Leadership Training at the State Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga

I was invited by a student organisation at the State Islamic University (UIN) of Sunan Kalijaga in Jogja. It was about leadership and was certainly not my first talk about the topic. I have spoken about leadership before at several events for student and other young people. However, at this UIN event I felt there needed to be a distinctive, more Islamic touch. As a Hindu Believer, I certainly have to study this matter seriously. In the car, while waiting for the event to start, I thought hard about making a plan.

I remember a figure, Umar bin Khattab, who is said to be a respected figure in Islamic history. I contacted a friend for discussion. In about 15 minutes, I should be able to add leadership material that is unique to Islam. This is also important for me to ensure because I have included Hindu leadership teachings, Asta Brata, in my material. Of course there is no problem, but it would be sweeter if at the event at UIN I also presented the teachings of Islamic leadership with the same level of seriousness.

I was the only speaker at an event at UIN. The most challenging thing was because it was right before breaking the fast (Iftar). I was filled with doubt that the 100 or so participants would not be able to concentrate or choose to rest their intellectual engines. Turns out I was wrong. Their eyes sparkled, their smiles looked fresh and their nodding heads radiated energy.

I really enjoyed the interaction. I did try by best, I believe.

Discussion on the Standard of the Boundary Official Map of Indonesia

A delegate from the Indonesian Geospatial Information Agency visited the Department of Geodetic Engineering on 19 March 2024 to discuss the Standard (SNI) of the Boundary Official Map of Indonesia. I was in particular asked to be a discussion partner for the map being discussed is regarding maritime boundaries. The agency is preparing a new map to be published and they want to make sure they are implementing the latest standard.

I gave some insights on maritime boundary issues for the delegate to understand better. I covered, especially, the history and development of the issue and how Indonesia came up with the current map. I also pointed out some potentially problematic segments that might need close attention when producing the new map. We might see a different map compared to the one we had in 2017 (the latest and current version).

The discussion went well and everybody seemed to manage to learn one thing or two.  Such meeting is important to ensure collaboration between Industry/Government and the academic world. We look forward to working together more.

Participating at the Australia-ASEAN Maritime Summit in Melbourne

It was a great privilege for me to be invited to the Australia-ASEAN Maritime Summit. From 4-6 March 2024, the Honourable Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia, hosted leaders from Southeast Asia for the 2024 Special Summit to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations. The Special Summit marked an historic elevation in Australia’s ties with ASEAN, recognised in the Melbourne Declaration – A Partnership for the Future.

a picture with ANCORS alumni participating at the event – ANCORS is my alma mater for PhD

Alongside the Leaders’ engagement, the Special Summit’s success owed much to thematic tracks on Business, Emerging Leaders, Climate and Clean Energy, and Maritime Cooperation. I am happy to be the part of the  the Maritime Cooperation Forum. I was there as an academia, learning about how to foster deeper cooperation between ASEAN and Australia. The Special Summit also helped me build long-lasting connections with scholars from different countries.

The Special Summit program and outcomes not only represented what ASEAN and Australia have jointly achieved over the past fifty years – since Australia became ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner – but also everything we aim to achieve in the next fifty. For more information, we can visit the Special Summit website at aseanaustralia.pmc.gov.au.

Teaching Maritime Boundary Issues at NUS, Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS), in collaboration with the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) regularly conduct training on maritime boundaries. This year, the training was held on 27-29 February 2024 and I was honored to be of the trainers.

participants and trainers

The Workshop had a record number of 56 participants from diverse professional backgrounds, including diplomats, hydrographers, lawyers and academics. The 2024 Workshop welcomed, for the first time, 9 participants from 5 Pacific Islands Countries: Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. ASEAN member states continued their active engagement with this workshop series, with 31 participants in this year’s workshop from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. In addition the program also welcome participants from the Bahamas, Chile, Egypt, Maldives, Oman joining us this year. The Workshop had participants from 22 countries.

me teaching a small group on technical aspects of maritime boundary delimitation

I shared a session with Clive Schofield, my former supervisor, on the technical aspects of maritime boundary delimitation. It was fun. I had to opportunity to share some of my old and new animations to visually explain complex issues of maritime boundary delimitation. I also helped participants during negotiation exercises.  I was so glad to participate and for meeting some good friends.

Teaching at UNY from the Airport

On 17 April 2023,  I was invited by my colleague at the State University fo Yogyakarta (UNY) to speak at a seminar/workshop. It was about international collaboration. The content is something that I have been familiar with for the last couple of years. I said yes even though it was not easy. I arrived from Singapore and I was still at the airport by the time I was scheduled to speak.

My flight was delayed for more than 30 minutes and it was too late for my session. The organiser was nice enough to move my session to a later schedule with a hope that I would be able to make it. I did, in fact, but it was not from a proper place. I could not reach a more representative spot at the airport until my schedule was on, so I sat down on the floor and performed.

It was an important session, attended by leaders and management of UNY. I show the room and it was a seminar with big audiences. I better be good. I started by showing the audience a picture of me sitting down on the floor while giving a lecture. I think it worked for an intermezzo. The lecture went well.

Giving a Lecture on Maritime Boundaries in Southeast Asia at UNDIP

I started April 2023 with an exciting journey to Semarang, Central Java. I was invited to give a lecture at the Department of International Relation of Universitas Diponegoro. Why would a surveyor/engineer like me be invited to lecture future political scientists? Because maritime boundary is an important issue that those future diplomats, students of the International Relation of UNDIP, need to understand and I happen to focus my research and studies on the issue.

The lecture went well. I started the lecture in a fancy theatre hall. Everyone was excited until an accident took place. There was an electricity outage  and we have to wait a couple of minutes until we moved to another room. It was so exciting that the students enjoyed my class during even the waiting period. The theatre was dark  but it did not prevent them from asking quality questions. I really enjoyed the conversation.

In the new room, we also had fun and students were active in asking good questions. It was unfortunate that we run out of time so I need to stop. I had to return to Jogja for I would have a gathering with some students