The Australian Indonesian Association of South Australia (AIASA) was founded in 1967 by a group of Colombo Plan scholarship recipients from Indonesia who had made South Australia their home. The not-for-profit organisation was formed to promote better understanding, friendship and goodwill between the people of Australia and Indonesia, based on friendship and trust; contribute to peaceful relations between Australia and Indonesia; and to bring together and disseminate information to various groups of people in South Australia with an interest in Indonesia.

To meet the needs of the community and deliver on its objectives, the AIASA presents an array of activities and programs each year. From the earliest days, the maintays of the AIASA include Independence Day Celebrations, Cultural Performances, Family Day Picnics, Social Bush Walks, Conversation Classes and Sporting Competitions.  Other programs emerged over time including the celebration of Hari Kartini, Fundraising Dinners and Seminars held in conjunction with other Indonesian Community Organisations in South Australia. By working in a “gotong royong” (mutually cooperative) fashion with various Indonesian community groups, the AIASA’s most successful achievement to date has been annual staging of Indofest-Adelaide, a festival that has been celebrating all things Indonesian.

Another important aspect embedded in the AIASA’s aims and objectives is a financial aid program which supports members of the Indonesian community both in Adelaide and abroad. Currently its dedicated charities include Yayasan Sayap Ibu, a long-established orphanage situated in Yogyakarta, and Yayasan Senyum, an organisation that facilitates the delivery of health care to people with craniofacial disabilities throughout Indonesia. The association also makes donations to assist people affected by disasters in Indonesia such as tsunami, floods and earthquakes in Indonesia.

By closely linking activities its aims, the Association has succeeded in connecting Indonesians who reside in South Australia, Australians who have an interest in Indonesia or have travelled to Indonesia, and for Australians in relationships with Indonesian people. Over time membership of the Association has increased due to a growing number of Indonesians now calling South Australia “home” together with more Australians travelling to Indonesia, as well as increased Indonesian language and culture programs being taught in schools.

The AIASA is always open to accepting new members and new ideas. If you would like to become involved with the AIASA and the Indonesian community in South Australia more information can be found here.