Reflections on KGI and 20 Years in Indonesia from readers, listeners and people working with the Australia Indonesia
One of Kang Guru's roles in Indonesia is to let people know just how much good work is done in Indonesia through
the Australia-Indonesia Partnership (AIP). We also tell you about the many other links that exist between our
Over the years KGI has reported on, visited, and interviewed many of the people who carry out this work. These
people, both Indonesians and Australians, may work with development projects in areas such as education, health,
agriculture and the environment. Many others interviewed and visited have been involved in other aspects of the
Oz-Indo relationship including the wide range of people to people links, sporting and cultural ties, and business.
Here are just a few reflections from just some of those people plus
reflections from our regular readers and listeners too. These
reflections are also available in Bahasa Indonesia.
| Australia's Minister For Foreign Affairs, Mr. Stephen Smith
|| Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Bill Farmer
|Amarullah from Sumbawa
||Prof. Tim Lindsey, Australia Indonesia Institute (AII)
|Pak Mulyadi from Madura
||Alistair Welsh from West Australia
|John Schottler from ANTARA in Kupang
||Siti Nurul Hidayah, Master of Education in TESOL, Wollongong University
|John McComb - Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH),
Oebobo, Kupang, NTT
Mirah Nuryati from ACIAR
|Aaron O'Shaunessy, Asia Education Foundation in Melbourne, Australia
KGI 1989, 1997 - 2000
|Yeyes Ngesti, a KGI housewife in Jakarta
| Umi Rukailah, KGCC organizer
and English teacher from Jember
more updates soon!
This September edition of the Kang Guru Indonesia magazine marks
the 20th anniversary of Kang Guru in Indonesia.
Since 1989, Kang Guru Indonesia has provided a combination of English language learning, people-to-people links
between both countries and a vehicle to broaden and deepen our partnership into one of great regional and global
potential. Over the last two decades, Kang Guru Indonesia has reached hundreds of thousands of students, teachers
and communities. Kang Guru radio is now broadcast weekly to more than 160 radio stations across Indonesia.
The Kang Guru Indonesia magazine has been distributed to more than one million English language learners. Thousands
of schools across Indonesia have also benefited from Kang Guru Indonesia’s English language curriculum
support materials, workshops and online learning resources.
History and geography have thrown our countries together, but it is the active and creative engagement of
our peoples and governments over six decades that has come to bind us as neighbours, friends and partners.
We cooperate in practical ways on a wide range of issues, such as climate change and helping each other respond
to natural disasters. Expanding ties between our two people strengthen our partnership even further. The
Kang Guru Indonesia program is helping to ensure that future generations of Australians and Indonesians know
and understand each other better. This will help see an ongoing genuine partnership with our neighbours and
friends in Indonesia.
I congratulate Kang Guru Indonesia on its significant achievement and 20 successful years.
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Stephen Smith
My wife, Elaine, and I first connected with Kang Guru in January
2006, just after I began my posting as Australian Ambassador to Indonesia. The KGI team invited us to visit their
office. Ever since then we have both watched and enjoyed the work that the KGI team does in Indonesia as it contributes
to stronger Australia – Indonesia ties and understanding. Besides promoting the work of the Australia-Indonesia
Partnership, KGI also manages to find interesting people to people activities which really reflect the close
bonds that do exist between people of both countries.
It has also been good to see the valuable work that KGI does with teachers and their students across the country.
I sometimes look over the KGI website’s Travel Reports of the team and I am always impressed by the
ground they cover and the people they meet as they promote the English language and the Australia-Indonesia
Partnership. Good luck to the KGI team for the future and for right now, hearty congratulations on your 20th
Anniversary and one final word to describe you – marvellous!
Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Bill Farmer
Mr. Farmer in the KGI office with Ogi from KGI
ites that work right
Selamat! On behalf of the Board of the Australia Indonesia Institute and its
Secretariat I send heartiest congratulations to you and all your colleagues at Kang Guru on your 20th anniversary!
For more than two decades Kang Guru has worked to build bridges of understanding between neighbours. It has helped
countless Indonesians develop a better understanding of Australia - and Australians of Indonesia too.
