I am delighted with my appointment as chair of the Australia-Indonesia Centre and commend the leadership of Prime Minister Abbott in establishing the Centre. Indonesia is one of Australia’s most important relationships. Our cooperation spans every sector including business, government, education, agriculture and security.
In my experience, one of the most important aspects of any relationship is close people-to-people links that develop lasting bonds and friendships. The Australia-Indonesia Centre will be working to strengthen these bonds and establish platforms that enable friendships to flourish. We will share experiences and learn together.
My personal involvement with Indonesia spans many decades. I was active earlier in my career in the advertising business and travelled often to Jakarta. More recently I am working closely with Indonesian partners in the beef industry as a significant cattle property owner in Australia. From these experiences I have learned that we have many things in common including the desire to secure a prosperous future for our people. I am pleased that one of the Centre’s early areas of focus will be joint national challenges such as agriculture, health, energy and infrastructure that will improve livelihoods in our nations.
I very much look forward to working with the Centre to achieve the ambitious goals we have set in a time of great change and significance for our future. I especially look forward to working with our Indonesian board members who are truly extraordinary people.