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Experiencing impressive economic growth over the past ten years, Indonesia has made enormous gains in poverty reduction, more than halving the poverty rate since 1999, to 11.2 percent in 2014, according to the World Bank.

However, challenges still remain in Indonesia with around 28.6 million Indonesians still living below the poverty line out of 252 million, and a slower growth of employment than in population growth. A number of health and infrastructure indicators are also doing poorly in Indonesia.

The Australian aid Investment Plan in Indonesia supports Indonesia through programs to develop effective economic institutions and infrastructure, human development for a productive and healthy society, and an inclusive society through effective governance.

Australian volunteers in Indonesia aim to build the capacity of individuals, organisations and communities through sharing skills and knowledge as well as fostering linkages and partnerships between Indonesia and Australia at the individual, community and government levels.

Find out more about Indonesia by visiting the country specific Department of Foreign Affairs and Smart Traveller sites.

Meet Australian volunteers Will and Julia!

 

View our current assignments in Indonesia if like Simon, Will and Julia you wish to take your skills overseas for a life changing experience.

View current assignments

Indonesia - location info

  • Bogor
  • Denpasar
  • Jakarta
  • Ubud
  • Yogyakarta

Bogor is located on West Java, approximately 60kms south of Jakarta and has a population of around 3 million (inclusive of suburban areas). It is known as the "city of rain" for its high annual rainfall and it has a considerably cooler average monthly temperature than Jakarta due to its higher altitude. Though Bogor once served as a cool village retreat from Jakarta, it now faces many typical city issues including crowding and traffic. Despite this, it is famous for its Botanical Gardens, which were founded in 1811 and are considered world-class.

There is a reasonable quality of services and health facilities available in Bogor and frequent transport options to Jakarta. Motorcycles are a common means of transport throughout Indonesia. If volunteers wish to ride motorcycles while on assignment it is highly recommended that they are already competent or undertake a learner course in Australia before arriving. A motorcycle license is not required for riding as a passenger (for example on a motorcycle taxi). Bogor is home to festivals such as Cap Go Meh, featuring a parade and art performances on the15th day of Chinese New Year and the Bogor Cultural Festival, celebrating the anniversary of the city.

Denpasar is the capital and largest city of the province of Bali. The name Denpasar means 'next to the market' and the city is home to Bali's biggest market, the Badung Market, which sells a variety of island goods. The city is also known for its museum of Balinese culture, its community temples and its art.

Located in south Bali, Denpasar is a hub of road transport (buses, minibuses and taxis are in abundance) and there is good access to other parts of Bali. As there are health, retail and industries on offer to meet tourist demands, there is a high quality of services available in Denpasar. The population is approaching 800 000, and traffic, noise and pollution can be an issue in the bustling city. The weather is consistently warm and humid, so nearby Kuta, Legian and Canggu beaches offer great surfing opportunities while the sandy white beach at Sanur is ideal for swimming.
Motorcycles are a common means of transport throughout Indonesia. If volunteers wish to ride motorcycles while on assignment it is highly recommended that they are already competent or undertake a learner course in Australia before arriving. A motorcycle license is not required for riding as a passenger (for example on a motorcycle taxi).

Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city, is located on the western end of the island of Java. The official metropolitan area has a population of more than 10 million people, but its suburbs continue well beyond this with a population over 28 million in the Jakarta area. Given its proximity to the Equator, the climate is hot and humid throughout the year, with a wet season from late October through to early May. The city is rich in history and is a hub of social, cultural, health and entertainment activities.

Jakarta is a cultural melting pot, and is home to people of many different languages, customs, and backgrounds. The city also has a unique culture centred on the Betawi people, who are the descendants of Jakarta's inhabitants from the colonial era. The city sites range from amusement parks and fine dining experiences to cultural sites. Shopping centres and banking facilities are widely available in this thriving metropolis. There is a high quality of services and health facilities available in Jakarta. The city's transport options are notoriously crowded, particularly during peak hours, although there are numerous city bus and train options available. If volunteers wish to ride motorcycles in Jakarta then they will be required to have a full Australian motorcycle license and an international license. A motorcycle license is not required for riding as a passenger (for example on a motorcycle taxi).

