Jakarta, MINA – The Australian Embassy in collaboration with the Australian Islamic Museum (Islamic Museum of Australia/IMA) held a virtual tour of the first and largest Islamic museum located in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday.
The virtual tour is broadcast live from the museum location in Melbourne, Australia, and virtually broadcast live via the Australian Embassy in Jakarta’s Youtube Live and Facebook Live channels.
The virtual tour is presented in Indonesian, which is then followed by an interactive question and answer session with special guests from IMA.
This virtual tour was attended by participants from various backgrounds including Muslim students and students, figures, and media in Indonesia.
This virtual tour was moderated by the Secretary II Public Affairs of the Australian Embassy Jakarta, Emma Bourke, and guided by two staff members of the Australian Islamic Museum who were on site, namely IMA Education Director Sherene Hassan with IMA volunteer who became Indonesian interpreter Judan Aburman.
Judan Aburman himself is a man born in Australia with both Indonesian parents (his mother is from Padang and his father is from Palembang).
In this virtual tour, participants are invited to explore the various collections of Islamic art and artifacts from the IMA, and learn about the significant contributions that have been made by the Islamic community to Australian history and culture.
The exclusive tour also explores the historic links between the fishing communities of South Sulawesi and Indigenous Australians.
First Islamic Museum
Director of Education of the Australian Islamic Museum, Sherene Hassan, explained that the Islamic Museum of Australia is the first museum in Australia to showcase the rich artistic heritage and historical contributions of Muslims in the country.
“This museum displays the history of Australian Muslims, related to the times when Islam began to build relations with Australia, since the arrival of fishermen from Makassar, the arrival of immigrants from England, the arrival of camel riders from Afghanistan until now,” he explained.
In addition, the Muslimah leader who is now the Vice President of the Islamic Council in Melbourne Australia, the museum also displays the success of Australian Muslims in a variety of different fields and expertise.
“Among them displays the history of fishermen and traders from Makassar,” he added.
Makassar fishermen and traders arrived on the northern coasts of Western Australia, Northern Australia and Queensland.
Makassarese people trade with the Indigenous People and source sea cucumbers which they sell as food in the lucrative Chinese market.
Two MINA journalists, Widi Kusnadi and Rana Setyawan, have visited objects of Islamic history in Australia, including the Australian Islamic Museum, in preparation for the publication of a book entitled “Muslim Malay Inventors of Australia” which was compiled based on Dr. Teuku Chalidin Yacob, MA., Founder of the Ashabul Kahfi Islamic Center Sydney.
Evidence of this early visitor can be found in the similarity of several Makassarese and Indigenous Australian coastal words.
Aboriginal cave paintings depicting traditional Makassar boats and a number of Makassar relics have been found in Aboriginal settlements on the west and north coast of Australia.
It is believed that marriages between the Orang Asli and the Makassarese took place, and the burial sites of the Makassarese have been found along the coastline.
“Muslims in Australia have a long and varied history which is thought to predate European settlement. Some of Australia’s early visitors were Muslims from eastern Indonesia. They built relations with mainland Australia from the 16th and 17th centuries, ”explains Sherene Hassan.
Australia’s first mosque was founded at Marree in northern South Australia in 1861.
The first major mosque was built in Adelaide in 1890, and another was erected at Broken Hill (New South Wales) in 1891.
Islam is Australia’s Fastest Growing Religion
Australia’s Muslim community is currently largely concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne.
Since the 1970s, Muslim communities have built mosques and Islamic schools and are making a dynamic contribution to the multi-cultural knitwear of Australian society.
There are about 175 mosques and nearly half a million Muslims in Australia. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in Australia, which is estimated to be growing at about 40 percent each year.
Australia is a diverse mix of cultures and religions where people can express their beliefs and practice their religions freely.
Australia and Indonesia are working closely together to develop understanding of Islam in the two countries through the Muslim Exchange Program. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)