Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 10:55 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 10:55 | SYDNEY

Our colleague, Hadi Soesastro

6 May 2010 06:29

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow at the Indonesia Project, ANU.

One of Indonesia's leading scholars of international economics and regional affairs, Hadi Soesastro, died on Tuesday. This is a huge loss — to Indonesia, to Australia, and to Asia.

Dr Hadi Soesastro was for many years Executive Director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia's leading think tank on international affairs.

For over 40 years, thousands of Australian and international diplomats, research workers, journalists and visitors have visited the CSIS to attend seminars and meet with CSIS staff. And for nearly all of this time – when he was not away representing the CSIS at international gatherings — Hadi Soesastro was ubiquitous in the corridors of CSIS, somehow always finding time to meet his international colleagues and friends, and always with extraordinary courtesy, good humour, and a remarkable ability to offer incisive views about events of the day.

Hadi Soesastro's numerous academic and other publications in newspapers, journals, and conference papers relate to almost every aspect of Indonesia's interests in regional and international affairs.

He was a frequent visitor, too, to Australia, often visiting universities to give seminars or to take part in conferences, or to give talks at institutions such as the Lowy Institute. In July last year, he was awarded an honorary degree at the ANU in recognition of his work to regional and international relations, and for his contribution to Australia-Indonesia relations.

But what his hundreds of Australian friends will miss most is the warmth of Hadi's presence — his unfailing grace, his smile, his gentle chuckle when recounting the latest Jakarta anecdote, and his keen insights on current trends in Indonesia and the world.