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MAY 2013
CENTRE ACTIVITIES
SSEAC Country Colloquia
SSEAC has hosted three country colloquia since March 2013.
SSEAC has hosted three country colloquia since March 2013 – one for the Indonesia Country Group, a joint colloquium for the Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam Country Groups and one for the Philippines and Timor-Leste Country Groups.

These events were an opportunity for scholars to meet with others from across campus who are working in the same region and have been the source of fruitful discussion, name card swapping and creative research ideas. SSEAC will host a final colloquium for the Malaysia/Brunei and Singapore Country Groups on Thursday 13 June. 

Visit by Dr Andrew Hardy
Dr Andrew Hardy, a historian of Vietnam from the École Française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), visited the University of Sydney for three weeks in March 2013.
Dr Andrew Hardy, a historian of Vietnam from the École Française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), visited the University of Sydney for three weeks in March 2013. During this time he gave multiple presentations about his research on the history of Vietnamese migration and ethnic relations.  

In addition to giving a presentation through Sydney Ideas, running a student workshop and speaking at a presentation co-hosted by SSEAC and the School of Languages and Culture, Dr Hardy also consulted with colleagues at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and the Australian National University.

Dr Hardy served as director of the EFEO's centre in Vietnam, a position to which he will return in 2015. His visit helped to deepen the University of Sydney’s long standing connections with the EFEO.
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Tetum Language Training
SSEAC is offering a two-day intensive Tetum language training session to be held at the University of Sydney Camperdown campus on 18-19 May.
SSEAC is offering a two-day intensive Tetum language training session to be held at the University of Sydney Camperdown campus on 18-19 May. This initiative is part of the pre-departure training component of a student-mobility project; however, SSEAC is opening it up to members who would like to learn basic Tetum. The cost of the course will be heavily subsidised by SSEAC, which means participants will only have to pay $100 for the 10 hour course and all materials.  Please email sseac@sydney.edu.au to register your interest.
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RESEARCH
Giving a voice to the marginalised
Lecturer in Human Rights in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Dr Susan Banki, has recently been awarded a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) to do research about refugees who engage in the politics of their home country from afar, including refugees from Burma.
Lecturer in Human Rights in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Dr Susan Banki, has recently been awarded a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) to do research about refugees who engage in the politics of their home country from afar, including refugees from Burma.

Dr Banki’s research fills a gap in the existing literature on diaspora politics by highlighting the unique experiences of those who do not have permanent security in other countries. These populations play a critical role in homeland politics, which Dr Banki’s research seeks to define by examining both their public and invisible activities. She looks at the intensity of their involvement in homeland politics, including asking how those without a home network engage with populations who are already resettled. ‘There are more than 60 Burmese organisations active on the border’, Dr Banki notes. ‘Establishing their aims and strategies, and how and when these align and do not, is a challenging and fascinating process.’

These questions follow on from Dr Banki's previous research  about what happens in refugee camps when large numbers of inhabitants are resettled en masse. Her research in Thailand showed that service delivery at refugee camps was in danger of declining significantly over the five to seven year period during which tens of thousands of refugees resettled to third countries (including Australia).

One of the overarching goals of Dr Banki’s research is to give a voice to the marginalised. She does this through her research and writing about refugees, but also through her teaching. In her classes on Human Rights, she not only teaches about the voices of the marginalised but also ensures that students are exposed to material written by activists and academics in the global south. Dr Banki is a recipient of a Faculty of Arts and Social Science award for Excellence in Teaching and recently won the 2013 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Early Career category, the University’s highest teaching award.

Southeast Asia provides a rich source of examples in her teaching. ‘I often find myself drawing on examples from Southeast Asia in my teaching. Domestic worker rights in Malaysia, refugee rights in Thailand, or the participation of civil society in the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights all offer terrific case studies for my teaching. My students usually come away with a good knowledge of Southeast Asia, even if this isn’t the specific topic of the course. It’s such a rich arena for illustrative examples of current events.’


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SSEAC Librarian
Ms. Michelle Harrison, the SSEAC librarian, is available to help researchers who focus on Southeast Asia to better access library resources.
Ms. Michelle Harrison, the SSEAC librarian, is available to help researchers who focus on Southeast Asia to better access library resources. She is able to provide advice and training on:
  • Literature searching: Expert tips on turning a research question into search strategy that can be adapted for multiple databases
  • Research impact development: Tips and tools for improving and measuring research impact and evaluating journals for publication
  • Digital archiving of research in Sydney eScholarship (tagged with both SSEAC & Faculty affiliation): Find out how researchers are using open access to increase their exposure
  • Staying up to date with the latest research: Learn how to make the latest research come to you!
  • Endnote (reference management software): Take the hard work out of organizing and reformatting your references for submission your favorite journals
  • Collection development: Tools and tips to help build Sydney’s collection for your research
  • Document delivery: Another way to get the material you need. Find out how to get the most out of this free service for staff and postgrad/honours students
  • Referral to other subject specialist librarians: Take advantage of Sydney’s extensive network of specialist librarians
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact  Michelle.

