The Australian Ambassador for Women and Young Women (1/11), Dr. Sharman Stone, visited Makassar and one of the agenda in Makassar met with ten leaders of Islamic women in South Sulawesi who are alumni of leadership program for Muslim women leaders at Deakin University Melbourne, which was held in September – October 2017.

The meeting was held at IMMIM Islamic Center Building, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Makassar. Appeared to attend the occasion, Consulate General of Australia, Mr. Richard Matthew, ten alumni of the Rector of Muslim University of Indonesia, Prof.Dr. Hj Masrurah Mokhtar, MA., And Rector of Makassar Islamic University, Dr. Majdah Agus Arifin Nu’mang (Rector of UIM / Chairman of PW Muslimat NU), Dr. Hj Amrah Kasim, MA (IMMIM / UIN Alauddin), Prof.Dr. Hj.Syamsudduha, MA (IMMIM / UIN Alauddin), Ir. Hj Nur Fadjri Fadeli Luran, MP (IMMIM), Dr. Nurhayati Azis, SE., MSi (Chairman of PW Aisyiyah Sulsel), Dr. Setyawati, MT (UMI / PW Muslimat NU Sulsel), Dr. Hj. Nurjannah Abna, M.Pd (UMI / IMMIM), Dra. Nurlinda Azis, M.Psi (PW Aisyiyah / Unismuh) and Dr. Ir. Yuspiani Naro, M.Pd (Kemenag Sulsel) and representatives from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

The meeting was hosted by Nurfadjri’s mother Fadeli Luran known as bu Ulfa who is one of the leaders in IMMIM. In his speech, Ulfah’s mother presented the opportunities and challenges faced by women, including Muslim women in Makassar.

The Australian Consul General in Makassar, Richard Matthews said the visit was a valuable opportunity to discuss how Australia can continue to work with partners in eastern Indonesia. Such cooperation can increase the participation of women and their families in accessing services to the community, including the economy, education and health.

The ten Muslim women leaders expressed that the opportunity to follow leadership training in Australia is a very valuable experience that can be used in solving the problems faced by women.

The intense encounter and interaction of these alumi pushed the formation of the Muslim Women Leader Forum (MWLF), a forum that aims to encourage women’s empowerment and improve women’s economic, political, health, educational and religious capacities. One of the steps to be achieved is to invite men’s participation as supporters of women’s empowerment.

Dr. Sharman Stone said that Australia is working with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia in encouraging women’s participation in leadership, economic empowerment of women and ending violence against women. Dr. Stone also emphasized that his visit to Makassar is in order to learn the successful and successful gender equality practices in Makassar as well as establish friendships and fraternities with Makassar women to strengthen the struggle to improve the welfare of society and the wider society. Dr Stone also conveyed one of the policies in the Australian government, the Male Champions of Change (MCC) program, a program to encourage men as gender equality figures. In improving women’s capacity in various fields, women can not work alone, women need to work together and gain support from their working partners, ie men.