Grassroots confidence boosts a new Indonesian diaspora association in rural Australia


Just as Indonesia is showing new diplomacy skills in presenting itself as a global leader through its chairing of G20 last year and regionally as ASEAN chair this year, Indonesia's far-flung diaspora are also emerging with confidence. The following video documents the start of a new grassroots Indonesian community organisation in rural Australia. 

Copyright Indonesia Australia Association of Greater Shepparton and Region Inc and Gold Communications

ON SUNDAY 21 May 2023. the Indonesian community and friends in north-east Victoria, Australia, gathered to officially launch IndOzShepp - the Indonesia Australia Association of Greater Shepparton & Region Inc - and "to celebrate Kartini Day for the first time in the Goulburn Valley", one of Australia's most important agricultural districts, about 200 km from Melbourne. 

Master of Ceremonies, Meitty Tentua, welcomed the nearly 200 guests, acknowledged the region's Yorta Yorta people and thanked all Australians for their hospitality to Indonesian residents and visitors.

The first speaker was Titik Ningsih, Convenor of IndOzShepp, and Vice President, who works in fruit packing. She explained how the Shepparton Community Leadership Program, which she highly recommends, gave her the confidence to bring the community together through founding a new association.

Next was Kiki Darajat, Treasurer of IndOzShepp who works for Greater Shepparton City. She explained the importance of Kartini Day for recognising women heroes and emphasising women's education, empowerment, and equal rights.

Cr Shane Sali - Mayor for Greater Shepparton City Council, congratulated IndOzShepp for contributing to the multiculturalism of the region and building the connection between Indonesia and the Goulburn Valley.

Kim O’Keeffe MP for Shepparton District in the Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Victoria, said she is sure that IndOzShepp will provide a space for Indonesians to gather and communicate and share problems and celebrations.

Donna Baldwin continued the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District's great support to IndOzShepp through advice and sponsorship.

The official ceremony concluded with the famous Indonesian yellow rice-cutting tradition known as Nasi Tumpeng. (l-r) Kiki Darajat, Titik Ningsih Gold, Mayor Shane Sali, Christiano Dery Theodorus, Kim O'Keeffe MLA,  Consul General Kuncoro Giri Waseso, Donna Baldwin, Geoffrey Gold, and Peter McGregor (AIBC).

The keynote speaker was Kuncoro Giri WasesoConsul General of the Republic of Indonesia to Victoria. He expects IndOzShepp to enrich the relationship between Australia and Indonesia through people-to-people contact and increasing economic relations. 

He was accompanied by consular staff and a PPLN delegation providing registration details for voters in Indonesia's 2024 elections.

The final speaker was Christiano Dery Theodorus, President of IndOzShepp and a local retailer and popular painter and public muralist. He explained his passion to lead this community organisation as the result of the support he received from others as a newcomer.

The official ceremony concluded with the famous Indonesian yellow rice-cutting tradition known as Nasi Tumpeng. It was followed by group photographs, delicious Indonesian food, music and very happy singing.

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