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Envoy reveals key to Australia's strong ties with Indonesia

Jakarta Globe - March 29, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Australia sees enhancing people-to-people ties as crucial to forging stronger relations with Indonesia.

Both countries have had good relations with one another, including on trade, especially with a bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) now in effect. Australia is working alongside the ASEAN bloc which is key in Indonesia's foreign relations.

However, according to Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Penny Williams, it is the people-to-people ties that matter the most as the two close neighbors celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations this year.

"Economic and political cooperation are important. But I believe it is the people-to-people relations that lay at the heart of our two nations' bilateral ties," Williams told reporters during a mural launch in Jakarta's Taman Ismail Marzuki on Thursday evening.

Earlier that day, Williams launched an augmented reality mural – entitled "Together"– that depicts Indonesia-Australia's ties. Two artists of both countries – Australia's George Rose and Indonesia's Tutu – joined hands for this piece which will be on display at Taman Ismail Marzuki throughout the year. The event also saw the launch of the winning logo for Indonesia-Australia's 75th anniversary. Designed by Alif Pandu Sofyana, the red-and-blue logo takes inspiration from Indonesia's emblematic Garuda and Australia's symbol kangaroo.

"What matters the most is the people-to-people relations, to have the citizens of our countries understand and respect one another. Art is important because it tells stories of our countries' relations," Williams said.

The envoy then talked about her days living in Indonesia as a young student.

"I was on a student exchange program to Indonesia when I was in high school. I stayed here for a year and even lived with an Indonesian family. Then I studied the Indonesian language at university. I learned how respecting each other's culture is important for stronger Indonesia-Australia ties," Williams said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/envoy-reveals-key-to-australias-strong-ties-with-indonesi