PERTH – Wednesday, 24 January, 2018. Twenty-four years after founding the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies, Consortium Director Professor David Hill AM is retiring.

In 1994 Professor Hill convinced a handful of Australian universities to collaborate in sending Australian students to Indonesian universities as part of their degree. From 24 students in its initial semester, the consortium known as ACICIS has grown into the largest and most successful student mobility program to Indonesia, with more than 290 students participating in 2017.

Outbound student mobility to Asia is now supported by the Australian Government through the New Colombo Plan, but in the 1990s ACICIS largely pioneered sending students to study in Indonesia. Hill initially established the consortium with $100,000 seed funding from a Government innovation grant. ACICIS is now the largest recipient of New Colombo Plan funding, receiving $3.9 million in student mobility grants in 2017.

ACICIS now has 25 Australian universities, one British and one Dutch university as members. It collaborates with nine Indonesian universities. There are currently eight semester-long programs, including Business, Law, Development Studies, International Relations, and Agriculture, and a range of internship programs in areas as diverse as Business, Law, Journalism, Development Studies, and Creative Arts and Design. ACICIS also offers a variety of Indonesian language courses and study tours.

“Leading ACICIS has been the most satisfying achievement of my professional life,” Hill said from the consortium’s secretariat at the University of Western Australia, Perth. “We have a fabulously committed staff in Indonesia and Australia, supported by networks of colleagues and alumni from our member universities.”

“I am proud to be stepping down at a time when the organisation is in such good shape. We will be launching two new internships programs, in Agriculture and Sustainable Tourism in early 2019 as our suite of programs expands,” he added.

The ACICIS national board has established a search committee chaired by UWA’s Dr David Bourchier to identify a new Consortium Director. A public call for Expressions of Interest in the position is expected soon.

In 2015 Professor Hill was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia ‘for significant service to international relations, as an advocate of Australia-Indonesia cross-cultural understanding, and as an educator’. He is also Emeritus Professor in the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University and plans to step down from the ACICIS directorship at the middle of the year.

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For further information, please contact Dr David Bourchier, Chair, Senior Appointments Sub-committee, at or 08 6488 2074 or Ms Janelle May, ACICIS Secretariat Officer, at or on 08 6488 6679.