Learn Indonesian and boost your prospects, says expert

December 2, 2010

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Learning Indonesian could give Australians the competitive edge in the job market and in business, according to a leading language expert from Murdoch University.

Professor David T Hill is hosting a major meeting in Perth next year aimed at boosting the future of the language in Australian universities. And he says there has never been a better time to learn the language of one of Australia’s nearest – and most strategically important – neighbours.

“With around 400 Australian businesses operating in Indonesia, there is a growing demand for qualified Indonesian-speakers,” said Professor Hill.

“The Australian government, too, realises how vital our growing trade, strategic, and cultural links are with Indonesia. It’s funding more Indonesian teaching in schools. But government departments find it hard to recruit sufficient fluent Indonesian-speakers so it’s a great time to learn the language.”

Professor Hill has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. As part of that, he is hosting a National Colloquium on the Future of Indonesian Language in Australian Universities from 9 to 11 February 2011.

The event, at Murdoch University, will bring together Indonesian language teachers, government representatives, professional organisations and others with an interest in links between Australia and Indonesia. The aim is to share ideas and develop a national strategy for the future of Indonesian in Australian universities, which will be presented to government and universities.

Professor Hill said: “We will be formulating twenty-first century strategies for Indonesian to ensure Australia strengthens and develops this national resource.”

Comments (2 responses)

Andie Dinse December 13, 2010

I am proud to say I completed a Bachelor of Asian Studies back in 1997 with a double major in Indonesian and Commerce and have never looked back! I remember many a time being in a class with Professor Hill. He also taught my sister who did the same degree but studied Mandarin Chinese instead.

I was also part of the ACICIS inaugural group who studied in Yogya at UGM and found the experience incredible as I could compare it to my time as an expat living in Djakarta with my father who worked in Indonesia for over 25 years. Two ends of a vastly different spectrum of cultural immersion.

I was supporting myself throughout college by working at Burswood Casino and then went on to work in the Cruise ship entertainment industry in USA where I found many Indonesians also working onboard in various other departments.

When I started speaking Indonesian to them it spread like wildfire amongst the crew that there was a blonde aussie chic in the Casino Dept who could speak not only Indonesian, but a little bit of Javanese as well and this really blew their socks off!

As a result I gained many new friends from this experience and it opened the doors to better working relationships between our Casino Dept and those that the Indonesian crew worked in (for which my Managers were eternally grateful).

As I worked my way up the Corporate ladder and became an Executive Casino Host (Ast to the Marketing Mgr for the Corporate Fleet – 86 ships worldwide) I was able to engage my commerce and marketing skills and combine these with my communication and language skills. It took me all over the world throughout Europe and the Americas to places I never dreamt of visiting! Each week I was in a different country jetting between different ships in different ports such as Alaska one week, Mexico the next and Barcelona after that!

10 years later, back home in Perth after this experience, I must thank Murdoch University for giving my the opportunity to study such fantastic courses which lead to my graduation and subsequent travels throughout the world! Now I work for local government putting all this experience into supporting the local community as a Community Development Officer.

Tri Sukma Retnoningrum February 10, 2013

As an Indonesian, I am really surprised that a highly developed country like Australian really appreciate Indonesian language. There are even some learning methods like pimsleur which is very beneficial for learning Indonesian in very comprehensive way

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