Key people

Current Organising Committee, 2023-2024

Dr Monika Winarnita


Dr Monika Winarita was born in Greater Jakarta and grew up in Jakarta and Canberra, Australia. She is a Lecturer in Indonesian Studies at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne and is an elected Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Her overarching research interest is to examine Australia-Indonesia relationship through gender, various cultural performances (digital, media, dance and ethnomusicology), mixed-race and minority identities, diasporic community belonging as well as care labour and precarious work from an anthropology of migration background.

She has also done ethnographic fieldwork amongst the Cocos Keeling Muslim Malays in Australia’s Indian Ocean Territory and work on various projects on migrant communities in Australia and the Australian media.

Monika holds a PhD in Anthropology (2014) from the Australian National University that was awarded an Honorable mention in the Raymond Firth thesis prize. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2017) funded by the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council on the project ‘Southeast Asian Women, Family and Migration in the Global Era.’

During this Fellowship, she received an award for the 2017 Monograph Book of Distinction (chosen out of 80 titles) for her published PhD thesis ‘Dancing the Feminine: Gender and Identity Performances by Indonesian Migrant Women’ at the University of Victoria, BC Canada.

Dr Wulan Dirgantoro


Dr Wulan Dirgantoro is a Lecturer in Art History and Curatorship at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.

Her research interests are gender and feminism, and trauma and memory in Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art, with a special focus on Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

Her publications including Feminisms and Indonesian Contemporary Art: Defining Experiences (Amsterdam University Press, 2017) and ‘Aesthetics of Silence: Exploring Trauma in Indonesian Painting 1970-1980’ in Ambitious Alignment: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art (Power Publication and the National Gallery of Singapore, 2018).

She has also contributed to various art publications in Asia, Australia and UK on Indonesian and Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art.

Prior to her current role she was a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2021), a lecturer at the MA Asian Art Histories program at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (2014-2016) and research fellow of Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices 2016/2017 program, at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.

Billy Adison Aditijanto

Research Assistant

Billy Adison Aditijanto is a recipient of the 2023 Faculty of Arts Dean’s Honours List having completed a Master of Global Media Communication from The University of Melbourne in 2023.

Also a recipient of the 2022 Melbourne Graduate Scholarship, he previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in Media & Communications and Asian Studies from The University of Melbourne in 2022, with a particular interest in Indonesian sociopolitics and media systems.

Besides his current post as an Academic Tutor at the University’s Lisa Bellear House, Billy is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Perantau, and the host of its flagship program The Perantau Podcast, where he explores the lived experiences of Melbourne’s Indonesian diaspora.

Previously, Billy has worked as a research analyst and journalist across Melbourne and Jakarta – among the likes of Asialink, The Jakarta Post, Tempo, and Bijak Memilih – and has held leadership positions across several notable Indonesian youth organisations in Melbourne and more broadly throughout Australia.

Victoria Winata


Victoria Winata is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne in Indonesian Studies. She has been the recipient of several scholarships and awards: the Melbourne Access Scholarship (2022), the Kiauw Lim Memorial Award (2023), and the Rosemary Merlo Prize (2022).

Alongside her current post as Co-Coordinator for the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association of Victoria’s sociocultural division, Victoria was also recently accepted to the ACICIS Journalism Professional Practicum 2025 cohort to undertake a journalism placement in Jakarta. Her keen interest in exploring multiculturalism and identity stems from her diverse upbringing, having lived in Semarang, Bali, and now Melbourne.

Victoria is also active in the creative arts, where she was the recipient of the La Mama Award for an Emerging Artist in 2022, granting her a position in La Mama Theatre’s 2023 Explorations program where she staged her debut play, Dear Sun, Love Joy, and later wrote and starred in MAY 1998.

Victoria’s creative writing and non-fiction pieces have been published in Inside Indonesia, Cordite Poetry Review, Voiceworks, and Farrago Magazine.

