Anton Lucas commenced at Flinders University in 1981 when he was appointed to teach in the Indonesian Language program established three years earlier. He was then part of the team which established the Asian Studies major and the Department of Asian Studies and Languages, when the Australian community became increasingly aware of its presence and role in the Asian region. He also worked in the Social Sciences Research Training Centre (PLPIIS) at Hasanuddin University, Makassar, South Sulawesi (1984-85), and in the Inter-University Centre, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta (1990-1992).
In a relatively short period, the Department of Asian Studies and Languages at Flinders earned a strong reputation for research and teaching in Indonesian studies. Anton became Head of Department in 2002, then Director of the Flinders Asia Centre from 2004 to 2009. He taught undergraduate classes on environment and development in Asia, Indonesian culture and society, religion and social change, musical cultures and identities, and the Indonesian language. He taught in the off-shore MA International Relations programs in China, and has a long history of PhD supervision, including many international students, some of those holding AusAID and other awards.
Since 1999 Anton took part in three shared ARC Discovery Grants which examined land tenure, livelihood and the law, community, environment and local governance, and social capital and natural resources management in Indonesia. He has published widely on a range of social and political issues at the local level.
Additionally Anton has worked tirelessly in his endeavours to improve Australia-Indonesia engagement and international understanding of Indonesian society. This included encouraging student in-country experience, working with teachers of Indonesian in South Australian schools, and being a Board Member of the Indonesian Resources and Information Program which publishes online magazine Inside Indonesia. He has been a driving force behind community performances of the gamelan music of Java, through participation in Womadelaide and OzAsia festivals.
Anton retired from teaching at the end of 2010. Since then he co-supervised two PhD students on the topics of social capital and village governance in West Kalimantan, and the East Java mud volcano. He also co-edited a performing arts issue of Inside Indonesia to coincide with the 2016 OzAsia Festival.
A plaque was attached to the beautiful Javanese Pendopo building and the gamelan which were gifts to the University from Anton and his wife Kadar, to promote Indonesian studies.