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Indonesian Soldiers learning about Aussie Culture through Sport

  • Sunday, January 06 2008 @ 02:21 pm ACDT
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The Jakarta Bintangs recently assisted in Australian Football clinics for TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces) members as part of a course to help prepare them for study in Australia. Officers took part in clinics in footy skills as well as demonstrations about the history of the game.

The Bintangs also hope to soon receive their first Footy Development Officer from the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program, as well as recently receiving a grant of $16,000 from the Australia-Indonesia Institute for further Australian rules development in the country. The following report courtesy of the Jakarta Bintangs:

TNI and Department of Defence (Dephan) officers, studying English at the Department of Defence Training Centre in Pondok Labu, were recently given a taste of Australian culture through a lesson on Australian Rules Football, presented by the members of the ANZ Jakarta Bintangs.

Bintangs club member and Umpire, John Eddy and his son and Bintangs player, Alf Eddy, spent the afternoon teaching the officers about the unique Australian game.

They gave the officers a presentation of the history and rules of Australian Rules Football, which included showing a recording of a professional game, before moving outdoors for a number of activities designed to practice some of the skills unique to the sport, including handballing and marking.

The officers are participating in an Australian-sponsored "Study in Australia Preparation (SIAP) Course" conducted by Academic Colleges Group at the Dephan Language Education and Training Centre to improve their chances of attaining 14 Australian Defence scholarships, given annually, to study in Australia.

Major Barbara Tipper, an Australian Army Language Adviser working with the Centre, organised the visit to allow the officers a chance to learn about Australian culture, as well as improve their English skills.

"The officers told me they had a great time learning about Aussie Rules and how popular it is in Australia, although they thought it was a pretty crazy game", said Major Tipper.

The Jakarta Bintangs have long been involved in teaching Indonesians, particularly youth, about Australian Football in order to promote better cross-cultural understanding between Australians and Indonesians. The club is expanding this work significantly over the coming months with the arrival of an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development as a full-time AFL Development Officer, backed by a $16,000 grant to promote Australian Football from the Australia Indonesia Institute (AII).