Indonesian delegation visit to Monash University

September 21, 2023

MSDI hosted a delegation of Indonesian Government officials in September, led by His Excellency Mr Suharso Monoarfa (Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency). The delegation was in Melbourne to learn more about ‘water sensitive city’ or ‘sponge city’ concepts. Having seen ‘sponge city’ concepts in practice in Jiangsu Province in China, the Minister was interested in learning more and introducing the concepts to parliamentary colleagues, ministries and other agencies involved in Indonesia’s New Capital Development.

Professor Sharon Pickering (Monash University Vice Chancellor and President) welcomed HE Minister Monoarfa and the rest of the delegation.

Professor Tony Wong (Professor of Sustainable Development with MSDI) discussed Monash’s work in delivering sponge city projects throughout Australia and Asia. Together with Dr Jianbin Wang (Chief Innovation Officer, Water Sensitive Cities Australia) and Professor Peter Breen (Monash Department of Architecture), Tony led the delegation on tours of water sensitive infrastructure around Melbourne, including:

  • wetlands at Monash University and Monash Bioinformatics building
  • Tirhatuan Wetlands (Police Road, Rowville)
  • central median biofilter, wetlands and pond at Lynbrook Estate
  • Fitzroy Gardens stormwater harvesting biofilter
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Royal Park multifunctional wetlands.

The visit was also an opportunity to build on the significant bilateral research and education cooperation, particularly in areas of urban water management, urban design innovation and transformation. Other presentations included:

  • an overview of Monash University’s engagement in Indonesia by Professor Craig Jeffrey (Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Monash University)
  • a discussion of Monash University’s Indonesia research by Professor Andrew MacIntyre (President of Monash University Indonesia)
  • a discussion of the Urban Transformation Hub at Monash Indonesia by Professor Diego Ramirez-Lovering (Associate Dean International and Engagement at Monash Art, Design and Architecture and Director of the Informal Cities Lab)
  • an interview with HE Minister Monoarfa and Bapak Donny Rahajoe (Vice-Head of OIKN) by Dr Eugene Sebastian (Executive Director of the Australia–Indonesia Centre, Monash University).