As an effort to raise awareness and understanding of the Australian people towards Indonesia in business, culture, education, research, and community networks, newly elected Australian Prime Minister,Tony Abbott disclosed that Australia plans to build an Indonesian Studies Center in Melbourne. The plan was mentioned during the Australian PM's visit to Jakarta recently.
At an official meeting with the President of Indonesia, Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott stated that for the project, the Australian government will spend over US$15 million.
The Indonesian Studies Center will be located at the Monash University, Melbourne, collaborating with the Melbourne University, the National University of Australia, and CSIRO scientific research center. The Center will explore various fields including languages, culture, food stability, infrastructure, health and educations, and more. The output of the researches will be used for partnering parties as evidence of the high level of cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Tonny Abbott stated that Australia truly respects Indonesia and that the strong relations that exist between the two countries will be a foundation for further cooperation that will be of great mutual benefit. The prime minister also confirmed Australia's commitment to applying the Colombo Plan which is funded by the Australian Government. The commitment that Australia offers in the Colombo Plan ensures that there are more Australians who will study and work in Asia and Indonesia.
Meanwile, Professor Paul Ramadge, Executive Director of Global Inictaives in Monash University stated that the new Center will help overcome the decline of Bahasa Indonesia Studies in Australia.
(Source: kompas.com, ABC Australia)
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