GUEST SPEAKERS at this first WP Open Day in 2022 are Drs. Jacob Rumbiak from the West Papua Transitional Government and Mr Andrew Wilkie MP the current independent Federal Member for Clark (Tasmania).
Andrew Wilkie has been a federal politician since 2010. Unlike many Australian politicians, he has a a well-studied understanding of how West Papua was legally and politically incorporated into Indonesia, and therefore supports the West Papuans’ right to self determination and independence. He also has a deep understanding of how the Indonesian military and intelligence agencies operate, having served, ultimately as Lieutenant Colonel, in the Australian Army from 1980 to 2004, and as an intelligence analyst with Australia’s Office of National Assessments (ONA) from 1999 until 2003. He resigned from both after finding himself forced to confront Australia’s invasion of Iraq as based on a “lie”, arguing “there is no hard intelligence linking the Iraqi regime to al-Qaeda in any substantial or worrisome way.”
In 2019 Andrew and the Australian Greens were the only politicians willing to meet the United Liberation Movement for West Papua at Parliament House and accept a petition, signed by 18,000, for Australia to support a motion to add West Papua to the UN Decolonisation List.
Andrew is also one of the CLIMATE 200 independent candidates for this year’s federal election. As argued in our letter to Climate 200 in January 2022, “West Papuans’ right to self-determination is a ‘domestic’ as well as a ‘foreign affairs’ issue because the border between our nations—Torres’ Strait and the Arafura Sea—ensures that conditions in West Papua seriously influence Australia’s climate and thus its science-based response to climate change”. It is, therefore, little more than common sense for these new politicians to support the ‘Green State’ launched by the West Papua Transitional Government during the 2021 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, and so distinguish themselves from Liberal and Labor politicians.
[click to download WP letter to Climate 200, 3 Jan 2022) Climate 200, Simon Homes a Court