Today, we are pleased to welcome readers to the Indonesia at Melbourne blog, a new site dedicated to analysis, research and commentary on contemporary Indonesia, and supported by academics and postgraduates affiliated with the University of Melbourne.
This blog responds to the fact that despite the depth of Indonesia experience at the University of Melbourne, there has been no platform for Indonesia experts to share their perspectives and insights. Indonesia at Melbourne aims to address this gap, and stimulate debate and discussion among academics, students, journalists, activists and professionals interested in Indonesia.
Indonesia at Melbourne is a joint project of the Asia Institute in the Faculty of Arts, the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS) in the Melbourne Law School, and the University of Melbourne Indonesia Forum. It is also generously supported by funds provided by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Simon Evans. The blog builds on the success of the Election Watch Indonesia site, which served as a respected source of commentary and analysis on the 2014 legislative and presidential elections. The full archived content of Election Watch Indonesia will be uploaded to the blog over the coming weeks.
The emphasis of Indonesia at Melbourne will be on politics but we will also cover law, anthropology, culture, history, economics, architecture and public health, reflecting the diversity of expertise on contemporary Indonesia at this university.
Although the blog will draw on research, it is not intended to be a venue for the dissemination of research articles. The focus will be on delivering accessible and insightful commentary for a general audience in Australia and Indonesia.
In our first few posts today, Dr Richard Chauvel presents the first of a two-part examination of President Joko Widodo’s recent announcements in Papua, Dr Ken Setiawan looks at the significance and impact of the Kamisan protests outside the Presidential Palace, Dr Antje Missbach looks at the asylum seeker crisis in Aceh, and Tim Mann examines the potential impact of Australia’s aid cuts on Indonesian civil society. Later in the week, Dr Dave McRae will deliver the first in a new “Talking Indonesia” podcast, in which he will present extended interviews with experts on Indonesian politics, foreign policy, culture, language, and more.
You will also see that we have reposted opinion pieces written elsewhere by University of Melbourne academics, such as the commentary on the death penalty by Professor Tim Lindsey and Dr McRae over the past few months.
In addition to analysis of critical issues, we will feature videos and audio recordings of Indonesia-related public events held at the university. We also plan to post in-depth interviews with visiting Indonesian scholars, officials and activists.
We look forward to hearing from you.