Language the key to close ties with our northern neighbour

Published on Royal Australian Navy (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Jakarta, Indonesia

Topic(s): Graduation

LCDR Ian Jackson (centre right) celebrates with a traditional Indonesian fist pump after graduating with fellow international students from the Indonesian Military Language School in Jakarta. (photo: Unknown)
LCDR Ian Jackson (centre right) celebrates with a traditional Indonesian fist pump after graduating with fellow international students from the Indonesian Military Language School in Jakarta.

Australia’s enduring ties with Indonesia have been further strengthened with the graduation of the latest group of Defence personnel from the Indonesian Military Language School in Jakarta (Pusdiklat Bahasa).

Lieutenant Commander Ian Jackson was joined by Major Gavin Vague, Squadron Leader Paul Smart and Ms Sarah Russell-Farnham, in graduating from the language school prior to attending each of the respective services staff colleges in 2019.

“The course has been a fantastic journey in personal development and an education into Indonesian culture,” LCDR Jackson said.

“Learning a second language is a significant academic challenge but the team at the Defence Force School of Languages (DFSL) prepared us admirably to undertake our Indonesian odyssey.”

Each of the students attended DFSL in Melbourne for 10 months prior to joining the language school in Jakarta, where they met their future staff college classmates and integrated into Jakartan lifestyle.

“The opportunities to develop and extend international friendships are considerable,” he said.

“Not only have we met our fellow staff college students from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore and Thailand, but we have had an insightful introduction to the Indonesian way of life and understanding how they go about their business.”

The Australian Defence Attaché, Brigadier Justin Roocke attended the graduation ceremony which was officiated by Laksamana Pertama (Commodore) Benny Rijanto Rudy of the Indonesian Navy.

Following graduation, the Army and Airforce students will move to Bandung prior to attending their respective staff colleges, while Lieutenant Commander Jackson will remain in Jakarta to attend Indonesia’s Naval Command and Staff College in 2019.