Prime Minister launches Australia-Indonesia Centre

13 November 2013

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Vice President of Indonesia, His Excellency Professor Dr Boediono launched the new Australia-Indonesia Centre today.

The Centre will foster and further grow Australia's business, cultural, education, research and community links with Indonesia. During his visit to Indonesia in October, Prime Minister Tony Abbott committed $15 million over four years to support the Centre.

The University of Sydney is a founding partner in the centre that is led by Monash University. The University of Melbourne, CSIRO and the Australian National University are also involved in the new initiative.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney Dr Michael Spence joined the Prime Minister and Vice President at the official launch at Parliament House in Canberra.

"The University of Sydney is proud of our contribution to Australia's relationship with Indonesia. We have broad and deep links, with 85 academics in 12 faculties engaged in research in and with Indonesia. We are therefore very pleased to broaden the scope of our contribution as a founding partner in this new Centre," Dr Michael Spence said.

"The city of Sydney also has extensive ties with Indonesia with 42.5 percent of Indonesian-born Australian residents living in New South Wales."

The Australia-Indonesia Centre will complement the University's Sydney Southeast Asia Centre - Australia's first interdisciplinary Southeast Asia focused research centre.

Sydney Southeast Asia Centre Director and Indonesia expert Associate Professor Michele Ford said the two centres will focus on real-world issues in the region.

"Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that Indonesia is Australia's most important overall relationship and I welcome the attention he is giving to this critical country."

"I am confident the new Australia-Indonesia Centre will find practical solutions to our countries' shared challenges, as well as deepen our engagement in the region," Associate Professor Ford said.

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