This is important and influential work and through it Kang Guru has made two very important contributions to
our bilateral relationship. First, through Kang Guru’s broadcasts, websites, newsletter and seminars you
have shown very clearly how effective language training is in bridging differences between cultures. Second,
you have also shown is how enriching that bridging can be, for everyone involved. Almost always it comes with
smiles and brings knowledge and understanding. It reminds us that the sometimes-obscured commonalities of being
human are overwhelmingly more important than the often more obvious and superficial differences created by culture
And this matters not just because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy (which it does!), but also because in globalised
world where travel and the IT revolution make distance increasingly less tyrannical, the capacity to bridge
cultural difference is fast becoming a ‘core life skill’. It is, in fact, becoming a form of currency,
an item of profound value in a world that is slowly transforming from being one where identity is rigidly based
on national and ethnic categories, to one where identity is multiple and shifting. We now live in world where
we often select from identities, and move between them as the moment demands, depending on whether we are talking
on Skype to someone on the other side of the planet, chatting to classmates or to grandparents at home, or doing
a job interview in Jakarta or Melbourne. In this sense, your work at Radio Kang Guru is an very significant
investment in the future of our two countries and peoples.
We at the Australia Indonesia Institute are lucky to share a mandate with Kang Guru. Our job is also to build
bridges of understanding and friendship between Australia and Indonesia through people-to-people links. We have
been hugely assisted in our efforts to meet that challenge by the tireless support and enthusiasm of Kang Guru
and its staff. In fact, it often seems as though no matter what event we support in Indonesia, and no matter
where, Kevin Dalton and his staff are always there – do you people never sleep!?
So, again, congratulations to Kevin and the team – hiduplah Kang Guru! - and here’s to the next twenty
years: juang terus!
Professor Tim Lindsey,
Chair, Australia Indonesia Institute (AII)
BRIDGE participants in Melbourne in March 2009 with Kathe Kirby from AEF, the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia
and his wife, and far right, Prof. Tim Lindsey from the Australia Indonesia institute (AII)
It is always lovely to tell you my story of getting you. When I was study at university back to the past years,
I was blank of English at all, because basically I’m not English background. I was luck of English skill.
It is very different with my other friends that, average of them were basically from English background. But
it doesn’t make weak and give up because, they (my fellows) always support me, and always make the atmosphere
of my mind feeling enjoy in English. But sometimes I felt bored of it because, there wasn’t enough words
or phrases and/or sentences came into my mind yet.
Fortunately one of my friend asked me to join the SAC (Self Access Center) at UNRAM Mataram, where students allowed
to access many English programs (activities) by themselves at the language lab. It is very different from my
university (UMM) Mataram, there isn’t any lab yet.
By watching, listening and reading at the language lab, I got to read your magazine. There I found out your address
exactly in early 2003. I wrote to you with my simple English language as good as I could, by plagiarized others
KGI ites’ letter at Listeners’ Letters segment. In August 2003, that the first edition (time) of
me to get your magazine, my enthusiast became encouraged by you. I read your magazine as I could by translated
one by one words. I would like to bring my ambition into reality in English skill. Not only of those things
Kang Guru has taught and encourage my English leaning, but also Kang Guru has introduced me to www or
well known as Illusion Realm.
Not only encouraged my learning of those things by Kang Guru, but also when I have to submitted my thesis, the
materials and/or subjects I got from Kang Guru much. I passed my study at English dept. and went back t my village
with fairly good English mark. But I think, I must be still lack of English, especially in the grammar.
Kang Guru had inspired me and had done a good guidance in my learning. Now I became a teacher (Guru) but you
are still my brother’s teacher (Kang Guru).
My first experience as a teacher, I had taught at SMPN 2 Utan, but it is not running a long just about one year.
I’ve finished my teaching there, I took a few months to refresh my mind take a rest. And then I moved
to SMPN 1 Utan, I’m teaching there until now. I just used my own address to send a letter or sms to you.
Well KGI, that’s a slice of mine, until I write again to you as soon as possible, Thanks!
Ds. Pukat RT 02/03
(Dpn Kantor Desa)
Kec. Utan, Sumbawa
I remember very well the early days of Kang Guru Radio English at the IALF Jakarta
in 1989. Firstly, I must mention the great efforts of Phil Brownhill, who was the Coordinator and the person
who thought of the name Kang Guru. Phil strongly insisted that this name was a perfect combination of Indonesian
and Australian concepts and ideas: Kang meaning older brother in bahasa Sunda, I think, and Guru of course meaning
teacher. Kang Guru – brother teacher. Really, I think Phil at that time had a stroke of genius!
