19 May 2016
A delegation of five young Australian Muslims are travelling around Java to experience firsthand Indonesia’s religious tolerance and diversity.
The five participants of the Muslim Exchange program reflect Australia’s multicultural diversity and include two men and three women from Melbourne and Sydney who work in refugee advocacy, community development and youth services.
During the two-week program (16-28 May 2016), the group will meet Islamic organisations, community leaders, pesantren, academics and the media in Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta. Their program includes cultural and interfaith experiences such as attending Waisak celebrations at Borobudur Temple, visiting a Catholic Cathedral and Hindu Temple, as well as visiting Rumah Cemara, an organisation that supports people living with HIV/AIDS.
The program will allow the group to gain a better understanding of the role of religion in Indonesia and have the chance to share their views about how Islam contributes to diverse, democratic and tolerant societies such as Australia and Indonesia.
This year, ten Indonesian Muslim delegates have made a reciprocal visit to Australia as part of the program. They were selected from around 500 applicants.
The Muslim Exchange Program was established in 2002 by the Australia-Indonesia Institute and is organised in partnership with Paramadina University. The Institute, which supports friendship and promotes understanding between Australians and Indonesians through projects in interfaith, education, youth, civil society, media, sport and the arts.