Balai Bahasa dan Budaya Indonesia Victoria dan Tasmania (BBBIVT) was established as an Incorporated Association on 8th November 2013. It was founded with the support of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia Melbourne & Tasmania (KJRI) for the purpose of supporting educational institutions teaching Indonesian language and culture as well as Indonesian social and cultural organisations. The committee members are all volunteers from the Consulate, the field of tertiary and secondary school education and the broader business community working together with like-minded organisations and individuals. Supported by the Indonesian Embassy it was publicly launched at the University of Melbourne on 7th August 2014.
Since its inception BBBIVT has conducted several successful events. The first was a one day event with two teacher workshops presented by Felicia Utoro Dewo from the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), which was very well attended. SEAMEO is an intergovernmental organisation that aims to promote regional cooperation in the fields of education, science and culture.
The second was an Indonesian language workshop held in conjunction with APBIPA Bali (Asosiasi Pengajar Bahasa Indonesia bagi Penatur Asing) and presented by Nyoman Riasa, which focussed on the Methodology of Teaching Indonesian to Beginners. BBBIVT was able to offer the workshop in June 2015 with generous financial support from the Indonesian Embassy, the University of Melbourne and private sponsorship.
The third endeavour was a joint venture between BBBIVT and UPI (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia) Bandung and hosted by Newport Lakes Primary School which involved a group of nine Indonesian University undergraduates fulfilling their obligatory community service. Over three weeks, during which time the group completed their KKN (kuliah kerja nyata), they were billeted with families of children attending the school further enhancing their mutual cultural experience. The expectation from KKN is quite different from the mandatory six month work experience completed as part of their practicum. In contrast to the three weeks in Australia, in Indonesia University students are expected to spend up to two months in a village performing this task. The self-funded applicants for this program are chosen according to criteria including general maturity, English language proficiency and their ability to perform a culturally suitable activity such as dance. Participants were from a variety of disciplines, not strictly teaching. This program has since been expanded to include two secondary colleges in 2017.
In 2016 BBBIVT was invited by the KJRI to conduct intensive beginner Indonesian language and culture classes for members of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) at their Melbourne office. The eight week course, which ran as two concurrent classes during business hours, was specifically designed and delivered by BBBIVT and attendees included interested parties from the broader Victorian public service sector.
In October 2016 BBBIVT committee member Michael Ewing submitted a proposal to organise and host the next Australian Society of Indonesian Language Educators (ASILE) conference in Melbourne. Based on prior committee discussions Michael proposed the theme of ‘Cultivating Literature’ in all its forms. The ASILE conference will take place in September 2018 at the University of Melbourne with key note speaker Dr Prudentia from Universitas Indonesia.
In 2017 the KJRI invited BBBIVT to adjudicate Victorian and Tasmanian applicant presentations for the Indonesian Speech Contest (Lomba Pidato) held at the Consulate. Participants were judged impartially on various criteria including their oral fluency, pronunciation and originality as well as comprehension when responding to questions, with the winner progressing to Canberra to vie for the opportunity to travel to Jakarta.
A memorandum of understanding was recently signed between BBBIVT and Madrasah Tsanawiyah in Yogyakarta to provide electronic teaching materials and suitable English language books from Victorian secondary school libraries for their Language Laboratory as well as source volunteer native speakers with teaching experience. As all of these activities indicate, BBBIVT is willing to consider any opportunity that fits our mission statement, which is why BBBIVT provided financial support for the 2017 Ubud Writers Festival founded and directed by Melbourne born Janet De Neefe.
Finally, BBBIVT are currently accepting applications for a ten day language maintenance course, which offers teachers the opportunity to experience the unique culture of Bukittinggi and Padang Panjang West Sumatra. Billeted with families for one week in each location participants will attend both Islamic Madrasah and State Schools and familiarise themselves with several hands on cottage industries. This in-country program is due to take place in September 2018.