Talking Indonesia: Australian scholarships

What aims underpin Australia’s scholarships program for Indonesian tertiary students, which has seen about 18,000 Indonesians study in Australia since the late 1940s, including former vice president Boediono? What has been the impact of these scholarships, for the students themselves, for Australia and Indonesia, and the ties between the two countries? Should the scholarships program continue, and in what form?


In this Talking Indonesia episode, I explore these issues with Dr Jemma Purdey, adjunct fellow at Deakin University and a board member of The Herb Feith Foundation. Dr Purdey has authored a chapter on the scholarships program in a new book on Australia-Indonesia relations, Linking People, which she edited with Dr Antje Missbach. The oral history archive from the research project, Scholarships and Connections, is available here.


The photo below, taken in 1956, shows Entol Soeparman (centre), the 1000th student to arrive in Australia under the Colombo plan, visiting the University of Queensland during an air journey around Australia.


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Dave McRae is a Senior Lecturer at the Asia Institute in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. He is also an Associate at the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society.