Seventy years of Indonesian independence

Black Armada_IDfinal_landscape

August 17 2015 is the 70th anniversary of Indonesia’s declaration of independence. The occupation of Indonesia by the Japanese during World War II had ended with the Japanese surrender on 15 August. A small group of nationalists swiftly chose the moment to proclaim independence.

The Dutch had controlled Indonesia for over 300 years before World War II and when the war ended, they wanted to return to their colony they called the Netherlands East Indies. They had fled to Australia at the advance of the Japanese in 1942 and established a government in exile. In 1945 the Dutch loaded ships with military arms and personnel and readied them to leave from Australian ports.

But from September 1945 hundreds of Dutch ships became the target of boycotts by Australian maritime workers sympathetic to the Indonesian cause and they prevented or delayed many ships from sailing to Indonesia. The boycotts were called ‘black bans’ and the Dutch ships were later described as a Black Armada. Indonesian sailors refused to crew the Dutch vessels. Indian sailors in Sydney supported them and rebelled against the task of re-colonising Indonesia for the Dutch. Chinese sympathisers added their support. Many Australians began to question and protest against the return of the Dutch to Indonesia.

This was an important moment in the survival of the newly declared independent nation. From September 1945 Australian support for Indonesia grew beyond the labour movement and the Australian government ultimately led the way in international recognition of an independent Indonesia in 1949. This period of strong connections between Australia and Indonesia has since largely been forgotten in both nations.

From 20 August 2015 the Australian National Maritime Museum, in conjunction with the Museum Benteng Vredeburg in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is displaying an exhibition about this Australian support for Indonesian independence: Black Armada – Australian support in upholding Indonesian independence (Armada Hitam – Dukungan Australia dalam mempertahankan kemerdekaan Indonesia).

The Museum Benteng Vredeburg in Yogyakarta on the island of Java is a restored 17th century Dutch fortress. It now contains displays about the Indonesian struggle for independence, including many wonderful dioramas portraying key historical events. The museum is also displaying Black Armada from 31 August 2015.

You can read further information on the fascinating historical events of this period in the digital story The Ships That Didn’t Sail.

Museum Benteng Vredeburg, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Photograph Jeffrey Mellefont

Museum Benteng Vredeburg, Yogyakarta, Indonesia – Photograph Jeffrey Mellefont

Pameran Armada Hitam

Agustus 17, 2015, ini Hari Ulang Tahun ke 70 Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia. Penjajahan Jepang di Indonesia selama Perang Dunia ke II berakhir karena Jepang menyerah Agustus 15,1945. Sekelompok pemuda Indonesia cepat menyita saat ini untuk kemerdekaan di proklamasi.

Sebelum Perang Dunia ke II, Belanda telah menjajah Indonesia 300 tahun lebih dan ingin kembali ke tanah jajahan mereka, Netherlands East Indies (NEI). Belanda melarikan diri ke Australia karena tentara Jepang mendesak di tahun 1942, dan mereka mendirikan pemerintah pengasingannya di Australia. Pada tahun 1945, Belanda memuat kapal mereka dengan persenjataan dan pasukan, sedia berangkat dari pelabuhan- pelabuhan Australia untuk kembali ke Indonesia.

Namun sejak September 1945, ratusan kapal Belanda menjadi sasaran boikot oleh para pekerja maritim Australia yang mendukung kemerdekaan Indonesia. Kapal-kapal dicegah atau dihalang- halangi kembali ke Indonesia. Boikot ini diberi nama ‘larangan hitam/black ban’ dan kapal-kapal Belanda kemudian digambarkan sebagai ‘Armada Hitam/Black Armada’ Pelaut Indonesia menolak kerja di kapal Belanda. Pelaut Hindia di Sydney mendukung pelaut Indonesia dan mereka memberontak dan menolak semua pekerjaan untuk mengembalikan penjajahan Belanda di Indonesia. Pelaut China juga memberi dukungannya. Kebanyakan orang Australia memikir masalah ini dan memprotes kembalinya Belanda ke Indonesia.

Ini merupakan saat yang penting dalam mempertahankan perjuangan kemerdekaan Indonesia. Dukungan Australia kepada Indonesia berkembang melampaui gerakan buruh dan pemerintah Australia pada akhirnya berada di barisan depan pengakuan internasional atas kemerdekaan Indonesia. Periode ini menguatnya hubungan antara Indonesia dan Australia sejak masa itu sering dilupakan kedua bangsa.

Mulai Agustus 20, 2015 Museum Maritim National Australia di Sydney bersama dengan Museum Benteng Vredeburg di Yogyakarta, Indonesia menyelenggarakan pameran tentang dukungan Australia ini – Pameran Armada Hitam – Dukungan Australia dalam mempertahankan kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Museum Benteng Vredeburg di Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa di pulau Jawa, salah satu benteng Belanda abad ke17 yang diperbaiki. Museum ini mempunyai pameran tentang perjuangan kemerdekaan termasuk diorama- diorama saat penting di perjuangan kemerdekaan Indonesia. Museum ini akan memamerkan pameran ‘Armada Hitam’ mulai Agustus 31, 2015.

Bapak dan Ibu, siswa dan siswi mendapat keterangan lebih lanjut tentang kejadian di periode sejarah yang menarik sekali di cerita digital/ digital story bernama ‘Kapal Yang Tidak Melayar/ The Ships That Didn’t Sail

Terima kasih untuk terjemahan Pak Anthony Liem

4 thoughts on “Seventy years of Indonesian independence

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