Australian Embassy

Celebrating 15 Years of the Australia-Indonesia Muslim Exchange Program

Media Release

3 March 2017

Five Indonesian Muslim leaders will visit Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra as part of the prestigious Australia-Indonesia Muslim Exchange Program. Over the last 15 years almost 200 participants have enjoyed this unique exchange program.

The group will explore Australia’s many cultures and religions and experience how Islam is practised in Australia. They will also learn about the contribution of Islamic communities to Australian culture over the last two centuries through visits to the Islamic Museum of Australia, the historic Gallipoli Mosque in Sydney and Newport Mosque in Melbourne.

Islam in Australia dates back to 1650 and almost half of the Muslim population was born in Australia. Along with recently arrived Muslims, they come from a wide variety of backgrounds including the Middle East, South Asia, Eastern Europe and South East Asia. They have brought with them a wealth of different ideas, skills and talents.

There are around 175 mosques around Australia, and almost half a million Muslims. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in Australia, estimated to be growing at about 40 per cent every year.

Australia is a diverse mix of cultures and religions and people are able to express their beliefs and practice their religion freely.  The Australian Muslim leaders will visit Indonesia in May.

Australian Ambassador for Indonesia, Paul Grigson said the Muslim Exchange Program continues to create lasting bonds between young Muslim leaders in both countries and provide them with a life changing experience.

The Program was established in 2002 by the Australia-Indonesia Institute and is a partnership with Paramadina University. 

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