Karen Bailey first conceived the idea of Balai Bahasa Indonesia Perth after serving as President of the Westralian Indonesian Language Teachers’ Association (WILTA) from 1996 to 2006. She envisioned extending the learning of Indonesian language and culture through to the wider community, not just in schools. Karen enlisted the support of the Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia Perth in conjunction with the Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia Canberra and WILTA, to establish BBIP in 2008; the first Balai Bahasa outside Indonesia. Karen explained at the launch of BBIP that its purpose as a cultural non-profit organisation, is to promote the teaching of Indonesian language and culture and to foster links between Australia and Indonesia at all levels of society. “The responsibility to get to know each other is two way. We must know and understand Indonesia and Indonesians and they must know and understand us.”

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