Understanding Near Neighbours Fellowships: study tour to Indonesia and Timor-Leste

May 2009

The fifth program of its kind, the 2009 event consisted of a teleconference briefing, followed by 13 days of travel in Indonesia and five days in Timor-Leste. The group spent nine nights in Central Java, which included three nights in Jakarta, one night in both Bandung and Tasikmalaya, three nights in Jogjakarta and one night in Surabaya.

The journalists were able to report on unfolding news events, such as the lead up to the Indonesian presidential elections, the ongoing campaign to dismantle terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, the dire conditions in refugee camps in Timor-Barat, the closure of the last refugee camps in Timor-Leste and corruption allegations directed at the prime minister of East Timor, Xanana Gusmão.

Seven of the journalists stayed on to take part in a two-day mentoring program with East Timorese journalists organised by the APJC in collaboration with the International Centre for Journalists.

APJC fellows:

Ms Ainslie Chandler, property editor/reporter, BRW, Sydney
Ms Amy Coopes, Australian correspondent, Agence France-Presse, Sydney
Ms Gabrielle Dunlevy, state political correspondent, AAP, Brisbane
Mr Cameron England, chief business reporter, The Advertiser, Adelaide
Ms Yalda Hakim, journalist, SBS (World News), Sydney
Ms Gloria Kalache, journalist/ presenter, ABC Australia Network, Melbourne
Ms Madeleine Perkins, education reporter, The Age, Melbourne
Mr Girish Sawlani, journalist, ABC Radio Australia, Melbourne

Indonesian fellows:
Ms Lina Nursanty, journalist, Pikiran Rakyat (daily newspaper), Bandung
Ms Diah Pitaloka, adviser, Indonesian Democratic Party, Bandung

Timor-Leste journalists – mentor program:

Ms Maria-Zevonia Fernandes Vieira, editor and reporter, Kla’ak Magazine
Ms Rita Almeida, Journalist, The Timor-Post (daily newspaper)
Mr Aleixo da Costa, journalist, Diario National (daily newspaper)
Mr Caetano Alves, journalist, Investigative Journalists Timorese Centre (CJITL)
Mr David Hugo, journalist, Radio Timor-Leste
Mr Paulino Quintas, journalist, TV Timor-Leste
Ms Laura da Cruz, journalist, TV online,

APJC personnel:

Ms Alex Kennedy, project officer
Ms Helen Musa, 2009 tour leader
Mr John Wallace, program director
Mr Jack Waterford, board of directors

In-field study tour leaders:

In Java: Mr MMI Ahyani, former correspondent Jakarta Post and DeTik, Bandung
In Kupang: Mr Winston Neil Rondo, freelance journalist and project officer, Pantau, Kupang
In Timor-Leste: Mr Naldo Rei, author and freelance journalist