Australian Embassy

Australia Connect Celebration Kicks Off with New Exhibition

Media Release

13 November 2019

Australia’s diversity and creativity will be celebrated in 2019-20 in a new campaign across Indonesia.

Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan launched Australia Connect, an exciting program of events that will showcase Australia’s thriving creative sectors through music, film, food and art.

Australia Connect will deepen cultural connections between Australia and Indonesia, highlighting Australia’s rich Indigenous history and culture, as well as Australia’s multiculturalism and diversity.

“We hope that through the campaign, more Indonesians will be able to connect with Australian culture and creative talent,” Mr Quinlan said at the launch event, held at Museum Nasional.

“Australia Connect will include performances by Indigenous singer-songwriter Dan Sultan, our annual Festival Sinema Australia Indonesia and Taste of Australia food festival, with more events to come.”

Australia Connect was launched at the opening of a new exhibition at the national museum: Two Nations: a Friendship is Born, curated by the Australian National Maritime Museum.

The exhibition tells the story of Australia’s support for Indonesia’s independence.

“Twenty-seven December 2019 is the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Indonesia, but our support for the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia came before the formal recognition of Indonesia’s sovereignty,” Mr Quinlan said.

Following Indonesia’s declaration of independence, Australia lobbied on behalf of Indonesia in the newly-created United Nations Security Council and was later chosen by Indonesia as its representative in the UN negotiations that ultimately led to independence. There was also strong community support for Indonesia’s independence in Australia.

“Today, this part of our shared history is unfortunately not widely known in Australia or Indonesia. I hope that through this exhibition we can be reminded of this inspired beginning of our relations as neighbours whose futures are so closely bound to each other,” Mr Quinlan said.

Two Nations: a Friendship is Born is open at the National Museum of Indonesia until 14 December.

The exhibition will also be held in Surabaya, Makassar and Denpasar.

For further Australia Connect events, follow the Australian Embassy’s social media accounts.

Media Enquiries:
Ian Gerard
021 2550 5290