ACICIS was delighted when the Hon. Kevin Rudd, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, made a surprise visit to meet the students at the ACICIS professional practicum programs in Jakarta on Monday 9 January 2012, during a brief visit to Jakarta on his way to New York.

Mr Rudd was welcomed to Atma Jaya Catholic University by participants in a primary school cultural dance competition. The Minister had lunch with the ACICIS Resident Director, Dr Phil King, together with students doing the ACICIS Journalism Professional Practicum and the Development Studies Professional Practicum, before going off to meet Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Presidential Palace.

Mr Rudd gave a speech to students, in which he said:

We need a new cadre in Australia of Australian Indonesianists who understand this country comprehensively. My generation has been lazy on Indonesia. Your generation has no alternative but to be energetic on Indonesia. And the world’s your oyster.

Read a transcript of his speech to the students.

Murdoch University student Grace Ke said the surprise visit was the highlight of her week:

The impromptu visit was insanely pleasant and a brilliant opportunity to meet the ever coherent and eloquent minister while on a study trip to Indonesia – one that none of us was prepared/geared up to anticipate. His speech to us highlighted the importance of having good bilateral relationship between nations, and brought forth the significance of expanding our capacity to learn outside from our comfort zone.“ she said.

ACICIS Founder and Director Professor David T Hill said:

It is a great encouragement to ACICIS that Foreign Minister Rudd has chosen to see for himself what ACICIS is doing in Indonesia. We regard it as a strong endorsement by both the Minister and the Embassy of the ACICIS’ achievements and contribution to Australia-Indonesia educational relations.

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