Mr Murray Clapham
Murray Clapham was a former Australian diplomat who served in Jakarta during the crucial years of transition from the last years of President Sukarno’s Guided Democracy in 1963 until the initial years of Gen. Soeharto’s New Order
Murray came to Jakarta in the mid-1950s as a member of the Australian Volunteer Graduate Program, a non-government initiative that gave the opportunity to selected Australian graduate students to offer their services in Indonesia with salaries equal to the amount paid to Indonesian civil servants. After returning to Australia and completing his studies, he joined the Australian foreign service and was sent to Jakarta in 1963.
When the Sukarno regime collapsed in 1965-1966 and a buoyant student movement emerged, he befriended many of the student leaders. Many of the student activists who were his long-standing friends became prominent corporate lawyers, cabinet ministers and ambassadors.
Murray left the Australian foreign service in the late 1960s and worked for his extensive family business. He was active in several non-government assistance programs related to Indonesia,
Murray was known for his personal generosity in helping so many Indonesians, sometimes some he hardly knew, by giving concrete advice and opening up new opportunities that was truly impressive. He tried to cover up his love for Indonesia and Indonesians with lighthearted jokes and funny stories.
It was through Murray’s encouragement and assistance that ACPC convened the Asia Pacific Regional Crime Prevention Forum in Townsville in 2007 and the further Forum in Adelaide in January 2011. Murray provided many of the introductions which enabled representatives of jurisdictions from the region to attend.
Murray died on 4 April 2011 in Indonesia.
[Extract from Obituary “The Jakarta Post”: 1 June 2011, Saram Siagiam]
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