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Indonesia - Life as an Expat Australian

Having lived in Medan, Indonesia for six years my life has changed in many ways. Living in a developing country is confronting for any person from a developed country, but so it should be. I would like to post in Bahasa Indonesia, but my skill with the language is still somewhat limited and I don't think that I would do justice to it at this time. My experiences here have changed my perspective of life, but my belief in social justice and equality is as strong if not stronger than ever. Many elements of life taken for granted in Australia do not exist in Indonesia, which is why they should never be assumed to be a given. This is a country where there is effectively no social safety net. There is no unemployment benefit yet there is endemic unemployment. People who do work are generally poorly paid and have limited rights. There is no old age pension except for those who work as civil servants. In essence many people survive in what ever way they can. This is but a brief summation, but I think the reality is clear enough.

Hence when I reflect back on my life in Australia there is no comparison between then and now. However, I think there are similarities arising from the insidious developments in my home country. Many of the givens that I have mentioned here are under attack and must not be taken for granted. Apathy will allow social decay to progress unabated and the downward spiral will continue. The result of social and economic neglect is self-evident in this country and is becoming more evident as every day passes in Australia.

I intended this post as a brief introduction so I will have more to say at a later date.

Terima kasih
Scott Barnard

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