Indonesian studies boost ties

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author)

Location(s): Jakarta

Topic(s): Australian Defence Force Academy

Midshipman Morgan Groves (back row, third from left) and Midshipman Jordana McLeod (back row, centre) pose with fellow international students and staff at Pusdiklat Bahasa – the Indonesian Ministry of Defence language school in Jakarta. (photo: Unknown)
Midshipman Morgan Groves (back row, third from left) and Midshipman Jordana McLeod (back row, centre) pose with fellow international students and staff at Pusdiklat Bahasa – the Indonesian Ministry of Defence language school in Jakarta.

Two Royal Australian Navy officers have spent the past five months improving their understanding of Indonesia’s language and culture as part of an exchange program with the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Midshipmen Morgan Groves and Jordana McLeod have been studying at Pusdiklat Bahasa – the Indonesian Ministry of Defence language school in Jakarta.

The pair beat out a competitive field for the opportunity and each said the experience had been extremely valuable.

For Midshipman Groves, the opportunity to learn advanced Indonesian was the standout.

“The language skills we have gathered during our months in Jakarta are far superior to what we could have achieved at home,” he said.

Midshipman McLeod is also leaving with a greater appreciation for Indonesia’s language and culture.

“We live right next door to each other but neither of our nations are particularly familiar with the other’s customs,” she said.

“The knowledge I have gathered about how Indonesia practices Islam was particularly important.”

Both Midshipmen also took the opportunity to educate their Indonesian hosts in Australian customs and traditions, taking part in an Anzac Day ceremony

in Jakarta, attended by Indonesian National Armed Forces members as well as Australian Defence and diplomatic staff.

“We need to understand each other to work together properly,” Midshipman Groves said.

“There is much more to Indonesia than Bali!”

They will now return to the Academy in Canberra to complete their university studies.