On Friday the 17th of August, The Republic of Indonesia celebrated its 73rd year of Independence, and with this, six students accompanied by Ms Elana Cole, Ms Julia Hall (Head of Languages), and College Principal Mr Michael Exton were personally invited by His Excellency YTH Bapak Kristiarto Legowo to attend the official celebrations at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra. After the initial welcome, students witnessed a flag ceremony, the Independence Day Proclamation, a performance by Indonesian pop star Michael J, before enjoying a traditional Indonesian banquet. Indonesian language skills were put into practice, as students deepened their intercultural understanding of Indonesia. Students were presented with acknowledgement of their endeavours to strengthen bilateral relations with a certificate from His Excellency, his Deputy, and the Attache for Education. This is the third year that staff and senior Indonesian language students from Saint Ignatius College, Geelong have been personally invited to the Indonesian Embassy for these prestigious celebrations, and a commitment to an ongoing relationship between our College and the Embassy was made at an official ceremony following the formalities.
Following the formalities, students reflected on this experience with a visit to the Australian War Memorial, before heading to The National Art Gallery to explore the Indonesian section there. Kami ingin mengucapkan terima kasih banyak kepada YTH Bapak DuBes, YTH Wakil Dubes, Bapak Iwan, dan Mas Gede untuk pengalaman ini yang tak bisa terlupakan. ‘Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan.’ Happy Indonesian Independence Day.
Comments from Principal, Michael Exton:
“I am very grateful for the warm hospitality of the Ambassador and his colleagues and the valuable opportunity this visit provided our students and Indonesian teachers to develop their language skills and further their understanding and appreciation of Indonesian history and culture.”
“Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia is one of the cross-curriculum priorities of the Victorian Curriculum and the College has a strong Indonesian Language program from Years 7 to 12.”
“This visit to the Embassy significantly contributed to improving the students’ knowledge and understanding of Indonesian society, culture and beliefs and it certainly helped build the relationship between our College representatives and our Indonesian hosts.”
“It was an honour to attend the Independence Day celebrations at the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra. I along with teachers, Ms Cole and Ms Hall and the eight senior students, were particularly grateful for our meeting with the Ambassador, his Deputy and the Education Attache at which we exchanged expressions of gratitude and our desires for strengthening of relationships between our two countries.”