Indonesia Forum

Inaugural Advisory Board 2024-2025

Faculty of Engineering and Information TechnologyProf Sherah Kurnia
Dr Bagus Nugroho
Faculty of LawDr Helen Pausacker
Faculty of ScienceDr Ariane Utomo
Faculty of Business and EconomicsMr Muan Lim
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health SciencesProf Linda Bennett
Faculty of Architecture, Building and PlanningA.Prof. Amanda Achmadi
Postgraduate representativesLonggina Novadona Bayo
Jesslyn Mulyanto
Emilia Sterjova

Previous Convenors

Dr Ariane Utomo

Dr Ariane Utomo

Convenor (2022) (2020)

Dr Ariane Utomo grew up in Greater Jakarta and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Demography and Population Geography at the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospherics Sciences, the University of Melbourne. Her overarching research interest is to examine the relationship between family change and four dimensions of social change in contemporary Indonesia: globalisation, economic development, demographic transition, and democratisation following the political reforms of 1998. In particular, Ariane’s core research outputs explore how these multifaceted population and social change relate to attitudes to gender roles; transition to adulthood; women’s employment; marriage, fertility and family patterns; and the nature of inequalities and social stratification in Indonesia. She has also been involved in a series of collaborative research on ageing, health, and migration in Indonesia and in Australia. Ariane holds a PhD in Demography (2008) from the Australian National University. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, Ariane was a Research Fellow at the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute – ANU, and the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy. She was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Changing Family in Asia Cluster of the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore in 2016, and a Gender and Labour Market Advisor for the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Economic Governance, Jakarta in 2017.

Annisa Beta

Dr Annisa R. Beta

Co-Convenor (2022)

Dr. Annisa R. Beta is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne. Her research is broadly concerned with youth, new media, and political subjectivity in Southeast Asia. Before moving to Melbourne, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore, from 2018 to 2019. She received her Ph.D. from National University of Singapore in 2018. While finishing her doctoral degree, she was also a Visiting Student Researcher at the University of California Berkeley in 2016. In 2021, she was one of the co-hosts of Talking Indonesia, a podcast hosted by Indonesia at Melbourne. Annisa is the co-founder of Anotasi, an educational organisation that focuses on opening access to social sciences and humanities to Indonesian youth. She has published her work on Indonesia in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, New Media & Society, International Communication Gazette, Continuum, International Journal of Communication, Media and Communication, Asiascape: Digital Asia, and Feminist Media Studies. She has also published her writing with South China Morning Post, The Conversation, and The Jakarta Post. She is currently working on her book, Pious Girls, which traces an emerging feminine and pious political subjectivity in Indonesia.

Dr Dave McRae

Dr Dave McRae

Convenor (2021)

Dr Dave McRae is a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute. His current research interests include contemporary Indonesian politics, Indonesian foreign policy, Australia-Indonesia relations and regional security issues. He is the author of A Few Poorly Organized Men: Interreligious Violence in Poso, Indonesia (2013), co-author with Jemma Purdey and Antje Missbach of Indonesia: State and Society in Transition (2020), translator of Solahudin’s The Roots of Terrorism in Indonesia (2013) and editor with Tim Lindsey of Strangers Next Door? : Indonesia and Australia in the Asian Century (2018). He writes and comments frequently in both English and Indonesian in the Australian, Indonesian and other international media. He is a co-founder and editorial board member of the Indonesia At Melbourne blog, and founder and co-host of the Talking Indonesia podcast. He is also an associate in the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society. His prior appointments before joining the University of Melbourne include the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the World Bank and the International Crisis Group.

Dr Rachael Diprose

Co-Convenor (2021) (2018)

Dr Rachael Diprose

Dr Rachael Diprose is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS) in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. She teaches in the Master of Development Studies program and is also appointed as the SSPS Senior Lecturer that supports collaborations and partnerships with Indonesian universities, government and civil society organisations. Rachael has also convened executive education programs for government and civil society organisations in public policy and research in a number of countries, both at Melbourne and elsewhere. Rachael’s website, Demi Setara (or ‘For Equality’) shares research findings in a variety of forms—publications, infographics, videos, audio and interactive digital media—from the most recent large-scale research project that she leads on Gender, Collective Action and Governance in Rural Indonesia, which also involves colleagues from Melbourne and Gadjah Mada in Indonesia. See Rachael is formerly of the University of Oxford, Department of International Development, and has also held roles as an international advisor for governments, aid programs and international organisations in research, policy and practice globally and in a number of countries in Asia, in particular in Indonesia. She has led academic and applied mixed-methods research programs, particularly in Southeast Asia and West Africa – within and outside academia. In these different roles has long worked together with academics, senior policy makers, development practitioners, and civil society organisations in both research and development, and remains an advisor on several development programs in Indonesia. Rachael continues to collaborate in research, teaching, publications, public engagement and other initiatives with colleagues at Melbourne, SOAS, the London School of Economics, Leiden, York, ANU, Gothenburg, the University of Gadjah Mada, the University of Indonesia, and elsewhere.