The first trial series of Kang Guru had 12 programs, and from the very beginning it had a reach right across
the Nusantara. In the beginning it was only broadcast by RRI Jakarta. We sent cassette copies of the programs
to schools from Sumatra to NTT, that were being funded by AusAID, to support the teaching of English all across
Indonesia. After that first series, AusAID decided to continue to fund the program again, and it was managed
by IALF Jakarta. Pak Greg Clough ran it for the next six years. Greg expanded the program in every way, making
many important connections, and establishing the broadcast nationwide. When I became manager of the program
in 1997 in Bali it was being broadcast on 40 and more RRI stations across the country.
In 1997 the production of the program moved to IALF Bali, and I distinctly remember the first week there. “Fast” Edy
and TK from IALF Jakarta came down and we built the studio, and recorded the program in only a few days. Edy
and TK kept saying “Harus! Harus!” every time I mentioned it looked like a difficult job to complete.
Thanks guys, wherever you are.(Ed: Edy still works at IALF Jakarta!) My three years with Kang Guru seemed to
go so fast. The greatest things I remember were the fantastic support of Ogi and Darmika and Pak Tika, in the
office and recording studio respectively. My memory of that period is also full of the krismon, and how one year
we survived a very poor budget thanks to Pak Geoff Crewes from IALF Jakarta deciding we should continue. They
were incredible days, really!! After I left, Pak Kevin took over, and with a growing team, still with Ogi and
Darmika, has been able to spread and strengthen the Kang Guru brand in a way that I am sure no one ever imagined
in 1989. I have been so proud how well Kang Guru turned out as a wonderful symbol of cooperation between Indonesia
and Australia, with great understanding and good intentions shown by AusAID and RRI. Not many people would have
predicted how good neighbours would become such good friends over 20 fantastic and productive years.
Walter Slamer worked on the first series of Kang Guru in 1989 and then again as Program
Manager from 1997 - 2000.
During the AusAID funded Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Program
(COREMAP) from 2001 to 2004 we worked closely with Kang Guru as an additional venue to publicise the achievements
of the program and provide information for fishing communities throughout Indonesia to better manage the near
coastal marine ecosystem. A number of visits to the program sites were made by Kang Guru throughout Indonesia
where first hand information was obtained and published on its website and in its magazine. Their readers were
not only able learn about good management of the marine environment, but also improve their English reading skills.
The tapes sent to radio stations also provided not only information on the program, but supported those wishing
to improve their listening and speaking skills. Thus on its 20th anniversary this is an opportunity to say thank
you to Kang Guru and congratulate them on 20 years of outstanding service and support to those who wish to improve
The first time I knew about Kang Guru was back in the 1990s when Kang Guru was
managed by Mr. Greg Clough. The interaction has grown significantly since then.
I have found KGI to be one of the useful and informative media for raising ACIAR’s profile and public awareness
about the research activities we are doing in Indonesia. KGI’s wide distribution across the country has
enabled us to reach the interests from those who live in rural areas and share the information and knowledge
about ACIAR’s achievements. Our sincere thanks and appreciation for the excellent support KGI has provided
us. It is a golden opportunity for us to collaborate with KGI and look forward to strengthening the ties in the
coming future. Heartiest congratulations to Kang Guru’s 20th Anniversary and two thumbs up for the KGI
Mirah Nuryati from ACIAR in Jakarta
Mirah has worked with ACIAR for 17 years. During those 17 years Mirah has made regular trips to Australia
- Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne, Brisbane are just some of them and of course, Canberra, where ACIAR's headquarters
Full Text - see KGI's March 2009 magazine
Kang Guru keeps bouncing back (or is that hopping back)
I first encountered Kang Guru when I started work in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi in 2001 on AusAID’s Healthy
Mothers Healthy Babies Project (HMHB). Kevin Dalton, Kang Guru’s roving raconteur, came to town to ask
about the project, interview staff and recipients, and to also spread good tidings to teachers about the various
teaching resources available from Kang Guru for teaching English in schools and at universities. During my four
years in Southeast Sulawesi Kevin made several trips, always dropping in to say hi to the team from HMHB.