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OUTREACH
Training health professionals in Timor-Leste
Professor Peter McMinn, from the Sydney Medical School, is currently in Timor-Leste where he is leading a program designed to build the capacity of the Ministry of Health to gather information about infectious diseases in the country.
Professor Peter McMinn, from the Sydney Medical School, is currently in Timor-Leste where he is leading a program designed to build the capacity of the Ministry of Health to gather information about infectious diseases in the country. The population of Timor-Leste experiences a large burden of infectious disease compounded by high rates of poverty and malnutrition, with a particularly severe impact on young children. The program, which is funded by the World Health Organisation and AusAID, aims to generate data about the prevalence of significant infectious diseases to assist the Government in making decisions about programs to address these threats. By using a training-of-trainer (ToT) model, the program has been able to provide support to laboratory scientists and doctors in all thirteen of the country’s districts.

To date, senior staff of the National Laboratory, National Hospital and Ministry of Health, as well as health staff in rural areas of Timor-Leste, have been trained to diagnose lymphatic filariasis (LF – the cause of elephantiasis) and intestinal worm infections. In addition, the program has provided technical support to those conducting a large national survey of LF and intestinal worm infections. The survey report, which was presented to the Minister of Health in Nov 2012, revealed a very high national LF prevalence (18 per cent) and a national carriage of intestinal worm infection in school-aged children of over 30 per cent. The Government of Timor-Leste has now committed to eliminate LF and intestinal worm infections from the Timorese population by 2018.

Professor McMinn’s team has also recently commenced a program to initiate surveillance of rotavirus infection in children below five years old hospitalised with acute febrile gastroenteritis. Rotavirus is responsible for 40-50 per cent of severe gastroenteritis in children below five years of age and is responsible annually for over 500 thousand deaths from diarrhoea globally. Fortunately, two vaccines that are highly protective against rotavirus gastroenteritis have recently become available. A ToT and training program in rotavirus surveillance is currently being rolled out in Timor-Leste, with hospital-based surveillance expected to commence in July 2013. The baseline data on rotavirus gastroenteritis will be used to apply for support to introduce a rotavirus vaccine in Timor-Leste in mid-2014.

During the time he has spent in Timor-Leste, Professor McMinn has witnessed the positive effects of this program:  ‘The most satisfying aspect of this program has been to assist my Timorese colleagues to take ownership of the surveillance program and to observe their pride in generating the evidence required to make positive changes to public health policy and practice in Timor-Leste.’
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Visitors from the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture
Nine delegates from the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research & Development, Ministry of Agriculture, attended a training program on Digital Soil Mapping at the Soil Security Lab, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney from 7 – 15 March 2013.
Nine delegates from the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research & Development, Ministry of Agriculture, attended a training program on Digital Soil Mapping at the Soil Security Lab, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney from 7 – 15 March 2013. The delegates are responsible for producing and delivering soil information and they valued the opportunity to learn from their counterparts at the University about cutting-edge developments in digital soil mapping. 

It wasn’t all about soil mapping though. The participants visited SSEAC to learn about the centre and its activities, and came away with a strong sense of how the centre can facilitate improved sharing of research and teaching in the region. They also took time out to join a class of second year Indonesian Studies students. Overall, the participants were glad to learn about new technologies to help them deliver soil information more efficiently and about good land resource management.
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TEACHING
Agricultural economics and finance education in Vietnam
A cooperative project between the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney and the College of Economics in Hue University in Vietnam is now into its second year.
A cooperative project between the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney and the College of Economics in Hue University in Vietnam is now into its second year. The project was initiated in 2009 when the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment was approached by Hue University for help developing a new degree. The proposed collaboration was in response to a World Bank funded initiative of the Government of Vietnam to create new university programs by adopting and adapting existing programs from Australia, US and elsewhere.

Hue University, a major economics university in Central Vietnam was commissioned to develop an international, English-language, agricultural economics-finance degree to complement its own Vietnamese language degree in this area. The Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, with its nation-leading Bachelor of Agricultural Economics and Bachelor of Resource Economics programmes, was considered an ideal collaborative partner. The Faculty, and its Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, recognised the merit of the cooperation for both Vietnam and Australia, as well as for the Faculty and University.

The Bachelor program in Agricultural Economics and Finance at Hue University under the Sydney-Hue project commenced in 2011. It has been lauded as one of the most successful of the twenty or so new programmes that have started in Vietnam as part of this initiative.

Academic staff from three Sydney academic units are involved: Agricultural and Resource Economics, Finance and Economics. They are teaching all the units for the first cohort of students in the four-year program, and will teach about one half and one quarter of the units for the second and third cohorts, respectively. For the early cohorts, the curriculum is fixed. In time, colleagues at Hue University will develop additional options for students to select, as in Sydney’s own program.

