Of all the Indonesian university academics and scholars in the world, 55 were hand-picked to take part in an international higher education and research symposium hosted in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, in August.
Only six of those selected were from Australia and two of those were from Swinburne: Deputy Chair of Swinburnes Department of Mechanical and Product Design Engineering and leader of the Fluid and Process Dynamics (FPD) research group, Professor Akbar Rhamdhani, and Lecturer in Accounting, Dr Dina Wahyuni.
A total of 55 Indonesian diaspora scientists, working in 15 countries, were invited to participate in the World-Class Scholar Symposium 2019 (Simposium Cendekia Kelas Dunia 2019).
Each of the 55 scientists are internationally recognised for their solid academic record and strong contributions to Indonesia's science field.
The week-long symposium, now in its fourth year, took place from 19-25 August and is a flagship program hosted annually by Indonesia's Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is run in collaboration with the Indonesian Academy of Young Scientists, the International Association of Indonesian Scientists and the Directorate General of Information and Public Diplomacy. This year, over 900 stakeholders attended.
The participating diaspora scientists visited various state and private universities, and met with the public, scientists, academics, and university officials to collaborate and create high-quality, competitive work that has a sustainable impact and is recognised by the international scientific world.
Professor Rhamdhani is honoured to have been invited for the second year in a row, and Dr Wayhuni says it was a privilege to attend the symposium for the first time.
She says the symposium inspired her to continue her teaching and research, and strive to improve on her achievements.
"Being selected to participate in this prestigious program, to me, means an acknowledgment of my academic achievement."
Showcasing Swinburne's strengths
According to Professor Rhamdhani, Swinburne was one of only three institutions to have two academics selected to attend. The others were Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and Malaysia's University of Technology Petronas.
"This highlights Swinburne's world-class university ranking, particularly our leadership in science, technology and innovation. It also speaks to our academics and researchers that are internationally recognised in their disciplines and that their research output is also recognised," Professor Ramdhani says.
"A highlight was meeting Indonesian Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, in the Vice Presidential Palace when he officially opened the symposium," Dr Wahyuni says.
Strengthening Swinburne's engagement with Indonesia
Professor Rhamdhani says Swinburne is leading the way in contributing to research and higher education in Indonesia. He says attending the symposium has also strengthened the relationship between Swinburne and the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Melbourne.
"Considering that Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world and is deemed to be the largest and most stable economy in South-East Asia, increased Swinburne engagement will lead to more research collaborations and attract high-quality undergraduate students and postgraduate students to Swinburne," Dr Wahyuni says.
Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Business and Law, Professor Michael Gilding, says it is a "wonderful achievement and very timely given our growing ties with Indonesia."