Keynote address: Australia-Indonesia bilateral relations

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JULIE BISHOP:Good Afternoon. It's an absolute delight tobe here, and I thank Governor-elect Khofifah for attending. We had a veryproductive meeting just a few moments ago.

Consul General, Chris Barnes, thank you for you kind words Chris,our Deputy Ambassador, Allaster Cox. Ambassador Fauzi, I received a text fromIbu Retno just a short while ago, assuring me that you would be here.Fortunately I was able to text her back and say, "yes your Ambassador is here.She wasn't checking on you but just making sure.

The many distinguished guests, friends of Indonesia, friends ofAustralia.

This morning, as Chris and Allaster indicated, I officially openedAustralia's new Consulate-General in Surabaya, our fourth diplomatic post inIndonesia, after Jakarta, Bali and Makassar.

Our nations share a very close partnership across our societies,our economies, with links between cities, communities, businesses and ourpeople.

The Consulate-General might be new, however, we have a longstanding connection to Surabaya. Indeed, over 80 years ago, Surabaya was thefirst international overnight stop for Qantas. They had a Flying Boat servicein those days, and between Sydney and Singapore they would stop at Surabaya.Now I think that's not such a bad idea for us to reintroduce, I think we shouldhave a word to Qantas about direct flights to Surabaya!

East Java and my home state of Western Australia have a veryproductive 'sister state' relationship, and I've detected already that there'sa very similar attitude amongst East Javanese and Western Australians – we boththink that our part of the world drives the national economy. I'm sure EastJava tells Jakarta often, as often as Western Australia tells Canberra thatwe're actually the economic powerhouse of the nation. The 27-year connectionbetween East Java and Western Australia is a really strong foundation for ourformal national diplomatic presence here in Surabaya.

Our shared commitment to freedom and democracy also bringsAustralia and Indonesia together. This last week I was in Singapore with Ibu Retnoand other foreign ministers for ASEAN-led foreign ministers' meetings andwhenever I met with Ibu Retno - in the Southwest Pacific Dialogue, in theAustralia-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting, in the East Asia Summit, the ASEANRegional Forum - on so many issues our regional view aligned.

We have both produced foreign policy white papers or conceptsabout the Indo-Pacific. This is not just a geographic concept, it is astrategic and economic reality that our interests lie in the region bound bythe Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Indonesia and Australia share a visionfor the Indo-Pacific, that it be free, open, inclusive, stable and prosperous,with a commitment to the rule of law and democratic institutions.

The success of recent regional elections demonstrates theresilience of Indonesia's democracy, which has gone from strength to strengthover two decades. Indonesia sets an example for the region, indeed globally,that of its inclusive, multicultural and multi-faith society.

Our communities share the same values of tolerance and diversity,rejecting those who seek to spread division and hatred. We work together tocounter violent extremism and combat the ideologies, including onlinenarratives. The voices of moderation must drown out the voices of hate.

I take this opportunity to offer our sincere condolences to thefamilies and friends of those killed and injured in the senseless and brutalterrorist attacks that took place here last May.

Australia and Indonesia are close partners in the fight againstterrorism and violent extremism. Our close security partnership, includingcooperation between our law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies,remains a cornerstone of our relationship, and has deepened significantly overtime.

We're working together on the Bali Process. This is a regionalgrouping of almost 50 members, focused on reducing the flow of illegalmigration and reducing the exploitation of vulnerable people.

Next Tuesday I will co-chair, again, the Bali Process MinisterialConference with Ibu Retno, and this conference seeks to tackle peoplesmuggling, human trafficking, modern slavery, and other transnational crimes.We're also co-chairing a government and business component of the Bali Processto ensure that businesses through regional and global supply chains join in theefforts to stamp out human trafficking, modern slavery and other such crimes.

We are also deeply committed to strengthening our communitiesthrough education and training. I applaud the commitment of the IndonesianGovernment to its education sectors. Australia will continue to be an enduringpartner in education and training.

East Javanese students are especially keen to learn – for thisprovince is currently the second largest source of Indonesian students studyingin Australia. There are many successful Australian alumni in the region,including Deputy Governor-elect, Emil Dardak, and award winning fashiondesigner, Peggy Hartanto. Peggy studied at Raffles College of Design andCommerce in Sydney, and I understand she's quite the celebrity designer inIndonesia. Emil studied at what is now Deakin College.

Indonesian students came to study in Australia in the 1950s and1960s under the original Colombo Plan. Many gained qualifications fromAustralian universities and came back to Indonesia to help build this nation.Today, Australia Awards are providing Masters-level support for students fromIndonesia to study in Australia, and we have a New Colombo Plan, this time inreverse, which supports Australian undergraduates travelling into the region tolive, and study, and undertake internships in one of forty locations in theIndo-Pacific.

