2018 Events

2018 events archive
The Southeast Asia Centre runs a series of events throughout the year. Read through our listings of past events for an indication of the centre's interests.

Other events in 2018

SSEAC partnered with the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) NSW to host a Sydney pop-up screening of ReelOzInd! 2018. ReelOzInd! aims to raise awareness and improve understanding between Australians and Indonesians. 

Endeavor Executive Visiting Fellow at Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, Dr Abubakar Eby Hara, gave a seminar on Indonesia's foreign policy with the political emphasis of President Joko Widodo's government to gain domestic legitimacy and public sympathy for its foreign policy.

Dr James Gomez, Chair of the board of directors, Asia Centre and Dr Sophie Lemière, NUS-Stanford Lee Kong Chian Fellow on Contemporary Southeast Asia presented a joint seminar on political contestationstations in Singapore and Malaysia.

  • Restriction and Persecution of Opposition Parties and Civil Society in Singapore, Dr James Gomez
  • Tale(s) of the Last Game: An Ethnographic Account of Mahathir’ Messianic Return, Dr Sophie Lemière

SSEAC, the School of History & Philosophy of Science, the Department of Indonesian Studies and Perspectives of the Past (PoP) of Southeast Asia co-hosted the launch of Nurturing Indonesia: Medicine and Decolonisation in the Dutch East Indies (Cambridge University Press), by Associate Professor Hans Pols (School of History & Philosophy of Science).

The book was launched by:

  • Stephen Garton, University of Sydney, Professor of History, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Sydney
  • Saskia Wieringa, Emeritus Professor of Gender and Sexuality, University of Amsterdam
  • Jean Gelman Taylor, Honorary Associate Professor, UNSW
  • Natali Pearson, Perspectives on the Past of Southeast Asia
  • Hans Pols, Associate Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney

The launch was followed by a Betawi dance performance led by Dr Dyah Pitaloka (Department of Indonesian Studies).

Were the reports on Indonesia’s alleged LGBT friendliness too optimistic? Emeritus Professor Saskia Wieringa from the University of Amsterdam joined us to discuss and reflect upon the recent wave of homophobia in Indonesia with chair Dadung Muktiono. This lecture was co-hosted with the Department of Indonesian Studies and the Department of Sociology and Social Policy. 

Researchers, educators and students from across all faculties and schools with an academic interest in Vietnam attended a half-day symposium, hosted by the Sydney Viet Nam Academic Leadership Group.

This inaugural Symposium:

  • Showcased ongoing collaborative research being undertaken by University academics in Viet Nam
  • Explored opportunities for new cross-disciplinary collaborations in research and education
  • Discussed plans to strengthen the University’s engagement with Viet Nam.

The inaugural SSEAC Postgraduate Conference showcased Southeast Asia expertise from 24 higher degree research students from the University of Sydney and beyond across SSEAC's areas of research strength. The conference was preperation for HDR students who had been accepted to present research papers at the biennial conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia 2018. 

Following on from the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre's Politics in Action Forum on 18 May 2018, SSEAC hosted an ECR day to discuss what it means to be a well-rounded academic. 

This workshop brought together early career researchers (excluding postgraduate students) from around Australia, who are focused on Southeast Asia, and provided an opportunity to network with peers from across the country.

Our invited experts provided an analysis of the political situation in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines and discussed the broader implications of events in these countries for our region. Drawing upon expertise from around the world, these presentations gave up-to-date information on developments in Southeast Asia.


  • Professor Garry Rodan (Murdoch University)
  • Associate Professor Bridget Welsh (John Cabot University, Italy)
  • Dr Su Mon Thazin Aung (Institute of Strategy and Policy, Myanmar)
  • Dr Keith Barney (Australian National University)
  • Dr Melissa Crouch (University of New South Wales)
  • Dr Jayeel Serrano Cornelio (Ateneo de Manila University)
  • Dr Lee Morgenbesser  (Griffith University)
  • Dr Charlotte Setijadi (Institute for Southeast Asia Studies- Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore)

Associate Professor Lily Rahim (University of Sydney), Associate Professor Bridget Welsh (John Cabot University, Italy) and Dr Nicholas Harrigan (Macquarie University) came together for a roundtable discussion on political developments in Singapore. 

This roundtable is co-organised by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) and the Malaysia and Singapore Society of Australia (MASSA) and was run in conjunction with Politics in Action 2018.

In this workshop, postgraduate students from the University of Sydney and across Australia explored the realities of working in academia and of being a well-rounded academic citizen. A panel of invited experts discussed the following topics:

  • What is a well-rounded academic?
  • Engaging outside of academia
  • Academic service - expectations, traps and leveraging for career benefit
  • Being realistic about academia

Dr Nadhrah A Kadir from the Universiti Sains Malaysia gave a seminar on her current research which focuses on understanding the dynamic interaction between cycling advocates and the City Council of Penang Island, Malaysia.

Ethnomusicologist Edward Herbst, Director of the Bali 1928 Repatriation Project presented a lecture and film screening on gender, crossing-dressing and androgyny in 1930’s archival films in Balinese dance-drama. 

Founder and Chief Coordinator of suicide and mental health organisation Into the Light Indonesia, Benny Prawira, gave a seminar on the work of young people in eradicating suicide stigma and raising awareness around mental health issues in Indonesia.

Ian Burnet, author of Spice Islands, gave an illustrated history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and provided historical context to the exhibition of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, showing at the Art Gallery of NSW.