Security Update: Surabaya, 23 August 2018

This morning (Thursday 23 August), the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) updated their travel advice for Indonesia noting that they “continue to receive information indicating terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia”. DFAT’s advice also notes that staff at the Australian Consulate General in Surabaya, East Java have cancelled their attendance at an event at Airlangga University today, and are currently adopting enhanced security measures and limiting their movements “due to heightened security concerns.”

It is important to note that there has been no increase in the overall level of travel advice for Indonesia (including for Surabaya). That said, ACICIS considers all updates to DFAT’s travel advice very carefully and ACICIS in-country staff are continuing to liaise closely with the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the Consulate General in Surabaya.

While Surabaya is not a host location for any ACICIS programs, ACICIS has taken precautionary action this morning to confirm the whereabouts of all current participants. All fifty-one students currently studying in Indonesia with ACICIS have been accounted for. No ACICIS students are currently in Surabaya.

ACICIS programs currently underway in Bandung and Yogyakarta will continue as normal. Likewise, ACICIS’ Agriculture Semester Program due to get underway in Bogor on 26 August will proceed as planned.

All students have been reminded of the general advice provided to them regarding safety and security by ACICIS at orientation, in particular, the need to exercise caution when visiting bars, clubs, busy tourist and religious establishments. Participants have also been reminded of the importance of contacting friends and family members to assure them of their safety and well-being following significant adverse events in Indonesia.

Students have been assured that if they feel disturbed by this morning’s advisory – or at all unsafe – they should contact ACICIS in-country staff who are available to discuss any concerns they might have.

Similarly, staff at the ACICIS Secretariat in Perth are available to field any questions family, friends and member university staff might have about student safety and welfare at this time. Queries may be directed to the ACICIS Secretariat on 08 6488 6675 or at acicis@acicis.edu.au.

Mr Liam Prince
ACICIS Consortium Director

 

Security Update: Lombok, 22 August 2018

On Sunday 5 August, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok, causing at least 558 deaths and significant damage to buildings and other infrastructure. This earthquake was preceded by a 6.4 magnitude foreshock on 29 July and has been since been followed by a series of aftershocks, some of them severe. On Sunday 19 August, a separate 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck a few kilometres to the east of the original tremor, causing additional fatalities and damage. No ACICIS participants were on Lombok at the time of any of the tremors, nor were any adversely affected.

On Tuesday 7 August, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade raised their level of travel advice for Lombok, including the Gili Islands, to “reconsider your need to travel”. Considering this decision, the continued risk of aftershocks, disruptions to essential services, and ongoing strain on medical facilities and other emergency services in the area, the ACICIS Resident Director has declared Lombok, including the Gili Islands, as out-of-bounds to ACICIS participants until further notice. This ban on ACICIS participant travel to Lombok will remain in-place until a) the risk of further aftershocks and b) the strain on essential services (especially medical facilities) has, in the opinion of the Resident Director, subsided to an appropriate level.

ACICIS programs currently underway in Bandung and Yogyakarta will continue as normal. Likewise, ACICIS’ Agriculture Semester Program due to get underway in Bogor on 26 August will proceed as planned. All participants have been reminded of the general advice provided to them by ACICIS at orientation regarding natural disaster preparedness, and of the importance of contacting friends and family members to assure them of their safety and well-being following significant adverse events in Indonesia.

Regardless, all students have been assured that if they feel disturbed by the earthquakes – or at all unsafe – they should contact ACICIS in-country staff who are available to discuss any concerns they might have.

Similarly, staff at the ACICIS Secretariat in Perth are available to field any questions prospective students, family, friends and member university staff might have about participant safety and welfare at this time.  Queries may be directed to the ACICIS Secretariat on 08 6488 6675 or at acicis@acicis.edu.au.

Mr Liam Prince
ACICIS Consortium Director