In a small village in Port Vila on 28 November 2014, the Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs, representing the Tongoa-Shepherd Islanders from the SHEFA Province of Vanuatu, renewed its kastom and political relations with the Federal Republic of West Papua in a welcome ceremony organised by the council’s women’s group. Chief Morris Kaloran initiated the renewal in 2002 on Australian Aboriginal land during the Sanap Wantaim Ceremonial in Melbourne (Slides 17, 18). Relations deepened in December 2007 during the Council’s Summit for West Papua in Port Vila that concluded with a ‘Unity Day Declaration’ by the West Papua National Authority, Port Vila Council of Chiefs, and Maraki Vanuariki Council of Chiefs (Slide 19). This welcome ceremony in 2014 opened the West Papua Leaders Summit on Reconciliation & Unification, which was hosted by Vanuatu’s National Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, Vanuatu Government, Vanuatu Christian Council of Churches and the Pacific Conference of Churches), and which oversaw the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
13. Alice Kaloran, one of seventeen ni-Vanuatu women who contested Vanuatu’s national elections in 2013. right: Maraki Vanuariki Chief Shem Rarua, with Rev. Peter Woods from Melbourne translating into Indonesian for the West Papuans.
14. Chief Morris Kaloran and the West Papua delegation. The ceremony was partly sponsored by a single-mother in South Korea who donated $1,000, which she had saved for the education of her two children, for the West Papuans to buy a pig. The Papuans’ gift prompted the Maraki Vanuariki Council to buy a pig for the West Papua National Day Procession two days later (1 Dec 2014). And that pig inspired the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs to buy two pigs for the West Papua Leaders Summit on Reconciliation and Unification (2-6 December 2014).
15. Alfonse Adadikam from Biak Island (West Papua) who has lived in Melbourne since 1984. He landed in Docklands on the first Indonesian ship allowed to dock in Australia after the Maritime Union of Australia lifted the ban it had imposed in 1969 (in response to the fraudulent UN Act of Free Choice).