together: consider if Indonesia needs Australia and does Australia need Indonesia? Are there good reasons for this relationship? and if there is, how do we amplify this?

Are we (AU and RI) just taking this relationship for granted? Is it important? or is it just two neighbours being polite?

Good question.

5:00 – Time to go beyond boats, beef and Bali

4:50 –  Delegate Elena Williams says that spending time in the country creates ‘very real’ friendships and moments of genuine connection. Unfortunately these personal relationships don’t come out of thin air – initiatives like AIYEP, ACICIS and other scholarships are important to make them happen.

But what about the private sector I hear you ask?

Helen Brown asks if the private sector can do more to encourage closer bilateral links. Terry Mills highlights energy, food and security as three powerful drivers obeying the relationship. Prodita laments at the lack of interest by Indonesian students in Australian affairs.

4:35 – The times are a changin’

4:30 –  Prodita Sabarini starts by suggesting that often the discussion of the Australia-Indonesia relationship is framed through an Australian lens – but what do Indonesians think?

Terry Mills recounts his first experience in Indonesia, where he visited Bali as a child – I got something in my blood from visiting Indonesia that hasn’t left since. Mills left the NT Parliament to help build a closer Australian and Indonesian relationship.

A few decades earlier, he moved to Darwin from WA to be closer to Indonesia. As a teacher in Australia, Mills developed a live in program in Kupang for his school (parents thought their kids were going to be living in rice fields!)

Mills reflects on a recent visit to Kupang in his current role, people were excited for the return of Pak Terry! Locals who he visited decades before proudly introduced their children to him – this is why you invest in the Australia and Indonesia relationship.

Although, direct links still weak (cites lack of flights between Jakarta and Darwin).

4:00 –  We’re back! This afternoon’s session is Transforming the Relationship with Prodita Sabarini, editor of The Coversation (Indonesia) and Terry Mills, former Northern Territory Chief Minister and current NT Commissioner to Indonesia and ASEAN.

The panel is being moderated by the ABC’s Australia Network Indonesia Correspondent, Helen Brown.

During the break, the delegates broke into small groups to develop recommendations on improving the relationship.

2:38 – Photos from the first two days of CAUSINDY are now up! Check them out on Facebook:

12:41 –  That’s a wrap of day two’s first panel! Thanks to Douglas Ramage, Yose Rizal, Sati Rasuanto and Devianti Faridz. If you want a blow-by-blow account of the discussion, check out @CAUSINDY.

Delegates are now breaking for lunch, we’ll be back shortly with the afternoon’s panel.

Meanwhile, we want to thank Pak Greg Moriarty again for hosting the delegates at his residence last night.

12:25 –  One of the most remarkable results from the election was Prabowo’s dominance of the middle class vote.

The reason? The black campaign and other smear tactics.

12:20 –  Discussion pivoting from the election to the incoming Jokowi administration.

High expectations of the President-elect is increasingly becoming a large issue – how can the new administration overcome it? A reminder that Australia has lived through this, with the first Rudd Government.

Perhaps the biggest story in Jakarta at the moment is the proposed winding back of universal voting in some jurisdictions, although people shouldn’t be too concerned by a push by Prabowo to highjack the process.

11:55 – But folks, it’s not all good news

11:50 –  Doug Ramage defends Jokowi against allegations that he’ll be a puppet (Selamat siang Mega) or a weak leader.

Ramage cites his past private sector experience (in real business!), and his commitment to change the transactional style of politics in Jakarta, and Indonesia.

Ramage praises the coming of a ‘real’ and reformist leader, finally. Considers SBY a referee who failed to get much of his reform agenda through despite having a mostly friendly DPR.

11:45 –  Doug Ramage: People should be studying how Jokowi almost lost (a great thesis topic!).

In short:

• Poor advertising – Jokowi didn’t feature in ads until the eleventh hour of the campaign

• Money wasn’t released for advertising

• Black campaigns against Jokowi were very successful (questions on his religion, ethnicity, etc)

Ramage, cont: undecided voters were going to Prabowo rather than Jokowi for *months* – that shouldn’t have happened considering the candidate and the alternative. Also, Jokowi’s mental revolution stuff came out of nowhere.

11:35 – Moderator Devianti Faridz: Which candidate used social media better? Rizal: Prabowo’s campaign was much more structured and better financed. Whereas Jokowi’s campaign was more organic and grassroots focused. Jokowi’s online presence was confusing with no one really sure which was the ‘official’ webitesite or what Twitter and Facebook accounts were official.

11:30 –  Yose Rizal up now, he thinks we’ll be seeing a change in the style of governance from the Jokowi administration with ministers getting around in cheaper batik and perhaps a change in hairstyle for their wives.

Rizal, who runs a social media tracking company says that social media is what made the recent election dramatically different to 2009.

