Since its founding, ANU has been a primary resource for Australia’s deepening engagement with Asia and the Pacific. The ANU’s mission has been to learn about, from, and with Asia and the Pacific, with Indonesia being the most immediate Asian neighbor and of tremendous importance to Australia. Indonesia is one of the world’s most bio-ethno-socio-linguistically diverse countries. It is also one of the world’s most populous democratic countries. It has been undergoing significant socio-political-economic transformations in modern era. Indonesia is therefore a living laboratory for studies across different fields in the humanities and social sciences. The establishment of the joint interdisciplinary research centre will benefit ANU in a number of ways. Through the collaboration with the relevant Indonesian partners in proposed joint research centre, the ANU researchers will undertake innovative research on the dynamics of contemporary Indonesia. The centre will enable the ANU to sustain its lead in quality and excellence in the relevant fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences (e.g. Anthropology/Cultural Studies, Archeology, History, Linguistics and languages) with the areal focus of Indonesia. The joint centre will also provide a means for the ANU to connect the humanities and social sciences, and its unparalleled regional expertise with different stake holders, showcasing the ANU humanities-based outreach to, and engagement with, Indonesia at both the national and regional/local levels.  All these are in line with the ANU’s 2018-2021strategic plans, e.g. to actively maintain the leader in expertise on this world’s dynamic region.
The joint centre will provide the opportunities for the researchers at Udayana University to collaborate with ANU researchers in advanced research across different disciplines in the humanities, languages and social sciences. The ANU is one of world’s best universities (currently 24th in the 2019 QS World University ranking). The engagement of the local Udayana academic staff members in different research activities with their ANU counterparts at the centre is expected to lead to improvement in local research capability and in the proportion of local academic staff winning competitive research grants and producing high quality papers published in high ranked (e.g. SCOPUS-indexed) international journals. This is in line with Udayana University’s strategic plan to improve its ranking towards a world class university.