Indonesian Postgraduate Roundtable and Workshop

Since 1999, the Indonesia Forum has hosted the Postgraduate Roundtable. This twice-yearly event creates an open forum for postgraduate students from the University of Melbourne (and across Australia) to disseminate and share their ideas, research, and experiences. The primary goal of the roundtables is to provide an opportunity for postgraduate students to introduce their work to a wider audience and make connections with University of Melbourne staff and other students.

In 2017, the Indonesia Forum altered the format of the roundtables, holding a conventional roundtable in first semester, and a practical work skills-focused workshop in second semester. For the first roundtable, on 1 April, Indonesian postgraduate students and students of Indonesia from all disciplines were invited to submit abstracts. Students prepared 10-15 minute presentations on their research, which could then be delivered in English or Indonesian. Following the presentations, academics provided feedback, and conducted exercises on academic writing.

Sixteen students from universities in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Indonesia presented on topics including politics, governance, education, labour rights, environmental management, land rights, linguistics, migration, public health and arts. University of Melbourne staff, including Professor Vedi Hadiz, Professor Andrew Rosser and Dr Michael Ewing from the Asia Institute, Professor John Murphy and Dr Rachael Diprose from the School of Social and Political Sciences, Associate Professor Katharine McGregor from the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, and Dr Helen Pausacker from the Melbourne Law School, offered mentoring support and guidance. Professor Hadiz delivered the keynote speech, which was titled ‘Beyond Indonesia’s Boundaries: A Call for Comparative Research’.

The workshop, conducted on 21 October, focused on developing professional skills, job market preparation and writing for different audiences. More than 30 postgraduate students attended the workshop. Professor Rosser, Dr Diprose and Dr Richard Chauvel facilitated the first session, which focused on preparing for an academic career – in both the Australian and Indonesian higher education sectors. Dr Pausacker, Dr Dave McRae and Justin Wejak delivered the next session, which covered tips and techniques for preparing and submitting articles to peer-refereed journals and the mainstream media. Finally, Indonesia at Melbourne blog editor Tim Mann spoke about writing for academic blogs and facilitated a blog-writing session where students were encouraged to draw on their own research to create an engaging blog post. The session covered practical tips such as topic selection, identifying a news hook, crafting a lead and title, as well as style and tone.