Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Brisbane has brought energy to me, and all of the IofC Indonesia delegates. In 2005, Leaders from Indonesia's two most prominent Muslim organizations were at the Brisbane conference and came back refreshed and inspired. We had Abdul Mukti, Habib Chrizin and Rozy Munir who used to be the chairperson of Nahdlatul Ulama, The Minister of State- Owned Enterprises. and Indonesia Ambassador for Qatar, shared with me that the people of IofC at the Brisbane conference were inspiring; he said, “They were more Muslim than we were in Jakarta.” Since then, I have felt the same energy as he did.  He opened his office for us to work for the Asia Pacific Youth Conference(APYC)  in 2006, and also his home and all his networks and resources to make APYC possible. 

This time, we visited Brisbane for Life Matters (LM) and Melbourne as an IofC Indonesia team for public discussion,  CoP facilitation training, and collaborative activities with IofC Australia. We would like to have a longer connection with IofC Australia through collaboration, leadership, and friendship.

I felt inspired and privileged to be at LM in Brisbane from 31 May to 2 June 2024. I came with the spirit of just being there and contributing to the ice-breaking session on Trust building, the panel on identity, and the Dynamic of Change and Leadership programme.  

The family group, as a safe space, was amazing, as I had an Aboriginal friend in my group; this is my first time having a circle with such a dynamic and deep reflection from a young Aboriginal friend. She was inspired to come and share her connection with nature, and the following day, we joined her ritual to greet nature and talk to the trees as a way of showing respect and prayer. 

Having such a diverse group of young people from the Pacific, such as Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and also participants from vibrant Africa, plus Afghanistan and Myanmar, made this LM unique, special, and full of learning.

I learned how a team of elders like Barbara Lawler, Mike Lowe, Ann Holand, and Loraine and emerging leaders like Amiel, Mu, and Naomi, who were alumni of Caux Scholars, worked together and made LMC possible in Brisbane. Of course, Sudharshan and Prashanti, who are from Sydney, also supported LM.

I came to LM with less responsibility as an organizer, but being a support facilitator to this event has taught me to have a space to learn about myself, my emotions, and my wounds and to be able to share them in a family group with my wife. In this way, we learned together and were at peace in this program after being busy in Indonesia. I gained inner strength and energy by participating in small group sessions and learning from the stories of others in the group.

The topic of trust building and addressing intergenerational trauma has been my highlight  on how the people came to Australia with their cultures and traditions and who need to adapt to the new culture of Australia and deal with their family inside and outside the country. One participant from Samoa's action plan was to engage the younger generation to create a safe space for personal transformation to connect with themselves, family, and their community. 

Overall, I was amazed at how this LM was designed and how people took this chance to reflect deeply and enjoy being with one another. At the last session, almost everyone committed to being the organizer for the next LMC. What an incredible team in Brisbane!  

Here are some reflections and takeaways from the Indonesian team:

There is a story from a young woman. After I explained my relationships with people, she said:

"We moved from our home country for a better life, but what we found here is not much better, so why did we move? We immigrants are expected to achieve the same life, education, and career milestones as the locals, which is impossible because we start from a different point. Why do parents force their children to achieve everything the parents want them to achieve? We have our own ways and desires, and all of this is stressful. We respect and love our parents, but we want to live our own lives in our own way."

If life truly matters, then besides listening to ourselves (inner listening), we as parents need to listen to our children and give them the right to live their lives and make their own choices. Parents should model good practices and be there for their children in any situation.

If Life Matters, then what kind of life are we capable of living? We should consciously live the life we choose with peace and mindfulness.  - Nenden Prawira 

What is a long journey without profound reflection?
I have always believed that to catch a big fish, you need big bait. At the Life Matters Workshop in Somerset, Brisbane, I experienced a profound awakening about friendship, especially with our Pacific friends. This experience made me realize the importance of bridging relationships with them. My reflection led me to question why we often seek connections with distant people while neglecting those close to us. This journey has given me the chance to keep learning and growing, and to appreciate the relationships we can build right in our own neighborhoods. - 
Siti Zaetun (Etun)

Before the Life Matters Workshop, I was very nervous and worried that I would struggle with my English and understanding in each session. However, it exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed all the sessions, interacted with everyone comfortably, and felt open to sharing about my life in the family group.

I found that the flow of the Life Matters Workshop was designed so well that it made difficult topics easy to accept. 

I also discovered new things about myself. I realized that I still have inner-work to do, especially concerning my family. I need to address my grief over my big brother and learn to forgive the person who sexually abused me. This is a difficult path, but I gained more support through Life Matters. I understand more deeply that we all have wounds, but through these wounds we can feel the beautiful presence of God. - Anisa Ladhuny


Being a support co-facilitator in this Life Matters Workshop in Brisbane was a great honor and validation to me, a little girl coming from a village, Bangkalan Madura, for the 17th year in IofC Indonesia learning about myself and practicing what I have learned in IofC about myself and my family, enjoying serving in IofC Indonesia, my home and beloved country for me. Now it's time for me to serve even further beyond my home, in Australia. A country that now feels very close and a neighbor in my heart.
Having such diverse participants in Life Matters, especially in the Family group, where we had people from South Africa, Congo, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Indonesia. We had diverse stories that were rich with wisdom about life from all of them. This space convinced me even more to create this small space for people to be their own true self, to be vulnerable and honest with themselves. A very safe and comfortable zone that helps people to be free inside and have the independence to be the person that they are meant to be.
Following all the sessions in Life Matters empowered me to go back home, to my community. I have been equipped by IofC and now it’s time to share this with my community in Madura.
Thank you very much to all the Life Matters Core Team for the trust that has been given to me, and for all the IofC Australian team for making this trip possible for the Indonesian team. We will carry the flame in our hearts and be ready to give back to our homeland, Indonesia.- Hayati

Miftahul Huda