Welcome to the Indonesia Forum

The University of Melbourne pioneered Indonesian studies in the mid-1950s. Since the early 1990s, Indonesian studies has undergone an impressive growth in both student numbers and staffing and Indonesian studies are now available across a wide range of Departments, Faculties and Centres, including Architecture, Building and Planning, Commerce, Engineering, Law and Medicine, as well as more traditional locations such as Language, Anthropology, Politics and History.

Formed in 1991, the Indonesia Forum (IF), previously known as the Indonesia Interest Group, is an informal and open network of academics and administrative staff of the University who share a common interest and professional involvement in Indonesia. Members keep in touch by e-mail and hold meetings, seminars and discussions. For the past ten years the IF has hosted major functions which have brought together the wider Melbourne Indonesian and campus-based Indonesia-interested communities.

The Forum also plays a policy advisory role on Indonesia-related issues within the University and works closely with the Asia Institute and with Indonesian students and students studying in Indonesia-related areas. In 1999 the Forum arranged its first postgraduate roundtable for students studying in Indonesia-related fields.

The current Indonesia Forum Convenor is Dr Monika Winarnita and the co-Convenor is Dr Wulan Dirgantoro.


Empowering Resilience: Unintended Consequences and Reflections on Women and Work after COVID-19 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia   

Thursday 7 March 2024, 5 – 6pm, Room 321, Level 3, Sidney Myer Asia Centre (Building 158)

Speaker: Dr Fina Itriyati – Vice Dean for Research, Cooperation, Community Service, and Alumni Affairs in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIPOL) at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)

This ethnographic study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of low-income women in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, a city affected by the crisis.
Register: https://unimelb.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0rf-CqpjMrE9UTqWhL5gluwYKChbnfc9KM#/registration

The 42nd Indonesia Forum Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Hybrid Symposium

22-23 November, Arts West 253

The Indonesia Forum (IF) held the 42nd Indonesia Postgraduate & Early Career Researcher symposium in 2023, a continuation of the University of Melbourne’s commitment to engagement with and building excellence in scholarship on Indonesia. This year is the 25-year anniversary since Indonesia’s Reformation era began (1998), inspiring the theme Reformasi 25 years on: Opportunities and challenges for Indonesian society’



2023 Arief Budiman public lecture: Civil society, human rights and climate justice
Speaker: A.Prof Dirk Tomsa

23 November 6-7 PM William McMahon Ball Theatre,
Old Arts
In this presentation, Dirk Tomsa examined the reasons for the movement’s limited growth and ponder how the legacy of Arief Budiman’s activism might help invigorate climate activism in contemporary Indonesia.


Book Launch: Prof Kate McGregor’s book on ‘Systemic Silencing’

5.45-6.45 PM Wednesday 22 November, Arts West, Room 253

Professor Kate McGregor’s book ‘Systemic Silencing: Activism, Memory, and Sexual Violence in Indonesia’ (UW Press, 2023), is an outcome of her ARC Future Fellowship. This book is the first major study of Indonesian transnational human rights activism and the Indonesian so-called ‘comfort women’. Her book was launched by Dr Ken Setiawan, Senior Lecturer in Indonesian Studies, The University of Melbourne.

2 November: Contemporary Indonesian Literature: In Conversation with Dias Novita Wuri


On Thursday 2nd of November, Dr Ken Setiawan from the Indonesian Studies Program was joined by our members and Indonesian Postgraduate students in conversation with author Dias Novita Wuri to discuss her novella Jalan Lahir, or Birth Canal. Birth Canal tells the interwoven stories of women across time and space in a male-dominated world from today’s Jakarta and Osaka Japan to Semarang in World War II. The author was also available to sign her sold out book that night.

2 October 2023: Postgraduate Lunchtime Seminar: Roy Thaniago on Decoding Tionghoa Positionality in Contemporary Indonesia

On Monday 2nd of October, Roy Thaniago an Indonesian PhD candidate from Geneva Graduate Institute, Switzerland spoke about his research on ‘Everyday Shop Life: Decoding Tionghoa Positionality in Contemporary Indonesia’.

29 – 30 November 2022: The 41st Indonesia Postgraduate Network Symposium

The Indonesia Postgraduate Network (IPN) and Indonesia Forum (IF) organised the 41st Indonesia Postgraduate Network symposium on 29-30 November 2022. The symposium had participating master and doctoral students from: The University of Melbourne, The Australian National University, Universitas Gadjah Mada, and Universitas Indonesia. Details of the event could be found here.

A recording of the special roundtable on “Publishing Your Research” with  Dr Benjamin Hegarty, Dr Annisa Beta, Dr Ariane Utomo, Dr Tiara Marthias, and Dr Inaya Rakhmani can be seen here:

Annual reports

Indonesia Forum’s Annual Reports from recent years can be downloaded by navigating from the Annual Reports and Theses menu at the top right corner of this page.