Memorial Lecture 2017, 18 October, 6pm: ‘Normalising Chinese Indonesians’, Ass. Prof. Charles Coppel

You are invited to attend the 2017 Herb Feith Memorial Lecture

‘Normalising Chinese Indonesians’

Associate Professor, Charles Coppel, University of Melbourne

18 October 2017

6pm for
6.30 – 8.30pm

RSVP essential as light supper served

Download Memorial Lecture flyer

Indonesia has a very large population comprising hundreds of ethnic groups. The ethnic Chinese are one of the largest, but their numbers are much smaller than is commonly believed. Historically, they have been treated differently from other ethnic groups, especially during the three decades of President Suharto’s New Order regime. Since 1998 formal discrimination against them has been repealed. Have the Chinese been ‘normalised’? What does the experience of Ahok in the recent Jakarta gubernatorial election say about this?

Charles Coppel is an Honorary Principal Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at The University of Melbourne. He has been researching the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia for more than half a century. His publications include Indonesian Chinese in Crisis (1983), Studying Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia (2002), and the edited volume Violent Conflicts in Indonesia (2006). His contribution to the field was recognised in the festschrift edited by Tim Lindsey and Helen Pausacker, Chinese Indonesians: Remembering, Distorting, Forgetting (2005) and his contribution to Indonesian nation-building by a NABIL Foundation Award (2009).





ICOC Keynote Lecture: Telling stories, sharing lives

ICOC Keynote: ‘Telling stories and sharing lives: Fostering connections between Australians and Indonesians’

The following is an edited extract of Dr Jemma Purdey’s Keynote Lecture at the Indonesia Council Open Conference, Flinders University, 3 July 2017.

Read abridged version



Seminar: Pat Walsh, ‘Growing flowers in a prison: Timor-Leste’s new hub of post-conflict best practice’

Herb Feith Foundation Seminar Series 2017

‘Growing flowers in a prison: Timor-Leste’s new hub of post-conflict best practice’ , Pat Walsh

Download and read Pat’s talk here.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017, 6pm-7.30pm
AVI, 88 Kerr Street, Fitzroy

A decade on from the tabling of the monumental Chega! report, the Timor-Leste government is building a centre of memory to ensure the lessons of its traumatic history are remembered and passed on to future generations. The initiative is a regional first and model of what the UN calls the Fourth Stage of sustainable reconciliation best practice. The new Centre will also work with Indonesia on the two countries’ shared history.
Pat Walsh served on the Timor-Leste Working Group established by Prime Minister Rui de Araujo to design the new centre.
Pat Walsh and Aniceto Guterres, chair of CAVR


Presentations of the work of the 2017 Herb Feith Foundation John Darling Fellows

Young Indonesian Filmmakers and Human Rights Issues on Screen: Presentations of the work of the 2017 Herb Feith Foundation John Darling Fellows


Indonesia Forum and Herb Feith present:

Young Indonesian Filmmakers and Human Rights Issues on Screen: Presentations of the work of the 2017 Herb Feith Foundation John Darling Fellows

Date and Time: Thursday 13 July 2017, 6pm-8.30pm

Venue: Old Arts Building Room 224 (South Theatre), The University of Melbourne, Parkville.

The John Darling Fellowship was first offered in 2013 and again in 2015. The fellowship is designed to train emerging Indonesian documentary filmmakers in Australia so that their film making skills, commercial knowledge and awareness of archiving principles are enhanced. The fellow will undertake an intensive unit in ‘Video-making as Research’ at Monash University, School of Film and Journalism.

The Fellowships are named in honour of Australian-born filmmaker, John Darling (1946-2011). In 1969, Darling began living and researching in Bali for some 20 years. Beginning in 1978 he directed, produced and researched nine documentary films about Indonesia that have been screened internationally. They include Lempad of Bali about a 116-year-old Master-Artist with Lorne Blair, the 3 part Bali Triptych series on Balinese culture, Bali Hash and Below the Wind. After the 2002 Bali bombings, he co-produced with his wife Sara, The Healing of Bali. Darling also wrote books and poetry on Bali.

2017 Fellows:

Kartika Pratiwi was born in Malang, Indonesia and graduated from a Master Program in Cultural Studies. She has been an independent researcher with an interest in narrative discourse on the 1965 genocide in Indonesia, Chinese-Indonesian issues and digital storytelling. Since 2008, she has been part of kotakhitam Forum – an independent organization, dedicated to research; workshops and documentary movie production for social and political changes. During that time, she has been involved in documentary film productions including Api Kartini (2012); and several video archives on Indonesian political history and collective memory. With kotakhitam Forum, she regularly runs Seroean Sedjarah, History on Screen, and RePLAY project to facilitate history teachers and youth to use popular media as a learning tools in schools.  Since 2015, she has worked for EngageMedia, a non-profit organisation to provide strategies for the effective use of video distribution, connecting video makers, journalists, and activists.