Associate Professor Linda Rae Bennet

Professor Linda Rae Bennet

Convenor (2020)

Assoc. Professor Linda Rae Bennett is a medical anthropologist based at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality and health among young people and women within Australia’s diverse migrant communities, and in the Asia and Pacific regions. Her key areas of expertise include: sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence and theorising how intersectionality perpetuates multiple inequalities for different individuals and communities. She is strongly committed to research training both in Australia and abroad, and to increasing awareness of how qualitative and quantitative techniques can work together to produce rigorous outcomes with strong policy applications. Assoc. Prof Bennett is Head of the Education and Learning Unit at the Nossal Institute. She coordinates the subject Global Challenges in Adolescent Health, and enjoys designing and facilitating participatory research methods that utilise creative visual and oral techniques to engage with young people. Current research projects include: investigating how sexual morality and gender discrimination shape people’s experiences of sexual and reproductive health care; exploring young people’s readiness to participate in universal vaccination for the human papilloma virus in Indonesia; and examining Indonesian women’s lived experiences of cervical cancer using a life course approach to understand their resilience and vulnerability from culturally grounded perspective. As an international consultant Assoc. Prof. Bennett has collaborated with DFAT/AusAID, the Global Forum for Health, GTZ, the Ford Foundation, Save the Children, the WHO and World Vision. She has worked in multiple countries in Asia and the Pacific, with over two decades of experience in Indonesia, and is a global leader in sexual and reproductive health and rights in Indonesia. Her most recent edited book – Sex and Sexualities in Contemporary Indonesia (with Sharyn Graham Davies), Routledge 2015, was awarded the Ruth Benedict Prize for the Most Outstanding Edited Volume for 2015 and the Edited Volume Accolade from the International Convention of Asia Scholars in 2017.

Professor Andrew Rosser

Convenor (2019)

Professor Andrew Rosser is Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the Asia Institute. After completing undergraduate degrees in Commerce and Asian Studies at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University, respectively, he enrolled in a PhD in Asian Studies/Politics and International Studies at Murdoch University. Based in the Asia Research Centre, his research focused on analysing the politics of economic liberalisation in Indonesia during the New Order and early post-New Order periods and the causes and consequences of the 1997-1998 Asian Economic Crisis. He subsequently worked at the University of Sydney, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex), and the University of Adelaide, along the way building an interest in the political economy of development, policy-oriented research, and social policy. Between 2012 and 2015, he was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, carrying out research on the relationship between law, politics and social rights in Indonesia. In addition to conventional academic work, he has also conducted commissioned research for and/or acted as a consultant to numerous international development organisations including the World Bank, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), AusAID/DFAT, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Oxfam, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, and the United Nations Development Programme.

Dr Ken Setiawan

Convenor (2017)

Ken Setiawan joined The University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute in 2015 as a McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2015-2019). She currently is a Senior Lecturer in Indonesian and Asian Studies. Ken is also an Associate at the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS) at the Melbourne Law School. Ken has more than 10 years of research experience in Southeast Asia, and holds a PhD in Law, Master of Arts and undergraduate degree in Indonesian language from Leiden University, The Netherlands. Her research interests include globalisation and human rights as well as historical violence and transitional justice. She has widely published on the politics of human rights in Indonesia, in journals such as the Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Journal of Contemporary Asia and the Australian Journal of Asian Law. Her book, Promoting Human Rights: National Human Rights Commissions in Indonesia and Malaysia, was published by Leiden University Press (2013).

