New transport fellows meet in Makassar to begin training program

Over three days a group of people with an interest in improving transport services in South Sulawesi came together as part of an Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) new fellowship program.


The 16 participants in the Transport Fellowship have completed the first part of the training in Makassar, the capital city of the Indonesian province and the starting point for the new rail line. This ambitious train service connecting two cities along the western seaboard is the first for the island and also an area of research focus for the AIC.

The group of mid-senior level government officials and transport organisation representatives will learn how to apply the AIC’s Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research (PAIR) research to policymaking to generate improved community outcomes.

The fellows met in Makassar from 1-3 August to join a series of briefings on the Makassar – Parepare railway line delivered by PAIR researchers and senior government officials. The briefings provided key context and background about the railway ahead of the core program in Melbourne from 23 October – 3 November. The fellows also took a trip on the new railway line to experience the new infrastructure for themselves.

The AIC’s new transport fellows include representatives from the Ministry of Transport, the Transport Policy Agency, the Directorate General of Railways, the South Sulawesi Railway Management Agency, universities, the South Sulawesi Planning, Development and Research Agency, Transport Planning Departments from several districts and disability advocacy organisations.

The program was opened by Anggrianii Ishak from the South Sulawesi Planning, Development and Research Agency, Dr Ichsan Mustari from the Regional Secretariat, the new Consul General for Australia in Makassar Todd Dias and PAIR program manager Marlene Millott. Program designers Professor Hemanta Doloi and Dr Imam Muthohar also laid out the plan for the program.

The fellows were excited for the program to get underway.

Six people standing in front of railway giving thumbs up sign.
AIC fellows and staff at Garonkong Station.

Speakers on the first day included Dr Eny Yuliawati from the Transport Policy Agency who provided an introduction to the railway line, followed by PAIR researchers Professor Nyoman Pujawan and Dr Dyah Rahmawati Hizbaron who discussed maximising the effectiveness of the railway line through risk management and freight and passenger demand forecasting. Professor Siti Malkhamah from PAIR also presented on the topic of intermodal transport and connectivity.

On the second day, we welcomed Farida Makhmudah from the Centre for Land Transportation Human Resources Development, Ministry of Transport, to discuss planning, capacity building and human capital development to support the success of the railway line. This was followed by Dr Siti Maimunah from the Ministry of Transport who spoke on transport performance indicators and intermodal transport. Lastly, PAIR researcher Dr Tony Dwi Susanto presented on Smart City planning for the districts along the railway line – Makassar, Maros, Barru, Pangkep and Parepare, including an excellent discussion on inclusive cities for people with disabilities.

The group visited the Makassar-Parepare railway line on the final day of the program. They boarded at Maros station and travelled on the train to Garongkong Station and back. The trip was hosted by the South Sulawesi Railway Management Agency and it’s fair to say there was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm as the train set off.

At Garongkong Station the group toured the facility and listened to Fellow Rizqi Prastyo, the Head of Operations at the South Sulawesi Railway Management Agency. Rizqi described the station’s facilities which include disabled bathrooms, a nursing room for mothers and a prayer room. He noted that while the station currently only operates between Maros and Garongkong, the next stage will open soon.

The information session at Garongkong was the final activity for this part of the training, and the fellows headed back to Maros on the train. It was clear as people said their goodbyes that the fellows have quickly made professional bonds. It is hoped that the relationships built between the fellows will lead to closer cooperation between government departments and agencies on the railway line. Everyone is looking forward to meeting again in Melbourne.

The Transport Fellowship is funded by the Australian government via the Australia Awards scheme, and is supported by the Ministry of Transport, the South Sulawesi Planning, Development and Research Agency, and the South Sulawesi Railway Management Agency. We thank all our partners for their support.

Feature image by Marlene Millott and PAIR.





Picture of Marlene Millott

PAIR Program Manager,
The Australia-Indonesia Centre