This year, CAUSINDY (Conference of Australian and Indonesian Youth) 2019 returned to Australia, bringing along a selection of Indonesian and Australian youths all eager to learn more about their respective Asia Pacific neighbour. Held from 26 April 2019 to 29 April 2019, the four days’ conference aimed to educate Indonesian and Australian youths on the Australia-Indonesia bilateral relationship, be it in the economic, cultural, environmental or the societal sphere. Among the Indonesian delegates, there was Doni Darmer, an alumni from the CAUSINDY 2016 batch held in his lovely Bali hometown. We asked more about his views and opinions on of the conference and the underlying reason on why he chose to get involved with CAUSINDY 2019 in the first place.
Regarding his opinion on CAUSINDY 2019, Doni admitted that he had always enjoyed the conference ever since he first got involved – and this time was no different. It was refreshing to see both the Indonesian and Australian delegates mingling with each other and learning more about their shared history, similarity and difference. He himself made more friends along the way as well. The bonus point was especially evident as he learnt just how much the Australian delegates knew about Indonesia, sometimes much more than what the Indonesian delegates knew about Australia. This, he said, was quite understandable considering the fact that much of the bilateral relationship dynamic between Indonesia and Australia was still transactional and sectoral in nature. A deeper ties between the two would need to be nurtured in order to progress the bilateral ties into a stronger and more enduring future.
When asked about his personal goal in joining CAUSINDY 2019, Doni admitted that he would like to assist in enabling more P2P relationship building between Indonesia and Australia. He believed that by joining the conference, he would be more capable of understanding the available opportunities for him to nurture that relationship. He also added how the committee’s decision to host the conference in Darwin was reflective of a historical relationship between Indonesia and Australia. It was where the Makassan ancestors of Indonesia first established trade relationship with the Northern Territory Indigenous Nation. The historical significance of the destination itself made for a pleasant addition to an already fruitful conference.
As CAUSINDY 2019 came to a close for the year, Doni also reflected back on the conference and added that for the coming conference, it will be even better should there be recent issues between Indonesia and Australia being brought up for discussion during the conference. CAUSINDY is an indispensable hub that brings the two nations together and both the committee and delegates should make the best use of the platform to channel constructive thoughts and arguments toward the betterment of the two neighbour nations.
So kudos to CAUSINDY 2019 and all the best for CAUSINDY 2020. There is still much to look forward to in the coming future – and it is going to be a thrilling ride!
Text: Edward Tanoto
Photo: Doni Marmer