Making Impacts Across the Pacific Ocean!

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Making Impacts Across the Pacific Ocean!

Posted by Andriani WInoto

This year, we have the most interesting organization-volunteer pairing yet for their furthest distance apart. University of Sydney’s department of Indonesian studies stepped up and signed up to do a pilot project for long-distance learning with children from Ledokombo village, East Java, Indonesia on 10 April 2013.

It was a session of joyful and fun learning where the university students gave short presentations in Indonesian language introducing Australia’s rich natural resources as well as her common environmental issues, such as floods and forest fires. The scale of the damage resulted by these issues intrigued the Ledokombo children. With sincere curiosity, they took the microphone and asked more questions about the topics.

When it was the children’s turn to present, they first took a formation and started performing two songs for the Australian students: “I Love You” and “Balonku (meaning: My Balloons)” accompanied by the rhythmic beating of Djimbe. Joining the exuberance, the students from University of Sydney began to sing Australia’s national anthem “Advance Australia Fair”. The children immediately replied by singing Indonesia’s national anthem “Indonesia Raya” zealously. It was indeed a moment to remember!

The children then took the center stage presenting about Ledokombo’s river life while showing their own drawings and photos of the rivers. The session ended with a high note as the children sang a farewell song in Madura language:“Setong Duwek Telo”, and the friendship gesture was replied kindly by another song sang by the University of Sydney students: “Topi Saya Bundar (meaning: My Hat is Round)”

“The students were impressed by Ledokombo children’s tenacity. The virtual meeting had given a new dimension and breathed a new spirit into the students’ learning about Indonesia” as written in a letter by Dr Dwi Noverini Djenar, Senior Lecturer & Chair, Department of Indonesian Studies, School of Languages & Cultures

Tanoker is a non-profit organization based in Ledokombo, Jember, East Java Indonesia that provides a condusive place for underpriviledged primary and junior high school students to develop their characters and potentials. A safe haven for them to learn and develop.

University of Sydney, department of Indonesian Studies emphasises the importance of providing a rounded education in Indonesian Studies, producing graduates who have both language skills and significant country knowledge.


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