Dery Prananda began learning to make films in 2005. He has recently completed his final project at Institut Seni Indonesia, Surakarta. His documentary films include those advocating environmental, social and human rights issues in collaboration with several institutions. In 2014 he made The Years Of Blur, a documentary about the murder of Udin, a journalist from Yogyakarta. In 2016, he made a documentary entitled Blessing From the Sea that took place in Lamalera, East Nusa Tenggara. His sort fiction film Amelis, was winner of Best Film and Best Fiction Film in the ReelOzInd Australia Indonesia Short Film Festival 2016.


John Darling Fellows arrive at Monash

The 2017 John Darling Fellows, Kartika Pratiwi and Dery Prananda, have arrived in Melbourne and commenced their intensive unit in the Monash School of Film and Journalism, ‘Video making as Research’.

The unit is taught intensively over three weeks with the students preparing a short film as their final piece of work.

Tika and Dery will screen these films and other examples of their film making in a special event organised in collaboration with the Indonesia Forum, Melbourne University.

Screening and Q&A: ‘Young Indonesian Filmmakers and Human Rights Issues on Screen: Presentations of the work of the 2017 Herb Feith Foundation John Darling Fellows’
Date and Time: Thursday 13 July 2017, 6pm-8.30pm
Venue: Old Arts Building Room 224 (South Theatre), The University of Melbourne


Applications now open: John Darling Fellowship for Australian filmmaker

The John Darling Fellowship is supported by the Herb Feith Foundation and will be offered for the first time in 2018. The fellowship is designed to provide an opportunity for emerging Australian documentary and ethnographic filmmakers to experience the vibrancy of contemporary Indonesian film, arts and cultural production, and to collaborate and exchange ideas with Indonesian film-making peers.

Fellowship grant
The successful applicant will receive a John Darling Fellowship grant of $6,800.00 to support the applicant’s participation in ACICIS’ 2018 Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum (CADPP) .

Fellowship criteria
The fellowship is to be awarded to an eligible participant in ACICIS’ 2018 Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum (CADPP). The successful applicant will meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Australian Citizen
  • Currently or previously enrolled in film studies or related discipline at an Australian institution of higher learning; and
  • Have a demonstrable interest in ethnographic documentary and observational cinema.

How to apply for the John Darling Fellowship
To apply for Fellowship, applicants need complete the online application form for ACICIS’ Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum (CADPP). ACICIS – in consultation with the Herb Feith Foundation – will assess applicants’ eligibility and suitability for the Fellowship in light of the above selection criteria. The application deadline is the 15 September 2017.


Comment: Siauw on ‘Vigilantism: A relic of the past, now threatening the future’

The latest commentary from Chair of the HFF Badan Pekerja featured in the Jakarta Post recently.


Vigilantism: A relic of the past, now threatening the future



Putu Oka Sukanta reviewed

Examining Indonesia’s collective trauma

Sebastian Partogi


Read the article



Inaugural Herb Feith Professorial Lecture: Professor Ariel Heryanto


Thursday, 1 June 2017
HB40, H Building, Monash University, Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, VIC 3145
View Map

Dinner: 6:00pm-6:45pm
Lecture: 6:45pm-8pm
RSVP is essential. Click here to register


‘STORIES OF SUBVERSION, SUBVERSIVE STORIES: A Critique of Indonesia’s Politics of Identity’

ABSTRACT: One dominant, durable and most dangerous idea has poisoned social life in Indonesia since independence. It is the modern notion that pure or authentic social identities are possible and highly desirable. This notion has repeatedly led not only to ambitious pursuits for the idealised identities (authentically Indonesian, purely Eastern, truly masculine, essential motherhood, or correctly Islamic). It has also prompted the combative commitments to disavow or mutilate elements of the nation deemed impure, less authentic, mixed or deviant. Stories of the early formation of the nation, or the national revolution that led to Indonesia’s independence, have the potential to be radically subversive to this obsession, as inauthenticity and hybridity are the hallmarks of that history. In order to sustain the status quo, much of the rich and complex history of the colonialism and decolonisation must continue to be hidden, suppressed or denied to this day.

Ariel Heryanto was born and raised in Indonesia under the military dictatorship of the New Order during the Cold War. Since March 2017 he is the Herbert Feith Professor for the Study of Indonesia at Monash University. Previously he worked at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (Indonesia), The National University of Singapore, The University of Melbourne, and The Australian National University. He is the author of Identity and Pleasure; the politics of Indonesian screen culture (2014); State Terrorism And Political Identity In Indonesia: Fatally Belonging (2007), editor of Popular Culture in Indonesia: Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics (2008). His current research investigates Indonesia’s postcoloniality.

*Presented by Herb Feith Foundation and Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Monash University


Launch of ‘Bridges of Friendship’, 26 April, 6pm at AVI

Launch of

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.

About ‘Bridges’

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: