Tim Mann

Tim Mann is the editor of Indonesia at Melbourne

Last week marked one year since we launched Indonesia at Melbourne on 1 July 2015. Today we present a brief look back at our first year, highlighting the 10 most viewed blog posts and five most popular podcasts. We hope you have enjoyed the blog as much as we have enjoyed producing it.

Founded 16 years ago, Indonesia’s National Ombudsman has often been dismissed as an ineffectual body. But the institution has recently received an injection of budget funds and its new members are widely seen as competent and committed individuals. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the new chair of the Ombudsman, Amzulian Rifai, about problems in public service delivery and how the Ombudsman is working to address them.

Nearly 2 million Australians watched Indonesian-born sisters Tasia and Gracia Seger take out the final of My Kitchen Rules on 26 April. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the girls about their approach to cooking and their views on the Australia-Indonesia relationship.

The Sun, the Moon and the Hurricane, the debut feature from emerging Indonesian director Andri Cung, has won acclaim for the raw and beautiful performances of its young cast. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Andri before his arrival in Melbourne, where the film is screening at the Indonesian Film Festival 2016.

The Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) has made headlines recently over its controversial fatwa against the Gafatar movement and the LGBT community. Tim Mann takes a look at the council, and the extent to which its fatwa are able to influence policy and legal decisions in Indonesia.

Indonesia has seen a sustained attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over the past two months, triggered by comments made by the minister of higher education, research and technology, Muhammad Nasir. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the godfather of gay activism in Indonesia, Dede Oetomo, about the moral panic gripping the nation.

Indonesia at Melbourne is taking a break until 12 January. In this final post for 2015, we look back at the first six months of the blog, and revisit some of the posts that captured our readers’ attention. Thanks for your support, and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!

Malcolm Turnbull’s replacement of Tony Abbott as prime minister of Australia did not make the front pages of any of Indonesia’s main papers last week. But as Agus Salim and Tim Mann write, it was clear that Indonesians will not be shedding any tears over Abbott’s downfall.

Beauty Is a Wound, the just-released English translation of Eka Kurniawan’s 2002 epic novel, Cantik Itu Luka, is receiving glowing reviews, and has prompted comparisons with Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Indonesia at Melbourne had a fascinating chat with Eka before his appearance at the Melbourne Writers Festival on 28 August.

Professor Todung Mulya Lubis is one of Indonesia’s most respected lawyers and a champion of human rights and judicial reform. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Pak Mulya about the future of reform in the justice sector and the controversial Jakarta International School cases.

In town for the Melbourne International Film Festival, director Joshua Oppenheimer spoke to Indonesia at Melbourne about The Look of Silence, his remarkable follow-up to The Act of Killing.

Former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Professor Jimly Asshiddiqie has been a longstanding advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Jimly about the future of the death penalty ahead of his lecture at Melbourne Law School.