Meet Caroline Chan: AIC Skills Futures Fellow

The Australia-Indonesia Centre welcomes Professor Caroline Chan as its Skills Futures Fellow.

“Skills Futures,” explains Professor Chan, “is about the knowledge and skills that we require for the future… where a lot of automation and artificial intelligence and robotic technology will be used.”

With a background in eBusiness and supply chain management, Caroline specialises in applying standards to information systems in industry, helping to ensure that products, such as data or skills development for example, meet the needs of the end user.

As the AIC’s inaugural  Skills Futures Fellow, she will explore how Indonesia is preparing its workforce as it pursues its digital and Industry 4.0 agendas.

“There is a gap,” she says, “between what is expected by the industry and the current workers’ and graduates’ knowledge and skills.

“I think it’s part of our responsibility to share with a country like Indonesia what we have.”

Professor Chan will look particularly at how Australia’s education sector can play a part in contributing to Indonesia’s workforce development, especially in areas of competency standards, integrated training systems and curriculum design.

“A country like Indonesia tends to focus very much on the specialist skills, or mechanical skills.”

These include the ability to balance financial statements, or drive a truck, but “when we’re dealing with artificial intelligence and robotics,” she points out, “maybe we are not required anymore to drive a truck.”

As recently outlined in the AIC’s Stronger Education Partnerships report, Indonesia’s skills gap presents huge potential right now for Australian education providers to both grow their business, and deepen Australia’s engagement with Indonesia.

“We can share what we have,” says Chan, “but at the same time [education partnerships] allow us to also understand and learn from Indonesia, about the way they work, and also understand the philosophy that they’re working in.”

Professor Chan started her involvement with the Australia-Indonesia Centre working on a project titled ‘Recognition of Australian qualifications in Indonesia’.  The project presented evidence to support the unconditional recognition of the Australian bachelor degree in the fields of commerce, finance, management and communications.

She is currently the president of the Australian Council of Professors and Heads of Information Systems (ACPHIS) and chair of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) accreditation committee. She is also a former head of the School of Business IT and Logistics at RMIT University and was responsible for expanding university–industry linkages in Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and China.

Caroline was born in Surabaya and speaks fluent Bahasa Indonesia.

Read more about Professor Caroline Chan.


The AIC Fellowship Program draws together a network of researchers and industry practitioners that bring with them a diversity of experiences and perspectives to help advance the AIC’s research and outreach agendas.