Later, when I was working in Aceh, in North Sumatra, Java and in Papua on AusAID or other donor funded programs,
I often met people who were keen to practice their English. It was great to be able to refer them to Kang Guru’s
easy-to-access material on the web or on the radio. Kevin, too, kept popping up here and there, sometimes in
Jakarta, sometimes in Bali or other places. Now I am working in Nusa Tenggara Timur, still focused on the health
of mothers and children. Hopefully the Kang Guru ‘mob’ will visit us here too. I have been lucky
to make some long-lasting friends through Kang Guru and the link it gives us all to English language resources.
Oh ya, a special hi to Nani, a wonderful English teacher in Bau Bau, Buton.
John McComb - Australia Indonesia Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health (AIPMNH),
Oebobo, Kupang, NTT
In 1992 I got the Kang Guru magazine for the first time. I was an SMA student at
Al-Amien Boarding School, Madura. I was very happy with the magazine. It was difficult to find a good English
magazine at that time. As I began to read the magazine I became more confident with my language and more motivated
to practise it.
When I was a student at Jember University some friends and I set up an organization called USEF (University Students
English Forum) in 1998. One of the first programs that I conducted for USEF was inviting Kang Guru and Kevin
to a meeting. It was attended by more than one hundred students from all over Jember (see April 2001 KGI magazine).
After finishing my study in Jember I came back to my almamater, Al-Amien, to teach English (six years ago) and
my connection with Kang Guru continued. I presented the Kang Guru radio show once a week and made the show interactive
too. Listeners called in and I gave them Kang Guru items for answering questions about the content of the show.
I ran the show up until 2007 when I left for Bali.
I ran the show up until 2007 when I left for Bali to attend ICELT (In-Service Certificate in English Language
Teaching) conducted at IALF Bali for LAPIS-ELTIS.
While I was in Bali I visited the Kang Guru office and talked with the KGI staff. I was so happy because I could
visit Kang Guru and their staff. Kang Guru is my inspiration. It has not only improved my English but also provided
me with opportunity for personal development. I am sure there is much we can do in the future with Kang Guru.
Kang Guru teaches Indonesians about building good cooperation between our two countries and peoples. I am expecting
to have chance to share these ideas not only in Indonesia but also in Australia. Next year, I am going to Australia
on an Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) and hoping to meet Australian (people and government) to thank
them for making Kang Guru exist in Indonesia.
Mulyadi from Madura
Alistair Welsh is now a lecturer in Indonesian language
at Deakin University, Australia
I have wonderful memories of Kang Guru from the year it first started. In 1989, under the Northern Territory-Indonesian
Teacher Exchange Program, I was based in Ambon. My work included presenting at English teacher workshops.
I heard about Kang Guru English and so wrote away to their office in Jakarta. They sent some great resources
including cassette tapes and interesting activity books. I remember their theme song at the time was ‘You’re
the Voice’ by the Aussie singer John Farnham. Another pop song they used in 1989 was Kylie Monogue’s ‘Locomotion’.
I still remember English teachers in Ambon lined up like a train, dancing to the ‘Locomotion’ song.
We had a lot of fun while learning.
Fast forward to 2005 and I was a teacher trainer in the Islamic Schools English Language Program in
East Java. I was amazed and so pleased to reconnect with Kang Guru and to once again make use of their wonderful
resources. I had the pleasure of getting to know Captain Kan Guru and helping Pondok Pesantren Nurul Jadid set
up KGRE broadcasts and become a KGRE Connection Club. There has been so much great information in KGRE! Congratulations
and Happy 20th Anniversary!
Siti Nurul Hidayah, Master of Education in TESOL, Wollongong University
A friend of mine gave me Kangguru magazine as a present six years ago. I was so excited with the content and
felt that it would drive me to reach my dreams. This magazine inspired me to change my entire life. I sent a
letter to Kangguru a week after, in the middle of 2003. I joined Kangguru Connection and established an English
club. My club grew so fast with more than 250 students within 4 months. Kanggure has made a valuable impact
on my club, my school, my town and me as an individual in various ways. Kangguru materials have assisted me
in finding out new ideas for teaching English in my club and school. In addition, Kannguru workshops in 2006
and 2007 have linked and supported many teachers in my town to enhance their teaching capability and the radio
broadcast has been a valuable program to improve English for many students in my town. Last of all, I included
all of my activities related to Kangguru programs in my scholarship application and consequently, I won a prestigious
postgraduate scholarship to Australia in 2008.
