“No two neighbours anywhere in the world are as comprehensively unalike as Australia and Indonesia.”
Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, 25 November 2013 http://www.gevans.org/speeches/speech538.html
Indonesia is an archipelago nation in south–east Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Consisting of more than 17,000 islands, it has a population more than ten times larger than Australia. Despite differences in language, culture, and politics, Australia and Indonesia have been linked for decades.
Australians served in the Japanese-occupied Netherlands East Indies during the Second World War. They returned in 1947 as peacekeepers, and again in the 1960s as an armed force to support Malaysia during its conflict with Indonesia. In 1975, six Australian journalists were executed in East Timor while covering the Indonesian occupation. More than 20 years later, Australian peacekeepers deployed to East Timor (also known as Timor–Leste) after a vote for independence resulted in further violence at the hands of militias supported by the Indonesian military. In 2004 and 2005 the Australian Defence Force faced a different force in Indonesia – Mother Nature – after tsunamis had devastated the region.