Australia and Indonesia's relationship is important, despite recent rocky times.

Australia and Indonesia's relationship is important, despite recent rocky times.

The countries that matter to Australia today

Australia's relationships with the US and Indonesia have varied over the years but today they are the links that matter the most to its future.

That's the view of ANU foreign policy experts Dr Andrew Carr and Professor Greg Fealy, who believe the role of Australian public opinion has shaped our approach to both nations, particularly during the past few years.

"Successive opinion polls show that the Australian public isn't particularly informed about Indonesia and quite often is somewhat fearful about Indonesia's intensions towards Australia," Fealy says.

"Nonetheless, I think there's a general view that the Australian public wants there to be good relations between Australia and Indonesia and they mark down governments that can't resolve bilateral problems."

Watch the video below to discover why the pair thinks the US still maintains a critical role in Australia's international relations.