top of page

Indonesian Literature Club,  Sydney

Toni & Kesty
Kesty & Toni

Indo Lit Club’s mission is to create a friendly, fun, stimulating and inclusive atmosphere, where people from all backgrounds share their love and curiosity of Indonesia through literature and of Indonesia seen though Australian eyes in books about Indonesia.



The discussions are mainly in English, with those wishing to do so, contributing in Indonesian.  Non-Indonesian speakers are welcome. Participants can also improve their Indonesian by reading both language versions of the texts in tandem, and holding informal conversations over coffee and snacks.

The club hosts regular monthly daytime meetings at the Customs House Library, 31 Albert Street, Circular Quay, Sydney NSW 2000.

Topic, details of meeting and text in Bahasa Indonesia and its English translation (for short stories) are sent by email prior to the meeting.



We produce short videos of interviews /conversations with Australian authors who write about Indonesia, talking about their books, their inspiration as writers and their experience of Indonesia.

The videos are subtitled in Bahasa Indonesia to allow an Indonesian audience to enjoy them too and see what interests Australians about their country.

The videos are published in various media including  YouTube.

Enjoy the first of the series here:

Note:  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we now have virtual meetings until further notice.  

Virtual Meeting schedule: every second Thursday of the month, at 11:00 AM Sydney/Melbourne/ACT time and running for 1.5 hours.

For registration and more information, contact us at

Past Discussions Topics


2 July 2020

Keluarga/ The Family  (Virtual)

  • Pohon Lengkeng / The Longan Tree

  • Dapur / The Kitchen by Lily Yulianti Farid

  • Ruang Keluarga / The Family Room by  Lily Yulianti Farid

April 2020

Boy Meets Girl/ Girl Meets Boy (Virtual)

  • Gazelle by Bondan Winarno

  • Chapter 3 Bertenung / Predicting the Future from Memang Jodoh by Marah Rusli

4 June 2020

Featured Author : Nukila Amal  (Virtual)

  • Laluba /Dolphin

  • Singgah di Sirkus  / Going to the Circus

12 March 2020

Women Writers

  • Lelaba /Spiders by Clara Ng

  • Mercusuar / The Lighthouse by Linda Christanty

  • Bayi Ketujuh / Seventh Baby by Lan Fang

7 May 2020 

Indonesian 'Comfort Women' in WWII" (Virtual)

  •  Chapter Lili’s Story from Mirah dari Banda / Mirah of Banda

  • 50 Years of Silence   Jan Ruff O’Hearne  ABC’s Australian Story Film

13 February 2020

Dunia Sukab / Sukab's World

stories from the Soeharto Era

by Seno Gumira Ajidarma

  •  Chapter Lili’s Story from Mirah dari Banda / Mirah of Banda

  • 50 Years of Silence   Jan Ruff O’Hearne  ABC’s Australian Story Film


4 December 2019

Grief & Sorrow

  • Airmata - Airmata /  Tears by Skylashtar Maryam

  • Goa Maria /  Goa Maria by Bernard Batubara

  • La Rangku /  La Rangku by Niduparas Erlang

6 November 2019

Symbolism of Birds

  • Lali Panggora / The Hawk that Heralds Death by Saut Poltak Tambunan

  • Seorang Istri dan Seekor Burung Buta /  The Wife and the Blind Bird by Romi Zaman

  • Selamat Jalan Fierda /  Farewell Fierda , by Ian Campbell - A Poem

16 October 2019


  • Keberangkatan / Departures  by Nh. Dini - A Novel

11 September 2019

Tales from Eastern Indonesia

  • Kak Sulaeman / My Brother Sulaeman by Darmawati Madjid

  • Nika Baronta / Nika Baronta by Alan Malingi

  • Tugé / The Tugé by Gus tf Sakai

14 August 2019

Food in Words - Indonesia’s Culinary Culture in Literature

  • Kepala K / The Sate Barbeque by Mona Sylviana

  • Dinner party Chapter from Mirah dari Banda / Mirah of Banda by Hanna Rambe

  • Pabaruak / The Monkey Handler by Boni Chandra

10 July 2019

Managing Mental Illness in Indonesia

  • Gadis Terindah / The Most Beautiful Girl by Gus tf Sakai

  • Rumah Jompo / The Nursing Home by Bayu Pratama

12 June 2019

Woman as Dancer

  • Nalar's Mask / Topeng Nalar by Dewi Utari

  • The Dancer / Tandak by Royyan Julian

9 May 2019

Quirky Tales of Modern Life

  • Bingung / Confused by Fadel Ilahi El-Dimsky

  • Partikel-Partikel Tuhan / The God Particles by Leopold A. Surya Indrawan

  • Tape Recorder di Kampung Kami / Tape Recorder in Our Village by Amanche Franck

17 April 2019

Ritual Practices in Java

  •  Gemblak / The Gemblak by Emil Amir

  • Ronjhengan / Ronjhengan by Ahmad Muchlis Amrin

20 March 2019

Toraja Death Rituals

  • Surga Ibu / Mother's Heaven by Fitrawan Umar

  • Pot Na Enga Tako / Pot Na Enga Tako by Gus tf Sakai

14 February 2019

Adat Minangkabau - West Sumatran Matrilineal Culture


  • Lelaki yang Dibeli / The Groom's Price by Uda Agus

  • Chapters 1, 2 of Memang Jodoh / Made for Each Other by Marah Rusli

glimpses of Indo Lit Club meetings | photos by Toni Pollard


6 December 2018


  • Risalah Lidah / Tale of the Tongue by Clara Ng

  • Menjual Trenggiling / Selling the Pangolin by Oly Rinson

  • Batu Bujang / River Stones by Benny Anas

14 November 2018

Foreign Domestic Workers (TKW)

  • Hong Kong / Hong Kong

  • Saleha dalam Ribut Salju / Saleha in the Snow Storm by Ida Ahdiah

  • Surat Berdarah untuk Bapak Presiden / A Blood- Stained Letter to Mr. President by Jaladara

11 Oct 2018

Impact of the Violent Upheavals

of 1998 and 1965

Stories by Mona Sylviana

  • Wajah Terakhir / The Last Face

  • Dongeng Penebusan / A Tale of Redemption


discussions topics

Co-Organised by

Profile of Organisers

Kestity Pringgoharjono was the Executive Director of Lontar Foundation from 2011-2014, a non-profit organisation promoting Indonesian literature in English, before being appointed to join Lontar’s Board of Trustees in 2015 ( She is also the founder of Preserve Indonesia, a non-profit arts & cultural initiative, and for over a decade has been working to develop arts & cultural links with Indonesia, her home country, in different countries. She co-authored “The Centhini Story, The Javanese Journey of Life”, published by Marshall Cavendish Asia (Times Editions) and while living in Hong Kong, she worked as an interpreter (Indonesian/English) for Judiciary Hong Kong.

Toni Pollard has been a teacher of Indonesian in Australia since 1967, both at high school and university level and more recently as a private tutor. A NAATI qualified translator with twenty-five years experience in translation across many fields, Toni took up literary translation after her retirement from the University of Western Sydney at the end of 2004. Working mostly with Lontar, Toni’s translations include the novels Mirah of Banda by Hanna Rambe and Departures by NH Dini, as well as the short story collection by Gus tf Sakai, Night’s Disappearance. Since 2008 Toni has translated countless short stories, articles and essays for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival’s bilingual publication of the works of emerging Indonesian writers attending the annual event.   

bottom of page