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Strengthening Bonds: East Java and Australia

Jumat, 05 April 2024 - 02:25 | 16.32k
Khofifah with Australian Consul General Surabaya Fiona Hoggart opens with Australian Alumni in East Java, at JW Marriot Hotel Surabaya, Wednesday (3/4/2024) evening. (photo: Doc Muslimat NU)
Khofifah with Australian Consul General Surabaya Fiona Hoggart opens with Australian Alumni in East Java, at JW Marriot Hotel Surabaya, Wednesday (3/4/2024) evening. (photo: Doc Muslimat NU)

TIMESINDONESIA, JAKARTA – In a heartfelt gathering that took place at the JW Marriott Hotel in Surabaya, Khofifah Indar Parawansa, the chairperson of PP Muslimat NU and Governor of East Java for the 2019-2024 term, celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Indonesia. This event, held on the evening of April 3, 2024, was marked by a spirit of camaraderie and shared memories among the Alumni Australia in East Java.

In attendance were prominent figures, including Fiona Hoggart, the Australian Consul General in Surabaya, and her deputy, Anthony Clark. The evening was an opportunity for Khofifah to express her gratitude for the enduring partnership that has developed between Australia and Indonesia, particularly benefiting the region of East Java.

Khofifah extended a special commendation to Fiona Hoggart, who is nearing the end of her tenure as the Australian Consul General in Surabaya. She will soon return to Australia, leaving behind a legacy of proactive engagement and support for the region. Khofifah recounted how Hoggart played a pivotal role during the Foot and Mouth Disease (PMK/Penyakit Kuku dan Mulut) outbreak, demonstrating her commitment by personally visiting affected locales to coordinate relief efforts.

This initiative was part of a broader collaboration between the two regions, underpinned by significant aid from Australia, including medical supplies and other forms of support. These efforts, Khofifah noted, were instrumental in alleviating the impact of the crisis on the people of East Java.

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Khofifah also highlighted the broader scope of the Australia-Indonesia partnership, which has significantly contributed to advancing the educational and human resource sectors in East Java. A notable milestone in this cooperation was the launch of the Western Sydney University (WSU) campus in Surabaya in November 2023. WSU is esteemed globally, ranking among the top 250 universities, and its establishment in Surabaya signifies a major leap in enhancing local educational standards.

The WSU campus in Surabaya is set to open in September 2024 through a phased approach. Initially, it will accommodate 1,000 students, with plans to expand to between 1,700 and 2,000 students in the subsequent phase. The offered undergraduate programs will span across various fields, including computer science, information and communication technology, data science, electrical engineering, and applied finance in business, reflecting the region's growing demands in these sectors.

Khofifah emphasized the strategic importance of WSU's presence in Surabaya, particularly in bolstering the region's digital and IT capabilities. She linked this development to the broader progress of East Java's manufacturing sector, which is aligning with national goals set by President Jokowi. By 2045, Indonesia aims to have its manufacturing sector constitute 30% of the national economy, a target East Java is progressively surpassing.

To further support this educational and industrial growth, Khofifah is actively engaging with the Ministry of Finance to ensure students pursuing higher education at WSU and King’s College London in Singhasari, Malang, have access to LPDP scholarships. This initiative underscores the regional government's commitment to fostering academic excellence and professional readiness among its youth.

Khofifah's reflections on the partnership with Australia, particularly the contributions of Fiona Hoggart, culminated in an acknowledgment of the lasting impact of these collaborative efforts. She expressed heartfelt gratitude and anticipation for Hoggart's potential future assignments in Indonesia, hoping for her return in an even more prestigious capacity.

The event also saw the participation of key officials from the East Java provincial government, including the acting Secretary of the Province, the Governor's assistants, and heads of various departments. Their presence underscored the collective acknowledgment of the significant strides made in the Australia-Indonesia relationship, particularly in fostering development and cooperation in East Java.

This celebration not only commemorated a milestone in diplomatic relations but also set the stage for future collaborations, aimed at achieving mutual growth and prosperity for both regions. The legacy of individuals like Fiona Hoggart and the ongoing efforts of leaders like Khofifah continue to pave the way for a brighter, more interconnected future between Australia and Indonesia. (rifqy rezfany)

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Editor : Khodijah Siti
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