PERMAI was originally formed in July 1993 at the invitation of Mr Edhimurti Sunoko, the then Consul of the Republic of Indonesia, as a means of promoting good relations between Australia and Indonesia through the performing arts.
The name PERMAI literally translates as ‘beautiful’ but it is also an acronym formed from the phrase ‘Persahabatan Antara Masyarakat Australia dan Indonesia’ meaning ‘friendship between the peoples of Australia and Indonesia’.
As the gamelan of the Australian Indonesian Association of Victoria this name was carefully chosen to reflect the values of the Association and to echo its motto, which is ‘Bercita-cita membina persahabatan, saling pengertian dan hubungan antar-masyarakat yang erat antara Indonesia dan Australia’ meaning ‘To foster and promote friendship, understanding and good relations between the peoples of Indonesia and Australia’.
Under the expert tuition and artistic direction of accomplished composer, musician and puppeteer Ki Poedijono OAM, members of Permai have performed at official functions such as Indonesian Independence Day celebrations and the welcoming of his Highness Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X to the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia.
Additionally the group has played at numerous public gatherings including the Gamelan in the Gallery at the National Gallery of Victoria, the 2008 Festival Indonesia and the 2009 Indonesian Festa at the Melbourne Immigration Museum.