2021 Australia-Indonesia in conversation - About


Australia and Indonesia have long enjoyed a strong, stable bilateral relationship as close neighbours in the Asia-Pacific with many shared political, economic and social interests. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the considerable scope for engagement and debate between Australia and Indonesia on global and local issues of concern for both countries and for new opportunities for audiences in Indonesia to further engage with developments in Australia.

Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in partnership with The University of Melbourne (UoM) hosted a mini-conference July 21-22, 2021 consisting of a series of round table panel discussions held over two half-day sessions for Indonesian and Australian academic, policy maker and practitioner audiences: Australia-Indonesia in Conversation. The conference seeks to further enhance bilateral partnerships and shared knowledge, experiences and insights through round table discussions involving diplomats, academics and community workers as well as Q&A from audiences into each country’s responses to the crises resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The hosts of the conference have strong ties and an ongoing history of collaboration as well as being partners in the Australia-Indonesia Centre and many other initiatives. Four sequential panels will be held online over two half-day sessions.


Download the conference proceedings:

Download Australia Indonesia in Conversation 2021 proceedings (PDF file)

Panel discussions

  • Opening Panel: Australia-Indonesia in Conversation: Regional Cooperation in response to Global Challenges.

    In this opening panel senior representatives from both universities and the governments of both countries will share expertise and insights into future approaches and considerations strategies for regional cooperation as vaccine rates increase, borders open and each country seeks to strengthen its economy while managing the ongoing global presence of COVID-19.


    • Dr Rachael Diprose
    • Associate Professor Kate McGregor


    • Mr Steve Scott, Deputy Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia
    • Mr Mohammad Syarif Alatas, Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Australia
    • Drg. Ika Dewi Ana (UGM), M.Kes., Ph.D., Vice Rector for Research and Community Service, Universitas Gadjah Mada
    • Professor Vedi Hadiz (UoM), Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor International, for Indonesia, the University of Melbourne
    • Dr Wawan Mas’udi (UGM), Dean of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Universitas Gadjah Mada
    • The Reverend Professor Russell Goulbourne (UoM), Dean of Faculty of Arts, the University of Melbourne
  • Panel 2: Indonesia-Australia Economic Relations: Rebuilding Post-Pandemic Economies.

    This panel will focus on present economic challenges in each country and how these are being tackled as well as the future of economic relations between Australia and Indonesia, especially after the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) takes effect.


    • Dr Poppy Winanti
    • Associate Professor Kate McGregor 


    • Professor Michael Wesley (UoM), Deputy Vice Chancellor International, the University of Melbourne
    • Ms Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Director of Bilateral Negotiations, Directorate General of International Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia
    • Professor Ross Garnaut (UoM), Professorial Research Fellow in Economics, the University of Melbourne
    • Dr Yose Rizal Damuri, Head of the Department of Economics, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesia
    • Mr Kevin Evans, Indonesia Director, Australia-Indonesia Centre
  • Panel 3: Policy and Institutional Design: Responding to the Health Crisis.

    This panel will discuss how Australia and Indonesia have dealt with COVID-19 pandemic by exploring the institutional and policy responses in both countries, in light of the respective constraints and challenges in each country.


    • Dr Rachael Diprose
    • Dr Wawan Mas'udi


    • Dr Stephanie Williams, Ambassador for Regional Health Security, Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security
    • Mr  Abetnego Panca Putra Tarigan, Deputy Chief of Staff of Human Development Affairs, Executive Office to the President of the Republic of Indonesia
    • Dr Raditya Jati, S.Si., M.Si., Deputy for Systems and Strategies, National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Republic of Indonesia
    • Professor Dr Ova Emilia (UGM), M.Med.Ed., SpOG(K), Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada
    • Professor Tony Blakely (UoM), Head, Population Interventions, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the University of Melbourne. Lead epidemiologist on Australia's COVID-19 modelling
  • Panel 4: Promoting Social Inclusion During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    This panel will discuss issues concerned with the social impacts of the pandemic, and important issues on social inclusion, public access to vaccines, and other social justice issues emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.


    • Dr Ken Setiawan
    • Associate Professor Jennifer Balint


    • Dr Rachael Diprose (UoM), Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences and Co-Convenor of the Indonesia Forum, University of Melbourne
    • Dr Amalinda Savirani (UGM), Associate Professor, Department Politics and Government, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Universitas Gadjah Mada
    • Professor Cathy Humphreys (UoM), Professor in Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the University of Melbourne. Co-Director of the Melbourne Alliance to End Violence against Women and Children
    • Ms Ade Siti Barokah, Program Officer for the Democratic Resilience Program, The Asia Foundation
    • Dr Manjula Marella (UoM), Senior Research Fellow, Nossal Institute of Global Health, Melbourne School of Global Health, the University of Melbourne
    • Shawana Andrews (UoM),Associate Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social Work at the University of Melbourne
    • Ms Emily Heng, Director of Operations, Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA)
    • Ms Citra Gantiaji, Program Coordinator, the Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) and President, Jakarta branch, Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA)