20th Anniversary Projects
In February 2015, ACICIS welcomed its 40th intake of semester students, while in August the consortium will celebrate 20 years since the very first semester cohort of ACICIS students arrived at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. To mark these auspicious occasions, ACICIS intends to hold a ‘year of celebration’ with events taking place in both Australia and Indonesia throughout the course of 2015.
In addition to the Anniversary events planned for 2015, ACICIS’ 20th Anniversary Alumni Advisory Committee has endorsed a number of non-events-based projects with which to mark ACICIS’ twentieth year. ACICIS is presently seeking donations, sponsorship and expressions of support from ACICIS alumni, member universities and partner organsations interested in supporting these three initiatives. The Alumni Advisory Committee has selected these three projects for their suitability in celebrating ACICIS’ contribution to Australia-Indonesia bilateral relations over the past 20 years; for bringing alumni back together and re-engaging them with ACICIS and its mission; and for re-affirming ACICIS’ reputation for pioneering high-quality in-country study programs in Indonesia.
Project 1: ACICIS Alumni Census
There is anecdotal evidence to suggest ACICIS alumni have made a significant contribution to the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia, across the fields of development, academia, private enterprise, the media and government. In addition, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that ACICIS programs have made a positive contribution to the career outcomes, personal development and academic achievements of alumni. The Australian Consortium for ‘In-country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) is seeking to undertake a systematic census of ACICIS alumni, to determine how ACICIS programs have contributed to students’ academic, career and personal development, as well as how ACICIS alumni have contributed to the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Australia. The first stage of this project will include a review and update of our current alumni database. The second stage will include the development and dissemination of a comprehensive census of alumni, focusing on their career trajectories, personal and academic development and their engagement with Indonesia. The results of this survey will be utilised for a number of purposes, in a range of formats, including in an interactive website and report. The project is of potential interest to a range of external stakeholders, including private funding bodies and corporate sponsors, government, universities and prospective students.
Project 2: Expansion of The Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship Program
The Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship Program was inaugurated in 2009 to commemorate the life and service of Lestari Widyastuti, The Australian Consortium for ‘In-country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) Yogyakarta Program Administrator from 1997-2007. Lestari passed away suddenly in October 2007 at the age of 37. The scholarship program – funded from an endowment comprising largely of donations from ACICIS alumni – honours Lestari’s commitment, hard work and passion for building people-to-people relations between young Australian and Indonesian students. Under the program, scholarships are awarded each year to Indonesian undergraduate students from low socioeconomic background, who have demonstrated high academic achievement in their first year at Gadjah Mada, and whose degree has some relevance to Indonesia-Australia relations. ACICIS is seeking funding to expand the scope of the program and offer assistance to a greater number of Indonesia students at Gadjah Mada annually.
Project 3: ACICIS Study Indonesia Podcast
There is presently no existing regular audio broadcast or podcast program on the Internet providing high-quality commentary on Indonesian current affairs. With the barriers to entry for broadcasting over the Internet now very low, ACICIS – with its twenty years of engagement with Indonesia and large alumni base (approximately 2000 individuals) – is well-placed to fill this gap and to provide such content and commentary. Working with Inside Indonesia and other stakeholders, ACICIS will produce a podcast on Indonesian current affairs, following a similar model to the highly successful Sinica Podcast, which provides weekly English-language commentary on current affairs in China.