Tony Jones hosted the Q&A forum in Jakarta last night; he was gracious & sensitive; the panel were lively & informed; the audience was on topic.
ABC TV has a winner here on many levels; it needs to expand this event to encompass discussion and interaction with our neighbourhood: Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, India, China. We as a young nation need this to promote ourselves both internally and externally, as being culturally vibrant and entrepreneurial.
But the format needs to be lengthened; the audience, methinks, was as interesting as the panel. Half an hour could have been spent introducing members of the audience, both locals and aussie expats, to the audience watching back home. It’s a great advert to young aussies about getting abroad and making one’s way; but it’s also a superb antidote to politicians who dismiss much of the outside world as “terrible cities”, to shock jocks and their followers who have the inter-cultural sensitivity of wet washing. Noted the aussie guy who got up and used an Indonesian word of respect in addressing one of the women on the panel; I’m not up to date with cosmopolitan contemporary Jakarta, so it would have helped to have more Bahasa subtitles, for instance the three word slogan Indonesians use to describe their cultural aspiration, “unity in diversity”.
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika
ABC, you have a winner here; again congrats to the presenter for a job well done; more please.