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”.

Tim Cooke,

Tim is a member of CAUSINDY's communications team.