Farewell to Consul General Bronwyn Robbins: Passionate supporter of South Sulawesi development

Bronwyn Robbins (on right) speaks with woman on train

In Makassar’s realm, a leader did shine. With dedication unmatched, she forged ahead, building bridges and pathways where they led. Her tireless efforts, a testament true to fostering bonds, both old and new. In Makassar’s embrace, her presence felt, a diplomat with a heart that truly dwelt in the people she served with love and care.

Bronwyn Robbins has concluded her term as Australia’s Consul-General in Makassar. The AIC was fortunate to work with Bronwyn since she took on the role three years ago. At the time our flagship program, the Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research (PAIR), was in its early stages of implementation. Bronwyn was a valued member of PAIR’s Research Advisory Panel (RAP).

Bronwyn’s ability to connect with people in South Sulawesi was immediately evident; her genuine warmth and willingness to listen attentively made her a trusted and respected figure. Despite the physical distancing brought about by the pandemic, she made it a priority to ensure everyone felt valued and heard. Bronwyn’s wealth of professional experience was shared generously and with great effect in support of our work.

A commitment to collaboration

Throughout the past three years, Bronwyn consistently provided unwavering support for the AIC and its PAIR research. Her commitment to fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange and capacity building between Australia and Indonesia has significantly contributed to the growth and impact of our programs.

Bronwyn played a crucial role as a member of the PAIR Research Advisory Panel that reviewed and approved each project. Her support extended into advocacy, sharing and discussing project findings with local stakeholders and elevating our work through her channels internally and externally.

Her support extended to diverse areas of PAIR research, including the promotion of the sustainable seaweed industry and enhancing the seaweed trade from South Sulawesi to Australia. Recognising seaweed’s economic potential, Bronwyn worked tirelessly to facilitate partnerships and create opportunities for sustainable growth.

Additionally, she truly supported our research promoting an inclusive Makassar-Parepare railway line.

Bronwyn also prioritised the empowerment of young people, recognising them as the drivers of progress and championed initiatives focused on skills training. Bronwyn also took an active interest in the health and wellbeing of the communities in South Sulawesi and supported efforts aimed at addressing health challenges and promoting overall well-being, ensuring the incorporation of Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) in all of our research.

Bronwyn Robbins (right) with AIC industry fellow Valerina Daniel (centre left) and other Australian alumni from eastern Indonesia. Credit: Konjen Makassar

Fostering South Sulawesi – Australia relations

Bronwyn worked tirelessly to maintain and strengthen the relations between South Sulawesi and Australia, actively engaging with local communities, promoting cultural exchanges and facilitating educational and economic initiatives. Her warm and personal approach and genuine interest in the people and culture of Makassar contributed to the strengthening of enduring partnerships and mutual understanding, one of which was the establishment of AIC-South Sulawesi Joint Working Group in 2021 that allows a stronger Australia-South Sulawesi relationship in research and education.

Thank you and good luck

As Bronwyn Robbins embarks on a new endeavour, we express our gratitude for her contribution. Bronwyn Robbins will be missed for her unwavering commitment and passion for strengthening bilateral ties.

We extend our heartfelt thanks and hope to see her again in the future in a different role.

Sampai berjumpa lagi, Ibu Bronwyn!

As her time concludes, we bid adieu,
To a Consul-General who remained true.
Bronwyn Robbins, a name we’ll remember,
For her legacy in Makassar, forever.

Feature image by PAIR.


Picture of Hasnawati Saleh

PAIR Research Coordinator, the Australia-Indonesia Centre

Picture of Kevin Evans

Indonesia Director, the Australia-Indonesia Centre

Picture of Fadhilah Trya Wulandari

PAIR Program Officer