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.”