Is there a wider lesson on the principles of government outsourcing and privatisation from Australia's Vocational Education and Training market? Forme
There is much excitement around different methodologies and technologies in the “government innovation” space, but which of these is hyped and whi
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features Peter Varghese: Australia-Indonesia partnership lacks ‘genuine resilience’
Text size :
DEPARTMENTSDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade
TAGS Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Varghese, Indonesia, counter-terrorism, Australia–Indonesia relations
Officials in more than 20 federal agencies partnering with Indonesia have failed to bring the Australian public with them, says DFAT secretary Peter Varghese. Cooperation between the two countries, such as anti-terrorism and education, would better survive policy differences if ballasted by stronger community and business ties.
Australia and Indonesia face an immense gap in community awareness and understanding. When he addressed the Australian Parliament in 2010, former President Yudhoyono said:
“In Indonesia, there are people who remain afflicted with Australiaphobia — those who believe that the notion of White Australia still persists, that Australia harbours ill intention toward Indonesia and is either sympathetic to, or supports, separatist elements in our country.”
That view — as SBY made clear then — was, of course, woefully out of date. But five years on, these outmoded perceptions remain.
Likewise, the broad Australian understanding of Indonesia is poor. According to the recent Lowy Poll’s “feelings thermometer”, Australians feel as warm towards Indonesia as they do to Russia, and well below Malaysia and China. And only 34% regard Indonesia as a democracy.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Peter Varghese AO is secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A career diplomat, Peter was appointed to the role in 2012 and has overseen the integration of AusAID. He has also served as director-general of the Office of National Assessments.
Read Related Content
The Attorney General's Department gets a replacement for Roger Wilkins, with a strong background in international law. Meanwhile, the Immigration secretary shifts to Health.
It was the worst kept secret of the new Turnbull government, but reflects a milestone for the Australian Public Service secretaries board.