Dr Vannessa Hearman

Vannessa Hearman

Vannessa Hearman, Sydney University

Local and National Level Measures to Safeguard Human Rights Under President Joko Widodo

This paper examines some local human rights activism in the last years of the Yudhoyono administration (2012-2014) and the opportunities opened up to activists as a result of Indonesia’s policy of regional autonomy. These local initiatives are nonetheless informed by global activism on human rights, thus demonstrating the transnational links that local activists enjoy and the influence of global discourses on human rights.

While local initiatives had proven to be fertile ground for human rights activists, I argue that an emphasis on the local has proven risky, in view of recent increases in attacks against human rights gatherings and campaigns in Indonesia.

National level policy changes remain crucial to advance human rights, hence the significance of Indonesia’s April 2016 national symposium on the 1965 anti-communist violence.

Advanced breakout language sessions

  • Session one: Demam sejarah
  • Session two: Kegiatan: Menulis dan membicarakan tentang masa lalu

Please note: Advanced are those with 150+ hours of formal and informal Indonesian language study.


Vannessa Hearman is a lecturer in Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney and a historian of Southeast Asia. Her research deals with the violent anti-communist repression in Indonesia (1965-68), the history of Indonesian social movements, and transnational activism related to Indonesia and East Timor.

She has published her research in academic journals such as Critical Asian Studies, South East Asia Research and Indonesia and several book chapters. She is completing a monograph for NUS Press on the destruction of the Indonesian communist movement in East Java, Indonesia. For more see Dr Vannessa Hearman’s staff profile.