Colleagues from Hue visit Sydney regularly and work with Sydney staff on adapting the courses, developing Vietnamese or other Asian examples and incorporating local institutional materials. They then work alongside Sydney lecturers in teaching the first cohort, but have gradually taken on a greater role in teaching to the second and third cohorts. Many Hue academics involved in the program have PhDs or Masters degrees from an English language program in Australia, Singapore or elsewhere, but there are several that have expressed an interest in working towards a PhD in Sydney.

The first cohort had an enrolment of 48 students, which has grown to 70 students currently in the third cohort. The students are selected competitively and are recruited nationally from throughout Vietnam. They then do a year of English training. 

Despite the hard work involved in delivering a program in an environment very different to that in Sydney, our staff and colleagues and students in Hue all feel that they are involved in something extraordinarily important for Vietnam and for Southeast Asia.

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 FOR STUDENTS    |  
TAASA Asian Arts Essay Prize – 2013
TAASA (The Asian Arts Society of Australia) is offering prizes for winning essays on Asian arts topics.
TAASA (The Asian Arts Society of Australia) is offering prizes for winning essays on Asian arts topics. 

TAASA was founded in 1991 by a group of Sydney-based Asian art specialists – scholars, curators, and dealers. It was instituted as a not-for-profit society to promote all aspects of interest and research into the arts of Asia with a broad definition of ‘Asia’ ranging geographically from the Middle East to Japan.

To affirm its ongoing role in supporting interest and research into the arts of Asia, TAASA invites two categories of entrants to submit essays for consideration for a prize. The prize for each category is worth $1000.00

  • Category 1. The entrant must be an undergraduate, honours or masters candidate studying at an Australian University at 31 August, 2013
  • Category 2. The entrant must be a PhD candidate studying at an Australian University at 31 August 2013.
The subject should encompass any aspect of the arts of Asia in any medium - ancient to contemporary. Essays for both categories should be no more than 3000 words and written in a style consistent with an accepted academic standard with regard to footnotes and use of images. An expert panel of judges will assess the entries and decide on the winners.

Final submission date: 31 August 2013

Award announcement date: 31 October 2013

The prize-winning entries will be published in the TAASA Review. If required, permission to publish any images subject to copyright is to be obtained by entrant.

For more detailed information about the conditions of entry and to request a copy of the Entrant Details Cover Sheet please email Dr Ann Proctor or Dr Hweifen Cheah

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CONTENTS
Centre Activities
Research
Outreach
Teaching
Book Launch
Seminar: Australia and Indonesia Relations
BOOK LAUNCH
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Muslim Secular Democracy: Voices from Within, edited by Associate Professor Lily Rahim from the Department of Government and International Relations, will be launched on Friday 10 May at Gleebooks.
Muslim Secular Democracy: Voices from Within, edited by Associate Professor Lily Rahim from the Department of Government and International Relations, will be launched on Friday 10 May at Gleebooks.

Muslim Secular Democracy is an edited volume that features two chapters about  Malaysia and one chapter about Indonesia. 

The book offers an expansive understanding of secularism in the Muslim World by exploring different trajectories and varieties of secularism. In the early twenty-first century, passive secularism increasingly aligns itself with Muslim aspirations for forms of governance based on popular sovereignty and citizenship rights within the political framework of the inclusive secular democratic state. The contributions to this volume examine the ways in which Muslim wasatiyyah (centrist) democracy has been advanced by progressive Islamic and Muslim discourses and movements grounded in the principles of equity and social justice.
  • Launch: Friday 10th May, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
  • Venue: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
  • RSVP: 9660 2333 or events@gleebooks.com.au
SEMINAR: AUSTRALIA AND INDONESIA RELATIONS
The Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Sydney supported by the Indonesian Ladies Association is organising a Seminar on 'The Australian Support for the Indonesian Independence Struggle 1945 - 1949' on Saturday 4 May. 
The Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Sydney supported by the Indonesian Ladies Association is organising a Seminar on 'The Australian Support for the Indonesian Independence Struggle 1945 - 1949'.

The speakers include:
- Professor Adrian Vickers, Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, Director Asian Studies Program, University of Sydney
- Professor Heather Goodall, Professor of History, Social and Political Change, University of Technology, Sydney
- Dr Shirley Fitzgerald, Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney and former City of Sydney Historian
- Dr Drew Cottle, Senior Lecturer in Race Politics, American History and Foreign Policy and Australian Politics
- Anthony Liem, Freelance Researcher

The details of the event are as follows:
  • Date: Saturday, 4 May 2013
  • Place: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, 236 Maroubra Road, Maroubra, NSW 2035
  • Time: 2pm-4:30pm
  • Dress: Smart Casual
  • RSVP: Yoen Yahya, yoenyahya@hotmail.com
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