Indonesia is proving to be exceeding popular amongst Australianundergraduates. From 2014 to 2019, 6,900 Australian undergraduates will havelived and studied, and undertaken work experience in Indonesia under the NewColombo Plan. Over a similar period 2012-2017, over 6,000 Australia Awards havebeen provided to Indonesian students to study in Australia.

Just think of the power of that resource – the alumni betweenAustralia and Indonesia; young people, potential leaders, those who will takeimportant roles in government and business, and community and civil society inyears to come, having that enduring connection with Indonesia for theAustralians, and Australia for the Indonesians.

The new Consulate-General in Surabaya is already doing its part tosupport the New Colombo Plan. An Australian undergraduate and New Colombo Planscholar, Zoe Croucher, has just finished an internship with the ConsulateGeneral. She's currently studying Indonesian and Economics at Gadjah MadaUniversity in Jogjakarta. Thank you Zoe for the wonderful support you've givenat the Consulate General, you are a marvelous ambassador for Australia inIndonesia.

There are also strong institutional links between our universitieswith practical benefits and outcomes. Airlangga University in Surabayaco-chairs in the Western Australia–East Java University Consortium, focusing onresearch in food and water security, health and investment, industry and trade.

In the spirit of creating more opportunities for students, I ampleased to announce the opening of a new Aussie Banget corner at AirlanggaUniversity, and adds to other Aussie Banget corners in universities acrossIndonesia, including in Yogyakarta and Malang.

Now apparently in this corner, it's a space, students are given ataste of Australia through books, multimedia and other educational resources.It also provides a space and a place for alumni of Australian universities tomeet and share their experiences with peers who are interested in living andstudying in Australia. I think we need more Aussie Banget corners aroundIndonesia!

We continue to build on our education ties through theAustralia-Indonesia BRIDGE School Partnership Program, and this morning Iattended the ten-year anniversary celebrations of the BRIDGE program. It is aremarkable initiative establishing professional partnerships between teachersand life-long friendships between students. It has connected school communitiesacross Indonesia and Australia, and there are currently 180 partnershipsbetween Indonesian schools and Australian schools; connecting our students, ourteachers and our school communities. One very popular aspect of the BRIDGEprogram is that the students get to visit their partner school.

Australia is absolutely committed to working cooperatively withIndonesia to address its development needs. We partner with Indonesia inproviding courses and systems to strengthen economic and social development.

For example we have a program called PRISMA, this stands for thePrimary Rural Income through Support for Markets initiative. It is based herein Surabaya and it helps farmers increase their income through better businesspractices and improved access to markets.

Our development partnership promotes policy change to overcomeinequality, reduce poverty and improve education attainment.

We also work together to boost Indonesia's economic growth anddevelopment by empowering women. No nation can reach its potential until andunless it fully embraces the skills, and energy, and ideas of the fifty percentof its population that is female. The Australia-Indonesia Partnership forGender Equality and Women's Empowerment helps increase the participation ofwomen in the workforce and improves access to social protection programs.

Role models do matter. East Java has just elected its first femalegovernor, Ibu Khofifah, and thank you for being here today. Surabaya has alsohad a female mayor since 2010, Ibu Tri Rismaharini, and again another strongrole model.

Australia see exciting prospects for enhancing trade and buildingeconomic partnerships across East and Central Java, and Jogjakarta, which isalso covered by the new Consulate General.

I'm told that Surabaya is known as the 'city of heroes' but it isalso a city of entrepreneurs, producing some of Indonesia's great businesses.Now many Australians enjoy Bintang beer, but I don't know whether they wouldrealise that the original brewery was here in Surabaya. Bintang today is theleading beer manufacturer in Indonesia.

Successful Australian businesses also have a presence in Surabaya,including the Commonwealth Bank, Coca Cola Amatil and Blue Scope Steel, whichare investing and creating jobs here in the region.

I want you all to get to know Chris Barnes very well. I want youto keep him very, very busy, because we appointed Chris to this post based onhis experience strengthening trade and commercial links between our twocountries in the private sector and also as the Commissioner and RegionalDirector of the Western Australia Trade and Investment Office in Jakarta.

So Chris and his team, along with our other diplomatic posts inJakarta, Bali, and Makassar are here to drive our trade and investmentrelationships. We certainly want to ensure that we give our nationalgovernments all the support they need to negotiate the Indonesia-AustraliaComprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Our teams are here to drive closer connections between businesses,between communities, between our people; in education, in tourism, in every facet of life across Indonesian and Australian society.

The official opening of the Consulate-General in Surabaya isindeed a milestone in the Australia-Indonesia relationship. But I'm veryconfident that the next generation of Surabayan heroes and entrepreneurs andtheir Australian counterparts will continue to deepen, and strengthen, andbroaden the friendship between our two countries. Long may Australia and Indonesiabe reliable partners and trusted friends.

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