CAUSINDY is a fantastic four-day conference that brings together young Australian and Indonesian professionals to collaborate on initiatives that build a stronger bilateral relationship.
CAUSINDY is a long-term investment in the Australia-Indonesia relationship that fills a previously unmet gap in the sphere of bilateral youth forums. CAUSINDY’s core point of difference is its capacity to connect young leaders who are reaching a point of influence in their careers, bringing real pragmatic insight into the varied fields from which they come. I was very grateful to attend the inaugural conference in Canberra in 2013.
Among CAUSINDY’s alumni over the past two years have been academics, bankers, diplomats, management consultants, bureaucrats, not-for-profit leaders, entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers and artists. The diversity of delegates allows for CAUSINDY to operate in broad sectoral streams for the first half of the conference and then cross-pollinate ideas to generate exciting new outcomes during the second half.
In 2013, the program consisted of a mix of engaging sessions with leading thinkers and practitioners covering topics including politics, business, culture, the arts and education. Among the first sessions were Andrew Leigh, prominent economist and current Federal Member of Parliament for Fraser, Professor Tim Lindsey, a thought leader and Director of the Centre for Islamic Law and Society at the University of Melbourne and Dr Santo Darmosumarto, then Adviser to President of Indonesia Yudhoyono. By the final session delegates were moved by deeply personal stories of persistence through adversity in the award-winning “Eat, Pray, Mourn” radio documentary courtesy of the eloquent Dr Jacqui Baker of Murdoch University.
On the last day of the conference delegates gathered together to develop, test and pitch project ideas to eminent leaders and then put the gears in motion for practical implementation.
My advice for new applicants is to be bold and think creatively about the future of the bilateral relationship. The organisers of CAUSINDY are passionate forward-thinkers who would like to hear your innovative ideas. Take a systemic approach and think broadly about how you can blend traditional boundaries of politics, business, the arts, education and tourism. Also be prepared to confidently discuss your ideas and explain how they could be pieced together. We need more social entrepreneurs and long-term thinkers at the helm of the relationship and the CAUSINDY team will back your vision and exuberance.
The Australia-Indonesia relationship will have a bright future so long as young leaders continue to advocate for high-level support for opportunities that facilitate personal connection and motivate youth to pursue language and cultural studies throughout their development.
Fostering people-to-people links is a smart and enduring investment in the future of the bilateral relationship. Neither the negative media portrayals nor the political mishaps of recent times have impacted upon the personal relationships in our cohort. That is the true value of cross-cultural exchange programs and conferences like CAUSINDY – they exist as a platform to share stories and experiences from which come very close bonds that are not easily broken.
Find out more about how you get involved in CAUSINDY.