Albizia Akbar and Tifani Hardanti. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Seventeen Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program delegates were welcomed at a reception on Tuesday at the Bendigo Town Hall.

The reception marked the beginning of the delegates’ three-week stay in Greater Bendigo and central Victoria.

Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said this exchange is an opportunity for Greater Bendigo to shine.

“The city is very excited to welcome the Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange delegates to Greater Bendigo,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“We’re very proud of our region and we see this as a chance to really showcase Greater Bendigo as an inclusive and liveable community on the international stage.”

The Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program is a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade initiative designed to build stronger intercultural connections between Australia and Indonesia.

In its 37th year, delegates of the 2018 program will spend two months in Australia, including three weeks in Melbourne, a stopover in Canberra, and three weeks in central Victoria.

Their three-week stay in the Greater Bendigo region forms the regional component of the delegates’ visit, to help them experience the diversity of Australia.