The balmy late-summer evening by the Swan River was spiced up with classic Indonesian dishes and special performances of traditional Aboriginal and Indonesian dances. There was singing, more dancing, a photo booth and a long list of prizes. Then, to really turn the heat up, a hot band – our very special friends, Michael J, Toni and Deon.
And above all there were happy, joyful, smiling, singing and dancing Australian and Indonesian friends of BBIP. Celebrations all around! Ten years of helping Australians and Indonesians know and understand each other better through film festivals, tours, courses, language assistants in schools, ambassadors, dinners and concerts. What’s not to celebrate?
Visit our YouTube Channel to view some snippets of the evening….
Happy Birthday to BBIP
As a teacher of Indonesian language and culture in schools and as famed President of the Westralian Indonesian Language Teachers’ Association, Karen Bailey initiated projects that connected students, teachers and schools in WA and Indonesia. An early project raised funds for Indonesian schools to buy computer technologies so that students could speak directly to each other and send emails and videos they created to showcase their lives and cultures. Karen organised in-country visits by students and WILTA operated reciprocal visits for teachers to live and work in-country and study tours for WA teachers.
These projects have been operating between WA and Indonesia for up to 30 years however Karen’s vision went further than this; she wanted to provide the same grass-roots connections to the wider WA community and she conceived the idea for Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth, the first Balai Bahasa outside of Indonesia.
With hard-won support from the Indonesian Government Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth was established in 2008. Since then, Victoria, ACT, New South Wales and Queensland have all established a Balai based on the Perth model. In 2017 President Joko Widodo officially recognised Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth.