Australian Embassy

Molly Bondan an inspiration for strong Australia-Indonesia people to people links

Media Release

17 October 2008

Molly Bondan an inspiration for strong Australia-Indonesia people to people links

Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer today welcomed the launch of the Indonesian editions of two books, In Love With a Nation and Spanning a Revolution, which highlight the close relationship between Australia and Indonesia during the struggle for Indonesia’s national independence.

The two books were launched as part of the 2008 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali.

“I am delighted the next generation of Indonesians will be able to learn more about a truly remarkable Australian, Molly Bondan, her equally remarkable husband Mohamad Bondan and their contribution to the enduring friendship between our two nations,” the Ambassador said.

Born Molly Warner, she met and married Bondan in Australia during World War Two while campaigning in support of the Indonesian Independence movement. Bondan had been arrested by the Dutch colonial authorities for his political activities, exiled to Digul and later brought to Australia where he was released. Molly’s book Spanning a Revolution tells the story of her husband’s achievements in the service of his nation.

Molly herself worked for the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, working on most of former President Sukarno’s English speeches from 1961 – 1965. In Love With a Nation is a collection of Molly’s oral history tapes, her Indonesian broadcasts and her own writings. Molly also played an important role in organising the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung.

“These books give us a wonderful insight into Molly’s abiding love for her two homelands, Australia and Indonesia, and the foundations of the strong bilateral people to people links dating back to the 1940s,” Ambassador Farmer added.

The Indonesian editions of In Love With a Nation and Spanning a Revolution have been translated by Professor Sapardi Djoko Damono and Hersri Setiawan and published by Yayason Obor in Indonesia with funding from the Australia-Indonesia Institute, an Australian Government Initiative.

Media Enquiries:
Fiona Hoggart, First Secretary (Cultural) tel. (021) 2550 5260 mob. 0811 936 302