About the Australia-Indonesia Centre

The Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) is a bilateral collaborative research initiative established by both governments, leading universities, and industry.  Its mission is to advance people-to-people links in science, technology, education, innovation and culture.


“At the heart of all our actions has been a vision to bring Australia and Indonesia close together – to advance the mindset that working together is much better than working separately.”

Harold Mitchell AC, Chair, The Australia-Indonesia Centre


Australia and Indonesia’s future prosperity is built on deep and enduring trade, diplomatic, cultural, defence and security linkages.  The growing people-to-people links in science and technology adds another exciting dimension to the bilateral relations.  It’s through these areas that two nations can come together as equals to solve complex challenges, promote a vibrant and contemporary understanding of each other and reflect the maturing, long-term relationship between close neighbours.

The Australia-Indonesia Centre is a centre that is global in its outlook, bilateral in its ambition, and multi-institutional in its enterprise.  Established by both governments in 2014, the Centre brings together a consortium of eleven leading research and comprehensive universities – seven Indonesian and four Australian – to advance the people-to-people links in science, technology, education, innovation and culture.

Combined, the Centre’s universities have over one million alumni, teach more than 420,000 students annually and employ over 40,000 academic staff that specialise in at least 26 major disciplines – from anthropology to engineering, business to health, urban planning to renewable energy, social science to decision science.

The Centre invests in conscious relationship building that brings people together to tackle challenges and grow the network of people-to-people connections.  These are the connections that can weather the occasional, inevitable turbulence between governments, that surpass and enhance official channels and create opportunities for enterprise, rapport and cooperation.

The Centre brings together researchers – from energy, commodities, digital, health, infrastructure, water and trade – to tackle shared national challenges through research, and through outreach promote greater mutual understanding between our two nations.

In research, the Centre designs and facilitates bilateral programs, taking research outcomes to policy and practice.  It forms interdisciplinary teams that work collaboratively with stakeholders – policy, business and community – to find solutions to regional, national and global challenges.  The challenges the Centre chooses to tackle are set in a specific geographic space – be it a neighbourhood, a region or an ecosystem.  At each location, it works with stakeholders – from villages, towns, cities, provinces, and national levels – to co-define problems and co-create solutions.  By engaging stakeholders from the beginning, we increase the likelihood of ideas and solutions being embraced and implemented at the end.

Over a period, the AIC has created a coherent body of work capable of contributing solutions to pressing bilateral and regional issues – from developing a suitcase radar for testing bridge strength, charting food supply chains, exploring joint-competitive advantage in trade, mapping bilateral attitudes and perceptions, solving transport bottlenecks between ports and cities, to a film tracing the ancient Indigenous trade connection between the nations.  Our efforts are all guided by one thing: an integrated vision of a better future for both nations.

Beyond research, the Centre’s outreach activities contribute to the broader people-to-people links.  It runs digital dialogues that seek to shed new insights.  It supports the deepening of cultural exchange through a binational short film festival, explores respective national attitudes and perceptions towards each other, and brings together future leaders of both nations for programs, workshops, and dialogues.  It embraces the digital world in all its dimensions and possibilities.  These activities all help contribute and strengthen the larger bilateral ecosystem of people working towards stronger linkages.

Our values

Our values form the moral compass for everything we do.  They guide our work and our day-to-day behaviours.  While our mission shows where we are heading, our values guide us in how we will get there.

  1.     We are bold in our aspirations and apply a creative and flexible approach
  2.     We respect people and take full responsibility for our words and actions
  3.     We are ethical and transparent
  4.     We are diverse and inclusive, orienting all our activities for the benefit of the  whole community

We see our values as not mutually exclusive, but deeply interconnected and interdependent.  They reflect how we view ourselves, how we treat each other and how we work towards the greater benefit of the larger community.


Established in 2014, the Centre tackles shared national challenges through research, and through engagement activities it promotes greater mutual understanding between the two nations.

The Centre draws together a consortium of 11 leading universities – seven in Indonesia and four in Australia.  Over four years it has built upon the power of these connections, with an emphasis on the importance of people-to-people relationships in building Australia’s and Indonesia’s influence and profile in the region and around the world.

As well as an investment in conscious relationship building, the Centre is an exercise in channelling research into solutions to pressing local problems.

Through research it has contributed important developments in technical understanding, and also studied the human impact of that work.

Through engagement it has delved into cultural diplomacy through a short film festival, explored our respective national attitudes and perceptions toward each other, and brought together future leaders of both nations for programs, workshops and dialogues.

Crucially, it has learned along the way, identifying barriers to successful international collaboration and finding ways to break them down.

No organisation had previously attempted such a sustained, structured and large scale collaboration between Australia and Indonesia.