Bridges of Friendship: Reflections on Indonesia’s Early Independence and Australia’s Volunteer Graduate Scheme, 1950s-1960s (edited by Ann McCarthy and Ailsa Thomson Zainuddin) , Herb Feith Publications Series, Monash University Publishing, 2017.
DATE: Wednesday 26 April, 6pm – 7.30pm
VENUE: AVI, 88 Kerr Street, Fitzroy
Click here to Register: Registration is essential as light refreshments will be served.
*Parking is available in nearby streets and in the Coles carpark accessible from Argyle Street.
**For those requiring wheelchair access be advised there is a single step to negotiate at the venue entrance.
Bridges of Friendship unveils personal ties between Indonesians and Australians in the early days of the Indonesian Republic.
Betty Feith provides a bird’s-eye history of the 1950–63 Volunteer Graduate Scheme in Indonesia, an initiative under which Australian graduates were employed in the Indonesian civil service. The Volunteer Graduate Scheme pioneered the concept of international volunteering as we understand it today. Feith’s nuanced and insightful narrative demonstrates the ideals of equality and support for the newly formed Indonesian Republic that were at the heart of the Scheme.
The reminiscences of Kurnianingrat Ali Sastroamijoyo, an educator who worked extensively in English language teaching and training, and took an active part in the Indonesian Revolution, include a fascinating and moving account of daily life in occupied Yogyakarta during the struggle for independence against the Dutch. Kurnianingrat illuminates Indonesian social and cultural history at this critical time for the nation.
A common thread across these two accounts is the friendship of Kurnianingrat and Harumani Rudolph-Sudirdjo with Australian volunteer graduates Feith and Ailsa Thomson Zainuddin: all four women worked together at the English Language Inspectorate in Jakarta in the mid-1950s. Extracts from correspondence, in a final section, illustrate the mutual interests and lasting connections and commitments of this circle.
Taken as a whole, Bridges of Friendship suggests the depth of human connection between Australia and Indonesia, fostered by the international spirit common to both the Indonesian Revolution and the Volunteer Graduate Scheme.
For more details and to order an advance copy visit: http://www.publishing.monash.edu/books/bf-9781925495225
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