Jennifer Lindsay is an award-winning writer, translator, researcher and cultural ambassador whose breadth of work reflects her deeply lived understanding of Indonesia, where she has spent nearly half her life.

Since arriving in Indonesia in 1970 and studying Javanese gamelan music and Javanese and Indonesian languages, Jennifer’s positions have included Cultural Attaché at the Australian Embassy, Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, and Project Leader filming and cataloguing historic manuscripts at the Sultan’s palace in Yogyakarta.

Jennifer has translated many literary works from Indonesian into English and has twice been short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Translation Prize. Her translations include four anthologies of essays by Goenawan Mohamad; Leila S Chudori’s novel Nadira; Hersri Setiawan’s Buru Island: A Prison Memoir; Linus Suryadi’s poetic work Pariyem’s Confession; and short stories by various writers.

An essayist and columnist herself, in 2012 Jennifer was awarded the Australian Book Review’s Copyright Agency Fellowship for her essay on Goenawan Mohamad. From 2012-18 she wrote her own column about the Indonesian language in the English edition of the Indonesian journal Tempo.

Jennifer has edited, translated and contributed essays to many academic volumes, writing on cultural policy, cultural history, performance, media, and language. She also directed a documentary film about Indonesia’s cultural missions during the Soekarno period.

In 2019, the Governor of Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, awarded Jennifer the prestigious Anugerah Budaya, a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to the study and promotion of Indonesian culture.

Now an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University, Jennifer divides her time between Indonesia and Australia and focuses on writing and translating.

She can be contacted at

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