Today’s post was going to be about the rehearsal for the PM’s visit but alas…
First of all, I will finally give some details about this visit (I realise I’ve been vague about it, but I didn’t really know much about it other than ‘I’m meeting the PM!’)
So, as you’ve probably seen in the news, Kevin travelled to Japan earlier this week and today he is in Indonesia. Australia gives aid to a whole range of countries, as one could expect, and until very recently Australia gave more of its aid dollars to Papua New Guinea than any other country. But that’s recently changed. Now Australia gives more money to Indonesia than PNG. That isn’t entirely surprising considering the difference in size of the two countries, but it is quite symbolic because it means that Indonesia, out of all the countries in the world, is a priority country for Australia. One could write a very long list of reasons why this is, but you can probably think of a couple of reasons off the top of your head and they’d probably be right.
So, further to that, within the context of a large Australia aid program in Indonesia, one of the identified priority locations is Aceh. Again, I can think of a few reasons for this and they’re probably right, but there are probably more complex reasons for this that I’m not privy to. One thing I do know is that Australia is extremely proud of its work in Aceh, and it’s fairly justified. There have been many, many successes and failures in Aceh, but Australia has had a pretty good run, and there are more than a few stories that would make you feel pretty happy about how your tax dollars have been spent here. So when Prime Minister Rudd decided to go on a trip to Indonesia it makes sense that he chooses to drop into Aceh (only for a few hours) to highlight one of the jewels in the crown.
That’s where I come in. Even though I work for someone else (quiet separate from Australia and its aid program), as an AYAD I am part of Australia’s aid web. My guess is that a memo has recently gone around AusAID about increasing the visibility of the AYAD program, because after months with no contact with them at all I’ve been called to participate in two events in one week. Furthermore, although I haven’t received official confirmation, in provisional schedules the AYADs have been specifically singled out for time with the big man. Cool, but very unexpected.
I will report back on whether this eventuates or whether I end up taking a photo from across a crowded room. We were supposed to have the rehearsal this afternoon — at which I was expecting to find out more information so I could start to get nervous accordingly — but it’s been postponed to later this evening. We’ve been told to be on standby for a few hours until we get the call.*
*It turns out that if you’re organising an event with the PM you can pretty much expect people to do anything, even on a Friday night, and they will be obliging.
P.S. I found a nice dress in my housemate’s wardrobe that will be just right for meeting Kevin. Thanks to Lars for the note about the stockings in the last post. I’m going to follow your advice.