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More Jakarta, Less Geneva: Australia and Indonesia

At a state dinner in Jakarta, Tony Abbott’s first foreign destination as prime minister, the new Australian leader said that there have been times when ‘all sides of Australian politics could have said less and done more’. Australia’s recent handling of issues relating to asylum seekers and live cattle exports to Indonesia has at times been light on diplomacy. But does the new asylum seeker policy continue this trend?

How has Prime Minister Abbott fared in his initial dealings with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono? And how will the Australian government fare in balancing its domestic policy agenda on asylum seekers with Indonesia’s desire for a multilateral approach?

Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft will be joined by a panel of experts including Greg Sheridan (the Australian’s foreign editor) and Dr Dave McRae (the Lowy Institute’s Indonesia expert) to discuss Australian-Indonesian relations, and the key responsibilities and obligations of both nations, in this new political climate.

Who?

Portrait of Greg Sheridan

Greg Sheridan

Greg Sheridan is the Australian’s foreign editor, and one of the most influential foreign affairs analysts in Australian journalism. After 35 years in the field, he is a veteran of international affairs who has interviewed leaders all over the Asia Pacific and America.

Portrait of Dave McRae

Dave McRae

Dave McRae is a research fellow at the Lowy Institute. He has researched conflict, politics, democratisation and human rights issues in Indonesia for well over a decade, and holds a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies from ANU. He is the author of A Few Poorly Organized Men: Interreligious Violence in Poso, Indonesia.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

The Fifth Estate

Our long-running current affairs series, The Fifth Estate, is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre programme. With our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft at the helm, it's a series of in-depth conversations with guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's rigorous long-form interviewing at its best.

Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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