Having such high ambitions to become a part of the international community and being helpful for other people were my
highest expectations in life. Kangguru magazine was a precious gift for me!! Thank you Kang Guru!!
Aaron O’Shannessy, Project Manager, Australia-Indonesia
BRIDGE Project, Asia Education Foundation
The Asia Education Foundation (AEF) would like to congratulate Kang GURU Indonesia on its 20th anniversary. KGI
has been a strong supporter of the AEF and in particular of the Australia-Indonesia BRIDGE Project.
As many of you know, the AEF manages the BRIDGE Project with the support of the Australia-Indonesia Institute
(AII), The Myer Foundation and AusAID and will involve 184 Australian and Indonesian educators (92 of each)
from 41 Australian and 41 Indonesian schools.
Over the years, Kang GURU has supported thousands of Indonesian teachers across the archipelago to further their
English language programs and study about Australia through professional learning, radio broadcasts and publications.
Their sound knowledge of working with Indonesian teachers made them the perfect candidate to support the AEF
in its work in Indonesia.
In December 2008, Kang GURU agreed to work with the AEF to support the briefing of Indonesian participants of
the BRIDGE Project. This began as pre-departure training initially but moved into IT training and classroom
implementation strategies. From this, Kang GURU’s support of the BRIDGE Project has grown – they
have ran a principal workshop for Indonesian BRIDGE schools, supported the AEF in its cross-cultural training
in Australia and just recently provide an ‘ICT help desk’ for Indonesian BRIDGE participants. At
the end of this year, Kang GURU will be supporting the AEF by delivering a series of post-Australia workshops
in all five provinces in October 2009.
The support of Kang GURU over the last 12 months has been invaluable and to date they have trained 120 Indonesian
and Australian teachers and 30 Indonesian principals. With Kang GURU’s support, the AEF has been able
to further Australia-Indonesia links schools through building sister school partnerships between our two countries.
The AEF looks forward to working with Kang GURU into the future!
Aaron talking with BRIDGE teachers at IALF Bali in January 2009
Umi Rukailah, KGCC organizer and English teacher from Jember
I found so many things where Kang Guru has already influenced my life, my career, and my English. I am pretty
sure I would not be what I am now without Kang Guru. Kang Guru has influenced many aspects of my career as an
English teacher by using KGI teacher classroom packs, joining KG teacher workshops and by using KG reward stickers
in my classes to make my English lessons not a nightmare for my students. We have real fun in learning English.
My lessons are more colorful with games, quizzes and interactive activities.
Since it became a part of the national exam, listening has become horrible for teachers and for most students
at schools. It is very difficult to find good listening materials but that is not for me. I am using Kang Guru
Listening & Reading Class Sets to update my listening classes. My students are more confident with the National
Exam now. They can really practise.
I use many Kang Guru things in my teaching - being involved in English club activities, Club Get Togethers, special
articles in Kang Guru magazine, etc. For my English, Kang Guru helps to maintain my vocabulary. I also browse
on the website, chatting and correspond with other Kang Guru people such as John and Margaret Rollings in China,
Suryadi in Madura and other Champions too.
Yeyes Ngesti, a housewife in Jakarta
My interest with English started when I was 5/6 years old when my mom taught me an English song ’Are U
Sleeping'. None of my friends could sing this song so I was very proud of myself that I can speak English a little
bit. My mother also told me about how important English is for the future. That’s why I should study hard
and be a master in English. When I studied in SMP, my mom’s friend wrote a letter to KG with my name and
address. At that time I just knew a little bit about English. I was confused reading your magazine because there
was so many words that I didn’t know. When the Capt was Greg Clough, you were in crisis. You almost stopped
the magazine and radio broadcasting.
Fortunately you still exist now, even better and better. After I left 4 SMU in 1997, I took a computer and English
course. In 1999 I studied in college and I got your magazine again regularly until now - 28 years old, a housewife
with 1 daughter. For 15 years you accompany me, Kang Guru. Well done! My most favourite topic is Different Pond
Different Fish. It was first published in 1997. Basically Kang Guru has had an important role in improving my
English. Thank you so much and Happy Anniversary.