Associate Professor Amanda Achmadi

Convenor (2016)

Amanda Achmadi is an Associate Professor in Asian Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests focus on architectural historiography, socio-spatial practices, and identity politics in colonial and postcolonial Indonesia. Her research papers have been published in Fabrications, ABE Journal, Architectural Theory Review, JSAH and Space and Polity. Among her recent publications are chapters in the 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture (2019), Routledge Handbook of Asia Cities (2023) and Design and the Vernacular: Interpretations for Contemporary Architectural Practice and Theory (2023). She is the lead editor of a forthcoming book titled Architectural Encounters in Asia Pacific Built Traces of Intercolonial Trade, Industry and Labour, 1800s-1950s (Bloomsbury, 2024) and one of the founding members of the Society of Architectural and Urban Historians of Asia (SAUH-Asia)

Associate Professor Edwin Jurriëns

Convenor (2015)

A.Prof Edwin Jurriëns is Deputy Associate Dean International Indonesia and teaches in the Indonesian Studies program at the Asia Institute of the Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne. Previously, he was Lecturer in Indonesian Studies at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Canberra (2004-2012) and Postdoctoral Fellow at Leiden University, The Netherlands (2001-2003).He holds a PhD and double Master’s and undergraduate degrees in Literature and Indonesian Studies from Leiden University. He also studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) in Yogyakarta. Edwin’s research, teaching and engagement interests are in contemporary art, media, culture, language and society in Asia, particularly Indonesia. His most recent books are the monograph Visual media in Indonesia: video vanguard (Routledge, 2017) and the edited volume Digital Indonesia: connectivity and divergence (ISEAS, 2017). His journal articles have been published in Third TextContinuumArt and the Public SphereModern ArtJournal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, and Indonesia and the Malay World. He is also Asian Visual Cultures book series editor of Amsterdam University Press and IIAS regional editor of The Newsletter. He has had fellowships with Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) at Monash University, Melbourne; The Graduate Institute, Geneva; International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden; and UNSW, Canberra. He was co-convenor of the 2016 Indonesia Update of the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. Edwin’s research focuses on theories and manifestations of environmental art and digital art; cultural activism and participatory art and media; media ecology and the creative industry; urban space and the public sphere; and globalisation and local identity. His main interest has been the role of creativity in representing cultural values and social causes, providing an alternative to the mainstream media and consumer culture, and addressing the intersections between virtual, material and natural environments.


Previous Research Assistants

Prasakti Ramadhana Fahadi


Dana Fahadi

Prasakti Ramadhana Fahadi (Dana) is a PhD candidate and a recipient of the Human Rights Scholarship in the Cross-departmental Gender Studies program under the Department of History, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. Her doctoral research is centred on the history of digital media and communication for activism and gender-based violence in Indonesia. Dana’s research interests include digital activism, audience studies, and popular and youth digital culture.

Ratu Ayu Asih Kusuma Putri


Ratu Ayu Asih Kusuma Putri

Ratu Ayu Asih Kusuma Putri is a PhD Candidate at Melbourne Law School researching the intersections between refugee mobilisation, law, and development. Her research is focused on the organisational patterns of refugee communities and her doctoral thesis particularly looks at Rohingya refugee community organisations in Southeast Asia. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, Ayu worked as a lecturer and junior researcher at a private university in Jakarta from 2015 – 2022. She has conducted research on urban refugee policy and refugee livelihood strategies in Indonesia. Ayu also has been working as a volunteer and advisor for some refugee-led organisations and projects in Indonesia.


Annisa Sabrina Hartoto


Annisa Sabrina Hartoto

Annisa Sabrina Hartoto is a PhD candidate in Development Studies, at the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts. Her research interests include gender and development, agrarian conflict, environmental governance, and civil society organisations. She also has extensive professional experience in qualitative research, monitoring and evaluation, as well as program management and outreach.




Bronwyn Anne Beech Jones


Bronwyn Anne Beech Jones

Bronwyn Anne Beech Jones is a PhD Candidate and recipient of the Hansen Scholarship in History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Faculty of Arts. Her doctoral research examines women and girls’ life stories and networks of craft education and belonging in early-twentieth century Sumatra through women’s newspapers. Bronwyn’s research interests include gender, adat, textual cultures, Islam, everyday life, and transnational connections in Indonesia, particularly during the colonial era.