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Australian and Indonesian teachers build BRIDGE of learning and friendship

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Media Release

Media Release

One hundred and eighty teachers from Australia and Indonesia
will swap schools as part of a new education initiative to
build partnerships between the two countries.

Today, 30 Indonesian teachers will be welcomed to Australia
at the official launch of the ground-breaking BRIDGE (Building
Relationships through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing
Engagement) project which links teachers through their schools
and communities.

This project, announced by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith in
Indonesia in August last year, is an initiative of the
Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII) and is funded by the Myer
Foundation and the Australian Government through AusAID. It is
being managed by the Asian Education Foundation at the
University of Melbourne.

During the three year project, 180 teachers and 80 schools
will be involved including up to ten Indonesian schools from
the Australian Government's $355 million Basic Education
Program, which is building 2000 schools and basic education
services in Indonesia.

The Indonesian teachers will spend several weeks in
Australian classrooms and will jointly develop curricula with
their Australian counterparts in a mix of metropolitan,
regional and rural schools across all states and

The project will give a major boost to Indonesian language
study in Australia and to the study of English in
Indonesia. This will go some way towards the

goal of having at least 12 per cent of students exit Year 12
with fluency in one of the target Asian languages by 2020.

The BRIDGE project will help create strong and lasting
linkages between teachers, schools and communities which will
continue well beyond the three year life of the project, and
better equip us to live and work with some of our closest

Strengthening such people-to-people links was one of the
goals of the recent highly successful Conference, Australia
and Indonesia: Partners in a New Era
, held in Sydney in

Through the interchange of teachers and the provision of IT
training and computer hardware these sorts of linkages will
better serve our children to overcome what Indonesia's
President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has described as the
"tyranny of stereotypes" and make full use of the opportunities
in each others' countries.

Media Enquiries: DFAT Media Liaison - 02 6261

Last Updated: 14 January 2013
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