Indonesian culture and language studies in the ‘Asian Century' have been boosted at The University of Western Australia, which from 2013 will offer new scholarships in honour of the Vice-President of Indonesia, His Excellency Professor Dr Boediono.
Professor Dr Boediono has strong ties with UWA where his contribution to global affairs was recognised last year with the award of an Honorary Doctorate.
He graduated from the University more than 40 years ago. When awarded his Honorary Degree, Professor Dr Boediono said of his time at UWA as a Colombo Plan student: "If someone asked me what was the greatest influence that this institution has had on me personally, I would say that it was its contribution to the formation of my attitude toward people and toward society.
"Yes, the basic building blocks of my subsequent view of the world. With my UWA experience, and credentials, new doors of opportunity suddenly opened up for me."
UWA's Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Winthrop Professor Krishna Sen - a scholar of Indonesian media - said the University recognised that the study of Indonesian culture and language was vital.
"It enables stronger multilateral bonds with Australia's nearest neighbour and the world's third-largest democracy with 238 million people," Professor Sen said.
"Our In the Zone conference series acknowledges that Perth shares a time zone with 60 per cent of the world's peoples and with the nations that promise the greatest economic growth in the 21st Century."
The announcement of the scholarships follows the recent visit to the University by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who launched the new UWA-based Perth USAsia Centre aimed at strengthening US ties with Australia and the Asian region.
The Boediono Scholarships encourage Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) students to study Indonesian language and culture. Scholarship recipients have the option to study Indonesian language and culture by enrolling in Indonesian at UWA or study abroad in Indonesia itself.
Up to four scholarships (valued at $5000) a year will be available annually.
The next In the Zone will be held at the University on 26 November."