Of course, there’s a downside to social media. Rizal concedes the ‘black campaigns’ were well orchestrated and influential.

11:00 – The panel’s moderator Devianti Faridz from Channel NewsAsia begins with an icebreaker, asking the Indonesian delegates who took part in the election – almost every Indonesian in the room sticks up their hand!

Panellist Douglas Ramage highlights the scale of Indonesia’s election process, mentions that there are more election workers in Indonesia then there are people in New Zealand.

The panel agrees we’re seeing Indonesian democracy continue to mature, however this is not without it’s issues.

Moving onto the Jokowi Presidency now, panel is concerned about how Jokowi can live up to high expectations. Sati Rasuanto reflects on Indonesia as a land of ambiguity. The fact that you had two candidates claiming victory on election night could have had disastrous consequences in some places, Indonesians didn’t seem to mind at all.

10:00 (Jakarta time) – Welcome to Tuesday’s live blog! It’s the second day of the conference, and delegates are currently working with facilitators from UTS:INSEARCH to prepare for their presentations, to be delivered later this week. Coming up today:

  • Election debrief panel, with Yose Rizal, Doug Ramage and Devianti Faridz — a look at the outcomes of this year’s election campaign, and the priorities for Joko Widodo as he takes up the presidency next month.
  • Transforming the relationship, a panel discussion discussing what the next generation of leaders can learn from the “old relationship”.

CAUSINDY Live Blog: Day 1 – History, Media and Public Opinion

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And that’s a wrap for day one!

Delegates have just finished their dinner at the Australian Ambassador’s residence, and they’re heading back to the Mandarin Oriental for a good rest before a busy day two of CAUSINDY 2014.

Finally, an interesting thought for the evening:

See you on day two, it’s going to be great!

(Thanks to Liam Gammon for the photo)

4:25 –  Questions from the floor! Check out our Twitter (@CAUSINDY) for individual questions and answers, but here’s a taste:

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4:10 – Ross Tapsell asked about media ownership in Indonesia and Australia. First point is the axing of the Australia Network and how the loss of the channel leads us into uncertain terrain in terms of cooperation between Australia and Indonesia.

Tapsell outlines recent (and almost final) work of the Australia Network in getting Australian news content in mainstream Indonesian media (television, print and online), says Australia Network/ABC International worked very hard at getting this done. With the demise of Australia Network, Sky News Australia has announced they’re launching an international service – its motives are unclear however.

Bachelard pivots the discussion to an Indonesian context and examines Prabowo’s friendly media organisations in the recent election, and TVONE in particular. Influence was obvious. But just how important is it in social media crazed Indonesia?

The mainstream media’s portrayals of candidates continue to influence elections, but this is changing with large scale adoption of social media (especially in Indonesia).

4:50 – Bachelard on Bali: Rightly or wrongly it dominates Australian media coverage of Indonesia.

Bachelard questions why you hear more about Australians getting into trouble in Bali, than you do in say, parts of Thailand.

“If I get a phone call in the middle of the night, its because Channel Nine wants me to talk about a Bali story on breakfast television. 

Bachelard continues: more Australians die in Thailand, but Phuket (and other places) doesn’t dominate the coverage in the same way as Bali does for Indonesia.

4:40 – The panel is well underway! Fairfax Media’s Michael Bachelard: “My job is to ‘translate’ events in Indonesia which will interest Australians – from sublime to ridiculous”.

A single day can span from an in-depth profile on Jokowi to the latest news on Schapelle Corby’s boyfriend.

Bachelard also takes aim at criticisms from Canberra on the reporting of various Australian-Indonesian affairs. He concludes, it shouldn’t be expected that journalists have to prioritise unproblematic diplomatic relations over good reporting.

4:30 – ANU’s Ross Tapsell is first up, followed by Tempo’s Purwani Diyah Prabandari. 

4:20 – CAUSINDY Co-Founder and Director, Karina Akib launches CAUSINDY 2014 and welcomes delegates and guests to the first session at SCTV HQ.

4pm (Jakarta time) – Delegates and guests are meeting before our first panel this year, on portrayals in the media and public opinion.

Welcome to the first instalment of this year’s CAUSINDY live blog! We’ll be sharing updates and observations from this year’s conference, including commentary, notes and quotes from our speakers and delegates.

To open, some background information on CAUSINDY 2014:

  • This year’s conference is taking place at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Jakarta, with events also hosted at Salt Grill and the residence of the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia.
  • It’s the second Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth, and the first to be hosted in Indonesia.
  • This year’s theme is “Right time to reset: Learning from the old and bringing in the new” — it recognises the contribution particular young leaders like this year’s delegates can make in charting a new course in the Australia-Indonesia relationship.

We’d also like to acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors — especially UTS:INSEARCH, RMIT University and the Australia Awards.