Sydney’s Trams their Rise, Decline, Demise and Rebirth

Chatting with students in class about Australia in the 1950s inevitably led to me reflect on the demise of Sydney’s tramway system. I loved trams as a child, I still do, and it remains a delight to be somewhere trams are still in use. The elevation, comfort , relative quiet and freedom from vibration when … Continue reading Sydney’s Trams their Rise, Decline, Demise and Rebirth

#Indonesia and Addressing Asia Literacy in #Australia

In January I was moved to write several pieces while travelling through Nusantara, or the Republic of Indonesia as it's now called.  Indeed, it's hard to say whether the term Nusantara was ever used throughout the entire string of islands now comprising the nation state of Indonesia.  Like all countries, the notion of Indonesia is … Continue reading #Indonesia and Addressing Asia Literacy in #Australia

The #Ubud Experience: Returning to the #Village after 8 Years

The Ubud Experience Ubud Writers' Feastival is for many the comtemporarty face of Ubud.  In successfully nurturing this event from infancy to it's present global standing Janet De Neefe has added another layer to way Ubud is understood. In former times Ubud was known as a special place set on a broad ridge above the … Continue reading The #Ubud Experience: Returning to the #Village after 8 Years

Some blatant errors in Australia’s ‘Howard Era’ Foreign Policy towards Indonesia

In the last decade of the 20th and the first few years of the 21st centuries there were unseen and unspoken realities that formed part of daily political life in Australia. This unseen domain was not necessarily the etheric world of spirit but a world driven by triumphalism and the politics of fear in which … Continue reading Some blatant errors in Australia’s ‘Howard Era’ Foreign Policy towards Indonesia

Pancasila and Religious Tolerance in Contemporary #Indonesia

Today is the Feast of the Nativity in the old Orthodox Christian calendar and last night I attended an Orthodox Liturgy celebrating Christmas at the Holy Trinity Orthodox church in Solo, Central Java.  For me this has been a very special journey because I’ve returned to Indonesia, for the first time since the Bali Bombings … Continue reading Pancasila and Religious Tolerance in Contemporary #Indonesia

Indonesia loses a fine son in Gus Dur

In my last post I wrote about the tolerance inherent in the distinctly syncretic form of Islam found within Indonesia. Yesterday one of the pillars of this movement left us. Former President Abdurrahman Wahid or “Gus Dur” as he is affectionately known to Indonesians, and people all over the world, died "from complications of diabetes, … Continue reading Indonesia loses a fine son in Gus Dur

Australia’s regional interests: strategic or an ancient story

The dramatic events in Padang and Samoa once again highlight our fundamental linkages with neighbours throughout the Asia Pacific region.  We can hardly fail to be touched by the tragedy.  Our responses, as they were with the 2004 tsunami, have been swift. As Australia slides slowly to the north and into the southern margin of … Continue reading Australia’s regional interests: strategic or an ancient story