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“Different Societies, Shared Futures” by David Reeve Essay- by EduBirdie

Table of Contents


Summary of key points



Essay on “Different Societies, Shared Futures” by David Reeve

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The article talks about worrying issues that persist between Australia and Indonesia. David Reeve uses various evidence from each of the countries to prove that suspicion exists between them.

Moreover, he cites many reasons, which range from religion to culture as key among the grounds for suspicion (Reeve, 2006, pp. 69-86).

Summary of key points

David Reeve provides comprehensive evidence of mistrust between Indonesia and Australia. He looks at possible causes of suspicion from each of the sides.

For instance, he starts by noting Indonesia’s concerns namely Australia’s participation in the separation of East Timor, Australia’s interest in Corby case, and Indonesia’s belief that there exists a worldwide conspiracy against Islam (which includes Australia and Western countries).

Other reasons for concern include Australian’s treatment of its neighbor’s traditional fishermen, Australia’s perceived involvement in bugging it’s neighbor’s embassy, and concerns that Australian NGOs could be acting as intelligence in preparation for the cessation of Papua as they did in East Timor.

Reeves Edubirdie uses various evidence from journalists and writers as well as politicians to prove his theories. Also, he provides various excerpts from write-ups to aid his explanations. He utilizes this evidence to portray Indonesia’s perception of Australia.

After which, he uses other evidence such as Schapelle Corby’s drug case and a report on Australian security threat by ASPI to portray Australia’s perception of Indonesia. The latter mentions Indonesia as the chief threat to Australia by nearly a third of respondents.

Politics & Government ?

He goes on to provide recommendations aimed at minimizing suspicions. Most prominently, Reeves mentions the need for increased knowledge to bridge this gap (Reeve, 2006, pp. 69-86).


Several issues arise for and against the two countries. Firstly, Indonesia’s culture and Australian culture seem to depart given their origins. There is a cultural conflict between western and Asian cultures. This has caused suspicion as can be seen in Australia’s belittling of Indonesia’s culture.

Additionally, there is a conflict of religion between the countries. Since Indonesia is mainly an Islamic nation while Australia is mainly a Christian nation, the citizens’ ideologies differ, and this has led to unrest between the countries.

Reeve mentions religion as a factor in Australia’s need for cessation of East Timor.

Furthermore, the drug is also a serious issue of concern between the countries. Besides, Australia seems to consider itself more superior than Indonesia since it is economically sound.

Still, the author mentions inadequate knowledge as a reason for suspicion. In essence, Australia needs to consider its neighbor as an equal partner to foster peace.


Reeve, D. (2006). Strange, Suspicious Packages. In J. Monfries (Ed.), Different Societies, Shared Futures: Australia, Indonesia and the Region (pp. 69-86). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs.

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