After arriving in Melbourne, we went to the Clayton campus of Monash University. On our first day at Monash, we were introduced to several of the Arts Faculty’s staff and lecturers. We were told that we would be working on our theses in a room on Level 7 of the Menziez Building. We were then given Monash identity cards so that we could access the Monash email system and several other campus facilities.
We were accompanied by our thesis advisor, Dr. Mridula Chakraborty, with whom we discussed our theses. We were also introduced to the Dean of Arts, Prof. Rae Frances. We discussed the research we would conduct at Monash. She was very kind and enthusiastic about our planned research in Monash, and expressed hope that connections between UGM and Monash would remain strong.
Aside from discussing our theses with Dr. Chakraborty, we also conducted library research and attended various seminars held by Monash. We attended seminars at the MIC (Monash Indigenous Center) and the Philippine Round Table. When visiting Monash Caulfield, we were also introduced to the staff and lecturers of the Australia-Indonesia Center. Several had conducted research in Indonesia, and they were enthusiastic to hear that we were researching Australian literature at Monash.
On the weekend, we were taken to Ballarat by Pak Basoeki. There, we walked around downtown before eating lunch near the lake at the botanical garden. We explored the botanical garden, which has statues of Australia’s prime ministers and beautiful flowers of all colors, and took several pictures there.
On Thursday (1/9/2015) we were invited by Pak Basoeki to come to the Indonesian Consulate General’s dormitories in Victoria. We were well received, and were served refreshments. We also met with Sultan Hamengkubuwana and Queen Hemas, Bapak Nadjib Riphat (the ambassador), Ibu Dewi Savitri Wahab (the consul general), Ibu Prof. Dwikorita (rector of UGM), and several other UGM students who were present.
We spoke a little with Ibu Dwikorita regarding the research we were conducting at Monash. Ibu Dwikorita was very interested in continuing Australian Studies at UGM, and we were asked to help her after returning to Yogyakarta. We were given Ibu Dwikorita’s contact information and asked to contact her immediately to further develop an Australian Studies program at UGM. Hopefully, with this road opened, the FCS will be as enthusiastic in developing Australian Studies at the university. Hopefully, the UGM students who have conducted studies on Australia can also contribute to this planned Australian Studies program.
Sultan Hamengkubuwana also spoke with us for some time. He stated that it was now time for UGM to move ‘outwards’, meaning that UGM should have more study centers outside of Indonesia which can serve as vehicles for, and provide access to, students currently conducting research.
The Ambassador was interested in giving a public lecture on Australia at UGM, as he had previously done at UI.
Hopefully the fruits of our short discussions with these leaders can be conveyed to those with the authority to act on them. Furthermore, we hope that the Sultan and Bu Dwikorita’s suggestions can be realized immediately. We also hope that collaboration between UGM and Monash University can help ensure the development of an Australian Studies Program at UGM.
This is all we’d like to say for now. Hopefully FCS and UGM can continue to develop and make progress in academia.
Last Monday (5/10/15) we discussed our theses with Dr. Chakraborty. She gave us much useful feedback on our theses. She also helped us search for the references we needed.