Ubud is a town in Ubud District on the island of Bali. While the whole island hosts a strong tourist industry, Ubud is a destination for natural attractions and traditional artistic culture. Ubud is considered a cultural centre, with temples and museums interspersed between rivers and forest areas. The population is largely Hindu. Ubud is warm and very humid with a distinct rainy season, but the overall temperature can be slightly cooler than other parts of Bali due to the hilly terrain. Ubud now encompasses a number of small villages in its sprawl, so rice paddies and rice terraces are a common sight in the areas surrounding the town.
Services such as transport, banking, and pharmacies are available. There is a reasonable quality of other services and health facilities available in Ubud and frequent transport options to Denpasar. Motorcycles are a common means of transport throughout Indonesia. If volunteers wish to ride motorcycles while on assignment it is highly recommended that they are already competent or undertake a learner course in Australia before arriving. A motorcycle license is not required for riding as a passenger (for example on a motorcycle taxi). Ubud is not known for its nightlife as performances and music must end by 10.30pm each night, but is renowned for its wide range of restaurants.

Pronounced 'Jogjakarta' and called Yogya for short, Yogyakarta is the centre of artistic and intellectual heritage on the island of Java. It is Java's premier tourist city, but offers a slower, more conservative way of life than neighbouring cities as it preserves its strong Javanese culture. This can be seen in its traditional textiles and the production of Javanese dance, theatre and shadow puppet performances on display nearly every day and night. Yogyakarta has a year-round tropical climate with the dry season spanning May to September and wet season from October to April as the monsoon sets in. There is a high quality of services and health facilities available in Yogyakarta. The unique combination of ancient temples, traditions, culture and beaches can be enjoyed in the city's clean air and famously laid back atmosphere.

Motorcycles are a common means of transport throughout Indonesia. If volunteers wish to ride motorcycles while on assignment it is highly recommended that they are already competent or undertake a learner course in Australia before arriving. A motorcycle license is not required for riding as a passenger (for example on a motorcycle taxi).

Indonesia is a diverse archipelago, encompassing the exotic holiday destination of Bali, the wild jungles of Kalimantan and Sumatera, the cosmopolitan city of Jakarta and the strongly Islamic Banda Aceh. As the in-country management team, we feel privileged to support the capacity building of local organisations and individuals in Indonesia. In Indonesia there are large inequalities between provinces, particularly groups outside of Java and Bali experience disadvantages in education and job opportunities. The country still faces challenges in embedding democracy and combating corruption.

- Indonesia Country Manager - Volunteer Programs, Tamara Megaw

Indonesia - Cultural tips

  • Although the official language is Bahasa Indonesia, the traditional regional language, Sundanese, is widely spoken. English is the most widely spoken foreign language
  • Islam is the dominant religion, though Christian, Hindu and Buddhist communities are also represented
  • Cuisine varies greatly throughout Indonesia, depending on the region. Vegetarian options are typically common in cities, but scarcer in remote areas
  • Pick pocketing and traffic accidents are the most common risks to volunteers, so the usual precautions should be taken

star Tips for Volunteers

Indonesians are a warm, welcoming people. The pace of work is generally relaxed with a high value placed on personal relationships. Volunteers are encouraged to be flexible in how their skills can be utilised, and take time to get to know and explore the country.

Hannah Purdy

Hanna hPurdyHannah Purdy volunteered as a Busines Development Officer at Yayasan Alam Indoensia Lestari in Indonesia.

See article

Hannah Maddison Harris

hannahMaddisonH Hannah Maddison Harris volunteered as a Creative Writing and Journalism Trainer at Yayasan Cipta Mandir (YCM) in Indonesia. Hannah and her counterpart Ronald Siahaan, a tutor at YCM share their experiences from both the Host Organisation and Volunteers perspective.

Watch Video

In Country Management

In Country Management TeamsEach and every country we work in has its own dedicated In- Country Management Team (ICM Team). These teams develop assignments in consultation with Host Organisations and provide extensive support to volunteers in country. 

View here

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