A group of five young Australian Muslims are visiting Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Makassar to experience firsthand Indonesia’s religious tolerance and diversity and share their experiences of growing up in multicultural Australia.
The group are visiting Indonesia as part of the Australia-Indonesia Muslim Exchange Program (MEP). The five participants include three women and two men from Sydney and Melbourne who work in education, community development, social work and financial services.
During the two-week program (28 January – 9 February), the group will meet Islamic organisations, community leaders, academics and the media and visit pesantren. Their program includes cultural and interfaith experiences such as attending Friday prayers at Istiqlal Mosque and visiting Borobudur Temple.
Ten Indonesian Muslim delegates will also visit Australia as part of the program.
Since the MEP program was established in 2002 by the Australia-Indonesia Institute, over 200 young Muslim leaders from both countries have participated, experiencing Islam and diversity in each other’s country.
“The Muslim Exchange Program builds a deeper understanding for Australians of the nature of Islam in Indonesia and, for Indonesians, a greater awareness of Australia’s multicultural society,” said Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan.
“In a world in which intolerance has been increasing, two close neighbours like Indonesia and Australia can show the world the importance of mutual understanding.”