Transport fellows reflect upon lessons from Melbourne presentations

Transport fellows at Port of Melbourne office

An Indonesian transport delegation has concluded a two-week stint in Melbourne reflecting upon lessons for positive change.


The group of officials came together as transport fellows under a program run by the Australia-Indonesia Centre through the DFAT Australia Awards Fellowships, with a particular focus on learning how to integrate research findings into policy for the new Makassar–Parepare railway.

fellows using public transport in Melbourne
Australia Awards transport fellows travel on metro city train in Melbourne


The fellows concluded their two weeks with a visit to Australia’s largest container terminal at the Port of Melbourne, hearing from a range of senior executives.

Head of marine operations Arun Rampal explained the role of the port in the economies of Victoria and Australia and how it facilitates trade with Asia,  its function as a privatised port and its role as a landlord for stevedoring or waterfront operations.

Senior project manager Matthew Brooks talked about the Port Rail Transformation Project and getting more trucks off road and onto trains in the port precinct.

Reflecting on a busy fortnight, transport fellow Muhammad Isran Ramli, the dean of engineering at Universitas Hasanuddin, said the group’s time in Australia had provided new insights.

“What we will try to develop after returning is how to formulate a government policy or program related to optimising the capacity development of the Makassar–Parepare railway based on real evidence in society and the results of research at universities in Indonesia,” Prof. Ramli said.

“We need to continue to encourage good coordination between various stakeholders in the transportation sector.”

Fellows with disability
Dr Ishak Salim, the head of Hasanuddin University’s disability centre with fellows from the Indonesian Disability Movement Foundation for Equality (PerDIK)


Ishak Salim, the head of  Hasanuddin University’s disability centre and the Indonesian Disability Movement Foundation for Equality (PerDIK) used the visit to take note of the services made available.

Dr Ishak said he paid particular attention to disability issues including the facilities in apartments, transport facilities and offices.

“There are many things that we can learn to develop on campus, especially related to signs, regulations and good practices that I observed,” he said.

“My colleague, Mr. Lutfy and I, as people with disabilities, tried out the existing facilities, and observed that accessibility on the train and the instructions were very varied,” he said.

“For example there was Braille for the blind, voice assistance for the deaf and an arrangement of the steps and a special path for the disabled.”

Road signs and markings and traffic lights accompanied by sound also assist people with disabilities, he noted.

Head of the City of Makassar Regional Development Agency, Helmy Budiman, described their time in Australia as “an extraordinary experience”, noting the strengths of the Melbourne transport system.

“I’m basically an economist, so we learned a lot of new knowledge about transportation,” Mr Helmy said.

“With one card managed by Public Transport Victoria, we [were able to] access buses, trains and trams. With one rate per day you can go anywhere.”

According to Eny Yuliawati, head of The Transportation Safety and Security Policy Division, Policy Agency, Indonesian Ministry of Transportation, a visit to the Metro Tunnel HQ and the Port of Melbourne showed the potential of private sector involvement in infrastructure development.

“I hope that things that have been successfully implemented in Australia can be taken as lessons in Indonesia regarding partnerships with the private sector,” she said.

The transport fellows’ time in Melbourne concluded with further presentations at the Australia-Indonesia Centre offices at Monash Caulfield.

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Digital Communications Coordinator
The Australia-Indonesia Centre

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Former Digital Communications Coordinator
The Australia-Indonesia Centre